As a sales person, I speak almost daily with prospective clients who are in some stage of a website refresh or redesign. Websites are (and should be) living organisms, constantly growing and changing to meet the needs of the businesses they support. The widespread adoption of Content Management Systems such as WordPress is making this constant change easier to achieve.
When I speak to someone managing a website redesign project, I usually hear some version of the following:
"Let me get my site redesign done first, then I’ll think about how to generate content for it, or get leads from it."
Managing all the pieces of a website project can be overwhelming, and it would be nice if you could put aside the issue of maximizing its effectiveness until a later stage. But you can’t.
Here are just some of the horrors that await those who dare procrastinate on incorporating inbound marketing into their new site strategy:
You’ll have a pretty looking site that does absolutely nothing for your business.
You’ll have no way to capture information about who visits your site and why.
You’ll have nothing of value in the way of content that your audience cares about.
And for those doing a redesign, here are the danger zones:
Loss of valuable content
Loss of inbound links that impact your organic search ranking
Loss of ranking on keywords important to your business
Loss of existing conversion paths – the ways site visitors can interact with the site
By destroying important site assets such as these, you’ll almost certainly get a drop in traffic and leads. And you’ll have wasted a lot of time and effort, too.
Hope on the horizon
There is a cure for this malaise, fortunately. And that cure is to incorporate inbound marketing during the planning and development process in order to protect what you have and maximize your new site’s ability to generate leads.
How do you go about this, you ask? Here are some tips:
Focus on visitations and leads, not look and feel
How nice a site looks is overrated, frankly. Studies have clearly shown it’s how the site is tailored to your audience that counts. Rather than spending all your dough on a “better looking online billboard”, it’s wise to invest in the superhighway – the lead generation system - that’s leading to that billboard.
Protect your ass(ets)
Inventory your site assets, such as content, links, keyword rank and conversion paths, and have a strategy for transitioning to the new site.
Get marketing involved
If a new site or redesign is exclusively in the hands of your IT department, make sure that your marketers have a voice in the development process, especially in the areas of content and optimization.
If you’d like to discuss how to incorporate inbound marketing into your website project, please contact Craig Premo at 972-815-1057 or firstname.lastname@example.org.