Your Website: The Set It And Forget It Trap

How often do you update your website? I’m not talking about adding a blog post or publishing an article. How often do you make structural changes to your website?

According to Opal Gamble, Partner at Design and Develop, companies typically update their websites every three to five years. Their site looks outdated or has structural problems, which leads to a major overhaul. For example, creating a mobile site and optimizing it for all screen sizes is a driver for many firms to update their overall websites today.

The problem is a major overhaul to your website every few years is not enough. Your website is alive, and it’s part of a vibrant ecosystem. If you are not constantly feeding and maintaining it, your website will atrophy.

Shift away from website overhauls

Many companies were severely impacted by Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithm updates. We saw a number of firms go from having search results on Page 1 to Page 15 and worse.

They’d fallen into the “set it and forget it” trap. Google changed the rules, and they were unprepared.

The problem with website overhauls is they speak to a moment in time. The site design and content was appropriate when it was launched, but what about now?

Priorities change. Campaigns change. Your market dynamics changes. Your website has to keep pace with these changes.

Your website requires constant attention. You should be optimizing and improving it quarterly.

A lot of little changes

Creating a website that drives your sales funnel is a process. It takes a lot of incremental improvements to drive the engine.

We launched a new website for Sticky Branding in November 2013. It was a significant improvement over the previous site, and the first 30 day metrics were staggering.

But the changes and fine tuning we’ve made since November are what’s moving the sales needle. We’ve overhauled the speaking and services pages. We transitioned from Google Analytics to Universal Analytics. We implemented clear call to actions on landing pages, and a host of improvements under the hood.

These little changes are incrementally increasing our lead flow, improving our search position and driving more traffic to the site.

Insource or outsource, just do it

Making continuous improvements to your website is not onerous. You can delegate it to a member of your marketing team, or you can outsource.

Deighton Associates and Versature both have inhouse marketing talent that manage their websites. The ongoing updates they make create a substantial competitive advantage for the firms.

Sticky Branding outsources the work to Design and Develop. We review our stats and priorities with them monthly, and they make recommendations. This has been the most productive investment we’ve made in our website to date.

The old way of managing a corporate website was to set it and forget it. That’s not wise anymore. Build the systems to make your website an integral part of your marketing, and focus on incremental improvements every quarter.