Your website is never done - only under construction
The above title might sound strange (especially when you consider I help businesses renew their marketing websites), but I truly believe it.
Your website isn’t fully complete when it launches - there is still work to be done.
So if your website is never done… should you stick with what you have forever?
Well, sometimes you need a new foundation to build from. And when you do, it’s far easier to start from scratch. This could be because:
- You’re going through a rebrand or a larger design refresh
- You’re shifting your business focus or pivoting to a new direction
- You’re moving your website to a new platform, say from Wordpress to Webflow
- Your current website has too many flaws that are impossible to overlook anymore
But when you start your website project, how do you view the finished product? Do you see it as a complete version that is ready to serve your needs? Or do you see your website as a MVP to iterate on and improve over the coming months and years?
I think many of us look at website projects in the former light, when in reality, we should look at it as the latter.
Take literally any software or product - say the device you’re reading this blog post on. It’s probably the Nth iteration of its type. We throw ‘perfect’ around a lot, but if something was truly perfect, then we would never need to create a new model. Why would we, when the current model is perfect?
Once you release something to the world, people use it, and give their feedback. Then you fix what didn’t work, make tweaks to improve performance, and ship it out again. It’s a natural and effective way to develop products and software.
So why shouldn’t websites be the same? Instead of spending all of your resources on something that just gets by until it’s time to redo it completely, you can save time, money, and a lot of headache by making incremental changes over time and renewing the content regularly.
This helps you:
- Proactively fix issues before they become problems,
- Increase conversions by testing theories & acting upon the data, and
- Keep your content fresh, modern, and trendy.
Here are some more reasons why it benefits you to make smaller, frequent changes and additions to your marketing website.
It helps boost your SEO rankings
Search engines like Google love relevant content. So when you keep your content up-to-date, Google will reward you by showing you earlier and earlier in search results.
It’s not just showcasing the latest information - search engines also evaluate your site’s structure, taking note of how easy it is to navigate, noting broken links, searching for duplicate content, and much more.
So an agile approach ensures that both your content and navigation stay fresh, which are big green checkmarks for Google’s robots.
Constant tweaks can help you improve conversions
There are so many factors that go into conversion points on websites. From layouts, to copy, to even where the CTA button is located, these can all play a role in whether or not your visitor continues their journey towards being a customer, or exits your page.
So when you make small changes to your pages often - say A/B testing different landing page designs - you’ll learn which tactics and designs work best, which you can then apply to other pages. As well, you’ll keep your conversion rate steady instead of watching it decline over time.
If the thought of making constant changes to your website is scary, let me ask you a question first:
If you had to keep 5 webpages, which ones would you keep?
No doubt you know which pages are doing the brunt of the work for your company. But take a look at all of the pages you have on your website, and think - which ones do you really need?
Not all webpages are made equal. You want your website to convert as many of the right visitors as possible. So which pages are those that are key to conversions? Those are your most important pages, and they deserve most of your love. So run small tests on them, and you can look at the other pages less frequently.
Constant changes help prevent website aging
I’m sure you’ve seen a couple of those sites on the web - websites that clearly haven’t been updated in a while. Whether the visual style is old, or the design is strange, it doesn’t look great.
Stanford University ran an experiment evaluating how website visitors evaluate a website’s credibility - 46.1% said the design look affected their opinion. Keeping your website fresh means your visitors will find you credible, which is 100% a good thing!
Imagine if your sales team would do the same presentation over and over again, never changing their approach, only to then totally redo everything every two years. Maddening, right?
An agile and iterative approach is vital to keeping your website smooth and fresh, and becoming a revenue generator, not a cost center.
This is easier said than done. I know you want to do all these things, but depending on how you’ve built your website, it can be challenging.
But with something like Webflow, you can have a website that’s flexible without losing out on functionality. (Shameless plug: as a designer and developer, I’m a huge fan and advocate of Webflow. I even wrote a blog post about why I love it so much.)
Consider that Søren Vasø took their company’s webpage count from 400 to 45, and launched a new website in just 5 weeks using an agile approach.
You can make a lot of assumptions about your website before it goes live. But once it is finally live, that’s when the real work begins.
So by treating your next website launch as a launchpad, and not a full-blown release, you’ll be better prepared to keep up with changes.
I work with Webflow and help my clients produce websites that are beautiful, converting, and (best of all) easy to manage and update.
Post-launch, I create a set of components and make sure your team knows how to use them, so you can tweak and iterate your website without worrying about breaking your site.