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So you have a website, now what?

I’ve been neglecting my website.

My poor site has been sitting idle for the past few months, sadly needing an update, a blog post, a new podcast or even just a new image for the front page. Something would have been better than nothing. I could use the excuse that I am too busy creating websites for my clients but without them; I wouldn’t need a site in the first place. However I’m busy is a copout – surely I could find ½ hour a week somewhere to make some content.

My neglected site was actually brought to my attention by a potential client. He contacted me and the first question he asked was “Are you still making websites?” He had paid a visit to my sad Portfolio page and noted that my last site on there was dated September 2012.

Fair question to ask then.

Site updating is a common problem that all website owners will encounter at one time or another. You get a site created (or build one yourself) and then get busy doing other things that are required for a business. “I’ll get to that one day” can be the attitude and you might mistakenly believe that the site will look after itself.

But here is the truth – you didn’t get a site just to have a web presence, you got a website to BOOST your business and to take it to the next level. Your site should be there to make you money and provide a service to your customers – not just to exist on its own.

After my new client had pointed out that my site needs some love and attention, I decided to put something into action. I needed a plan that would enable me to grow the site and improve its likelihood of converting visitors into customers of Rusty Mango Design.

This plan will be added to my Operations Manual for my business. If you aren’t quite sure of what an Operations Manual is, head on over to Amazon (or another book retailer) and get a copy of “The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael Gerber – it will change the way you think about running a business.

I’m also going to share my plan for BOOSTING my site via this Blog and my Podcast. I will post (and podcast) the various steps that I am taking along the way to improve the conversion and retention rate of visitors to my site. Successes and failures will be also documented and I would love to hear your stories as well so feel free to add your comments to the end of this post (and subsequent ones).

Blog One: Finding the Time

I will be the first to admit that my time management skills are not up to scratch. I get easily distracted by other tasks and allow some to fall by the wayside – like my site for example. So I have decided to dedicate my first post to sorting out a timetable to which I will stick like glue for the next two months before reviewing again.

Step One: Tasks Required

My first task is to identify what tasks need to be done or integrated with my site and how often those tasks should be undertaken. Most of these are relevant to all business sites and if they aren’t, maybe you should look into whether they need to be added to yours.

Tasks Frequency Relation to Site
Facebook Posts Twice Weekly Integrated Content/Hook*
Twitter Occasional Integrated Content/Hook*
Portfolio End of Month On Site
Front Page Feature Completion of New Site On Site
Blog Post Monthly On Site
Podcast Monthly ITunes/Podomatic/Hook*
Idea Development Weekly Business Development

* A Hook is used to bring potential clients to your site as an avenue alternative to search engines.

As you have probably spotted by now, some of the tasks cannot be simply timetabled. By my thinking, Tweets (on Twitter) should only be used when you really have something worthwhile to share. That said, I do want to create a presence on Twitter so I will make an effort to Tweet something every time I check out web design / small business communities.

The Front Page Feature is another item that can’t be timetabled. I always put the latest site that I have developed onto the front page of my site. Not only does this show off my latest and greatest work  but such prominence will help get the new site listed on Google quickly as my site is regularly indexed by the Google Bots and they pick up the link from there.

Step Two: Timetable Plan

Now that I have worked out what needs to be done, when will I do it? This is the part of the document that will be included in my Operations Manual. I will also pin this on my office pinboard.

Weekly Schedule for Boosting Website Performance

Monday (½ Hour) Reading Industry News / Twitter / Offline Advertising
Tuesday (1 Hour) Blog Writing / Podcast Recording
Wednesday (½ Hour) Facebook Check / Posting
Thursday (½ Hour) Blog Development / Podcast Development (afternoon)
Friday (½ Hour) Reading Industry News (Twitter)
Saturday (1 Hour) New Idea Development
Sunday Catch Up

My Reasoning

Tuesday and Thursday are convenient days as one of my sons attends Tai Kwan Do in the afternoon and I usually have an hour sitting and waiting for him. Rather than sitting idle, I can use this time to write / draft the next week’s blog or podcast.

My New Idea Development time on Saturdays can be used to sketch and draft new techniques to entice customers to my business. This might be spent thinking of ways to use the website more effectively or creating a new product that will benefit existing or potential customers. The mighty Google actually encourages its employees to use 20% of their weekly time at the company developing new ideas. This is where great products such as Google Earth have originally stemmed. It can’t be a bad thing to try for a smaller business – who knows where it may lead.

Notice that I haven’t actually specified an actual time of the day to do the above tasks – this just can’t be done. Clients always need changes and new quotes are always arriving along with a million other tasks. I will keep this timetable in plain view and endeavour to fit each task in on the allotted day, whether it be at the beginning or end of the working day, it needs to be done.

Conclusion

As stated before, I will run with this timetable for the next two months before a review of its success or failure. It will no doubt need some form of adjustment and then it will be tested again.

Eventually the outcome can only result in one thing – my site will begin to work for me and that is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that we are all aiming for.

I will post the developments right here on the Blog so please comment below and give me your thoughts.

Let’s finish this post with a quote from PT Barnum that ties in beautifully with what we are trying to do achieve by developing our sites.

Forever the showman, Barnum firmly believed that…

“Without promotion, something terrible happens…. nothing!”

Rusty Mango Design

Rusty Mango Design