MAKE A WEBSITE YOU CAN ACTUALLY MAINTAIN
WHETHER your GOAL IS to spark ENGAGEMENT, SALES, INQUIRIES OR ALL THREE
WHEN WE HELP A CLIENT PLAN THEIR WEB DESIGN, WE ALSO LIKE TO PLAN HOW THEY’LL MAINTAIN IT AFTER IT GOES LIVE.
Whenever you build a new website, or consider changes to your existing site, it’s important to set goals for what you want your website to help you achieve.
Will it help you sell digital products? Will it showcase your portfolio of work to entice future clients? Will it offer resources or community to your ideal clients so they’ll come to count on you as an expert in your field?
Based on your objectives, your site will begin to take on a certain structure. Features will be floated by your designer to engage your users and call them to action. As you decide on these features, it’s incredibly important to keep in mind the sustainability of your strategy.
Some features sound unique and attractive in-the-moment, but are you going to have the time and resources to keep up with them?
The way I see it, there are three main types of website a service providing entrepreneur might want to create.
Depending on your type of business and go-to marketing techniques, you might build a content-focused website, a sales funnel website, or an inquiry-driving website.
Every website will probably contain all three of these – content, funnels, request for inquiries…
But because you should have honed in on a main objective for your site – one important action your users should take – you’ll likely see that yours can be categorized as one of these three.
if you’re building a Content Driven Website
A content-driven site features news, stories, blog entries, how-tos, resources, videos or other writing and media that require frequent updating and uploading. The creation of consistent, new material can feel like a full-time job. If you’re building a content-heavy site, first ask yourself: do I have the capacity to maintain a certain rhythm of content? Remember that a site that has content at its center will need an editorial and curatorial plan. It will require you to budget your time and/or hire a staff to keep up with writing, photography, video creation, you name it. More often than not, those pieces of content cost money to produce. And you will likely want to implement a robust marketing strategy to direct traffic to new content as it becomes available. Are you set up to produce content at an adequate pace? To promote that content to drive the traffic you need?
if you’re building a Sales Funnel website
Is your entire site driving sales of some kind? If you create a wonderful user experience, write compelling sales copy, make a master marketing plan and install an easy checkout process, are you prepared to fulfill more orders? More money, more problems can be real if you’re not ready for it! Have you connected your sales to other business systems to create easy processes for yourself? Does your payment processing link to your bookkeeping? Do your orders connect to your email marketing and overall CRM? And when you want to up-level your sales, how easy is it to add new products or product paths to your site?
IF YOU’RE BUILDING AN INQUIRY-DRIVING website
Most servicepreneurs build websites meant to drive inquiries for their services. Your call-to-action may be to sign up for a free consultation that allows you to provide quick help, and see if you’re a fit with a potential client, while giving you an opportunity to pitch your paid services. Or you might simply send users to a contact form after they browse a list and description of all you offer. It’s often easiest to maintain this type of site, but every site requires a refresh as a business grows. It’s smart to schedule time in the slower seasons of your business to execute copy revisions, add or remove services or swap out old photos and video for new. How easy is it to make these changes yourself, as needed? Are you going to add new projects to a portfolio, or clients or credentials as you acquire them? Do you have a certain max quantity of clients you can take on at one time? If you surpass that volume, how will you handle additional inquiries?
reap the rewards of a well-maintained website
Whatever type of website you have, it’s essential you project plan for regular content updates – how, when and who will execute them. Planning ahead for these changes means your web updates will be well-timed and controlled. No panicked late nights uploading content. No out-of-date homepage. No expensive last-minute requests for your web designer or developer. You’ll thank me later. 😉
I strategize, consult and manage digital marketing and communications for small businesses and creative entrepreneurs. I’m based in Brooklyn, because I have a thing for exposed brick, cozy, local coffee shops and the can’t stop, won’t stop energy of New York.
Because I work with small companies, I get the chance to really know my clients – what makes them tick and how and why they should stand out in a crowded marketplace. A lot of my clients have a smaller staff, a limited budget and are already stretched thin for time. This leads us to tailor marketing strategies and solutions to each company’s unique needs and actual capacity.