When Bad Websites Happen to Good People When Bad Websites Happen to Good People When Bad Websites Happen to Good People
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Tip 10: We begin at the end.

Now that your site has launched, it’s not over… it’s just beginningIt happens time and time again: a site launches and the marketing manager breathes an audible sigh of relief, mutters "Done!" and scratches "website remake" off the to-do list.

This is where the web gods throw back their heads and laugh in the face of such naïveté. Because a website's launch is just the beginning.

Sure, the tedious back-and-forth of mockup approvals is over with, the copy and site are optimized, a favicon has been created, and the site passes the "cross-browser, cross-platform compatibility" testing. But it's not finished yet. In fact, it never will be.

Having website is a continuous process. In this super-competitive world, a "build it and they will come" mentality encourages failure, if not ensures it.

Why? Because website customer engagement is not a one-off effort.

Providing interesting visitor-focused content and an appealing, thoughtfully designed site is just the beginning. In the brick-and-mortar world, one pleasant interaction with a cashier doesn't mean the customer is suddenly a product advocate, raving fan and brand ambassador. Equally, a single web page interaction is not an indicator of consumer loyalty, no matter how friendly and winsome the copy, or how snazzy the design.

Post-launch activities are needed to monitor your site's effectiveness and what your people are saying about you, as well as attract prospective customers to your site.

Some of these post-launch tasks include:

Link Development

The best kind of link development is simply to create awesome stuff for your site that people want to link to - videos, white papers, blog posts, informative press releases, etc. Good content drives traffic, quality links and positive customer experience. Make sure you are listed in online industry directories, social networks, partner and vendor sites, and Google Local listings as well.

Content Analysis

Now that the site has launched, what content needs constant updating? What are site visitors looking for, and is that content available? Content strategy is not about more content, but rather, having the right content.

Social Media

Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube are great tools for customer participation, and the ability to interact and respond to clients in real-time. We love Common Craft's Social Media in Plain English.

Pay-Per-Click

For many businesses, a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign can attract business and work hand-in-hand with organic optimization, providing further customer intelligence and keyword insights.

Website Monitoring

Who is coming to your site, how are they getting there and once they've arrived, what are they doing? Analytics need to go well beyond the reporting of page views, time spent, or clicks, which don't predict consumer behaviour or involvement. Look at performance indicators. Establish a baseline, so that when changes are made you can see the effect. Google's Website Optimizer is a handy tool that helps with A/B testing.

Internet/Social Media Monitoring

Online monitoring is often used for customer insights, reputation or risk management, customer service and research, word-of-mouth campaigns. It's also useful for connecting and conversing with customers or outreach to prospective clients. As with website monitoring, it is crucial to go beyond reporting data, to understanding the sources, quality and accuracy of data, and what that data means to your business objectives.

Let's cut to the chase, all websites have two main goals:

  1. Getting the right people (your target audience) to the site in the first place.
  2. Getting those visitors to continue to interact with your site and brand online and offline!

Building a highly usable website to meet your goals, inform your visitors and create a happy positive experience is commendable. But the information and feedback you get from your users, potential customers and monitoring data transitions a site from good to great.

Now that your site has launched, it's not over... it's just beginning.

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One Response to “Tip 10: We begin at the end.”

  1. 1

    I decided since I couldn’t afford the fees for SEO, that I would use my website as a resource for my clients only.

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