Resolution #4 – I will update my Website, or I will get a Website

It’s January 28 and most resolutions are long forgotten, but not yours, right?  You have the tools to better manage your email, use technology more productively, achieve your social media goals, and keep up with each of those in a manageable, realistic way throughout 2011.  And because your plans so far are manageable, realistic, and already scheduled in your calendar, you can also focus on yet another resolution – your Website! 

Updating Your Website

“I want to update my Website” is vague, so let’s focus in on what specifically you want to update. 

  • Is the look and feel of your site outdated? 
  • Does your content need updating? 
  • Do you need new content? 
  • Do you want to improve your search engine placement?
  • Do you need a way to update the site on your own? 
  • Is new functionality needed on your site?
  • Do you want to integrate social media tools to expand the reach of your site?
  • Are you starting a blog?

Unless you are prepared to invest the resources (both time and money) in a large-scale Web project, pick just 2 or 3 things that come to mind when you say “I want to update my Website” and write those down now. 

There, you just started your plan to update your Website in 2011. 

That was the easy part.  Now you need a plan.

Planning the Updates

Take the 2 or 3 things you named above and (1) identify the goals of each and (2) break those into smaller pieces that you can schedule into your calendar.  For example, let’s say that you need new content for your site and you decide that a goal is adding 1 new page per month.  The smaller pieces may look like this:

  1. Brainstorm new topics.
  2. Research the topics and select the 12 (one per month) that are most relevant.
  3. Write your outlines for the 12 topics.
  4. Research the topics and make notes.
  5. Write the content of the new page.
  6. Edit the content of the new page.
  7. Send to a colleague to review and edit before creating the page.
  8. Create the page.
  9. Proof the page.
  10. Launch the page.
  11. Measure and analyze new traffic on the page.
  12. Edit the page based on search engine insights.

Once you have your specific list of actions that you must take before creating a new page, schedule those into your calendar so that you achieve your goal of adding one new page per month.

For the 2-3 things that you listed earlier, take the time to identify the goal(s) of each, break them into small pieces, and schedule them in your calendar.

Creating Your Website

Building a Website is a daunting process for many people, and given the impact it can have on your business, it’s not a process you should short-change or rush through. 

The first questions we typically ask of people who contact us about building a Website are “why now?” and “what impact do you think a site can have on your business?” and your answers to these questions should guide every element of the process.  You also need to consider things like how the site will integrate into your business, how you will use it, how you will maintain it, where you will maintain it, how you will secure it, how often you will update it, etc. (we could keep going with a very long list of questions, but it would make this post very boring very quickly.  Ask us if you want the longer list!).

To begin to build your plan, identify the desired and realistic launch date of your site, and then work backwards from there to schedule activities like final testing, beta testing, page editing, site hosting, site programming, site design, content editing, content creation, resource allocation, site planning, etc.

Renovating or building your home on the Web are exciting projects and we wish you much success in achieving your Web resolutions in 2011.  We love working on Web projects and we’d love to talk with you if you think we can help with yours.

One of Our 2011 Resolutions

Four resolutions in your business can seem like a lot, but now you have the tools to work on them in small pieces every day to achieve them in 2011.  One of our resolutions is to focus our blog topics around these 4 resolutions throughout 2011 to keep you on track, give you fresh ideas, and help you continually evolve and refine your plan.  If there are specific topics you want us to talk about, drop us a note and we’ll see what we can do!