Going through a website redesign and build is a huge and exciting undertaking. It involves re-writing content, restructuring architecture, researching innovative technologies and implementing new business strategies. A timeline and budget are formed, and hopefully followed, and many countless hours of discussion and brainstorming are involved. When all is said and done, a beautifully designed, full of rich content, easy to navigate site is created and launched, and then we all live happily ever after.
Wouldn’t it be great if everything were just that simple? Unfortunately, we know that building and launching a new site is just the beginning. A website is only effective if a.) People go to it, and b.) People update it. Think of this new website as an arm in your organization that needs constant attention if it is to grow and prosper.
Your first post-launch task is to drive traffic to the site. This can be done in a number of different ways: word of mouth, send out traditional mailers/flyers, put your web address on EVERYTHING, create press releases, and/or hire a SEO (search engine optimization) firm to manage pay per click accounts and help with organic and other search ranking efforts.
The second task is assigning people in your organization to take care of keeping the site up to date and current. If a content management system is put in place, someone needs to be trained on usage and set aside the time to make continual updates. Other possible tasks might include fulfilling ecommerce orders, managing customer support, monitoring forums, and my favorite – creating blog posts.
Organizations that fail to do the above will risk wasting the huge effort they undertook from the beginning, and most likely see their website fade over time. It’s key to the evolution of a website to always promote it and to keep the content dynamic and fresh so that users continue to visit for years to come.