So you started a website project a few years ago and it has basically been left to drift and DIE! Somehow you got really busy and the dreams of starting your new internet venture got put on the back burner. It wasn’t your fault… job, kids, life got in the way. But now, you’re ready to get back on it – fully motivated and ready to rock. Have no fear, here is list of things you can do to revive that old website and get it back on track, or until you can afford a new one.
Ask yourself these questions to evaluate where you are and where you need to go:
Website Design & Branding:
- Is the current branding look/feel in line with the audience you were targeting years ago? If not, make some changes. Update your tagline, maybe change your logo to a new font face, update the colors, etc.
- Is the imagery looking a bit nostalgic? Replace those pics with people who live in this era.
- Content – does it look busy? Is the functionality outdated? These types of issues usually deter savvy internet users from staying on your site. Make it super easy to understand. You only have about 8 seconds to capture their attention.
- More pictures, more content, more action! Add some JQuery sliders or an animation.
- If you made the brand about you, make sure you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. People will tend to heavily gravitate or heavily repel from personal brands based on how they see and/or relate to you. This will also effect your ability to effectively target your audience.
Content & Community:
- For subject enthusiast sites (hobbies, interests, sports, politics, etc.) to be successful, you need to be blogging 2-3x per week – yes, that’s a lot. No one said it would easy. To supercharge it, add 2 or 3 videos monthly or more and make sure the photography and content is interesting and adds value.
- Imagery needs to be rich and interesting. This causes the site to be “sticky” – meaning when people hit it they stick around.
- Inbound marketing or “pull” marketing is the name of the game. Blogs or articles should add value to your subscribers and visitors. Earn their trust, help them solve problems, make them feel a part of something bigger, provide useful information — build your credibility.
- You need to think in terms of how you can build a community or “tribe” where you earn the trust of people who have the same likes/dislike as you. I have two clients who are really successful at this.
- Client 1 on average sees over 6k visits per day and Client 2 has a community of over 85,000 people and has over 10k visits per day. They both built a community that supports their users. In your case, you need to be the catalyst to help your visitors come together. You may seem to have the right topics, but you must also be willing to let things go completely organic and be as authentic as possible. In a media saturated world, authenticity is better.
- Both clients direct their efforts toward other online groups, email marketing, merchandise, events and online radio shows. Checkout blogtalkradio.com.
- Social Media – Once you’ve got some relevant content going, time to start reaching out and joining the conversation on other blogs, Facebook pages and following like-minded people on Twitter and connecting on LinkedIn. Build a following by commenting and jumping in on conversations. The great thing about the web is you don’t need an introduction, just something in common — so jump in and start making friends.
- Already thinking along these lines? Good…now you need SEO to ignite it.
SEO & Marketing:
- Your site most likely needs to be optimized. Since it’s been dead for months (or years), it lacks a lot of the keywords necessary for page rankings.
- To accomplish this, you need to hire a professional SEO firm to help you get it optimized.
- Google just put out a new algorithm – the programs that rank websites – and their requirements are stricter than ever. The new algorithms are now based on sites that provide real substance and real human opinion. Gone are the days where links where enough.
- Site speed – very important, make sure your site loads quickly.
By keeping these points in mind, you’ll be ready to shock your website back to life!
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A time saving guide on how to plan an effective website that meets your online business and branding goals.
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By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy