You’re thinking about putting up a new web site. Fantastic. We think it’s a great idea (we build them, after all).
Before you build, decide what will happen once it’s up.
Static, informational ‘brochure’ sites are a thing of the past. Today, competitive web sites are dynamic marketing engines that are a keystone of your business’s identity.
To adjust quickly to market conditions, you need to be confident that you can set a strategy and execute it. Your web designer can help ensure you have that flexibility if they know how your company will use the site.
Some questions to answer:
- Who has the technical skills to maintain your site?
- Who in your company is responsible for content decisions?
- How will it dovetail with your larger social media strategy?
Knowing this information at the start of the design process will help you realize a better return on your investment.
Let’s take the questions one by one:
Who has the technical skills to maintain your web site?
Your Web Designer
Your web designer probably maintains a wide variety of sites, and, depending on your employees’ skill set and the number of changes per year, that may be a cost-effective option. Of course, they must be able to make changes quickly.
Divert, Hire or Train
If that’s not right for your company, you will need to find someone in your org who already has the skills to maintain content, or you will need to train or hire someone.
Many of Quoin’s sites are built on WordPress, and training is always a component of our new site design packages. Most people who can readily operate Microsoft Word can maintain a WordPress site through it’s well-tested user interface. However, a basic knowledge of HTML can save time if a tag gets broken.
If you have an in-house IT department, this might be the answer to the question. But suddenly you’re asking your IT department to support marketing. This is a relationship you (or they) may not be accustomed to.
Who in your company is responsible for content decisions?
What we’re really asking here is: Who is responsible for strategy decisions? What blog posts will support your new product release? You have a benefit coming up. What do you say about it, and how often? Does the content manager have the images she needs?
How will your new site dovetail with your social media strategy?
Your web site and blog posts are the foundation of your organic search results. These are fundamental to your site’s success, whether or not you’re also buying online ads.
Traffic between your web site and your social media network is a two-way street. People can find your site first, and then engage with you socially, or vice-versa. But your web site designer will need to provide the right tools for them to do that.
Some common social media tools are:
- Facebook ‘like’ buttons for your company’s page: When a user clicks this, your site’s news begins to populate their feed, keeping you connected to them.
- Facebook ‘like’ buttons for your individual blog posts: When someone clicks this, they post that particular blog post to their wall, so their friends can see it.
- Twitter ‘follow’ button: When they click it, your user starts seeing all of your posts in their Twitter feed.
- Retweet button: posts that blog post to the user’s feed.
- Many other social networks can be integrated with your web site, and it’s a flexible process wherein networks can probably be added or deleted as your strategy changes. But it’s best to know up front if, for instance, you’re going to be making inroads into GooglePlus.
Set your strategy and stick with it
But not forever. The best thing about online marketing is it’s flexibility. Sometimes that flexibility can lead owners and marketing managers to change tack before they know if a strategy has been effective.
Decide how long you can wait to see results. A month is very short in search engine terms. Make sure you take baseline measurements before you put up your new site. Then stick to your time line.
Having the right people and strategy in place to support your site will give you your best chance of success.