Opinion 

Why all the real work starts after you launch your website

Believe you just need to get your website built and then you’re done? Think again! All the real work, the stuff that brings in new clients, starts after you launch. And how easy that work is depends on how well the site was built from the very beginning.

Why all the real work starts after you launch your website

By Brad Jeffery 29/10/2018

Before we begin, let’s clarify some terminology.

When I say website, more specifically I mean a business website. And when I say business website I mean a one stop shop for marketing & sales. Plus a bunch of post sale stuff. I don’t mean a website that does the bit in the middle, the delivery of your service or a business where the website is the business (when it’s really an app).

Obviously you know you need a website, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be reading this. You understand the value a website brings to your business, you’d be nuts not to have one right? Think you can get away with just a Facebook page? Sure, if you want to be grouped into the ‘untrusted’ bucket along with all the other fly-by-night businesses who also never get a website.

So let’s first talk about what a business website should really be doing for your business so we can understand what to really focus on.

Since the invention of the internet, business has fundamentally changed in a tactical sense, but in a strategic one it really hasn’t changed that much.

Old school business strategy ‘truths’ have NOT been thrown out the window by ‘the disrupters’, all they did was change the tactics. Those new players who have shaken up industries and become billion dollar companies in the process, are still bound by simple, timeless business rules. One of them being that people will only buy from you if they know, like and trust you.

So at an absolute minimum, your website must be designed to let people get to know your business, to then like your business and finally to trust your business. The real challenge here is you usually only have about 3 seconds in which to do all of this. Whether it’s your home page or a landing page, how you do this is unique & custom to your business, and changes over time.

So all you can do in designing your website is make a bunch of assumptions about how you will do this. And when we say assumptions, what we’re really saying here is hypotheses. And with any hypothesis it needs to be proven right or wrong.

You would be a muppet if you kept doing something that you thought was working but was actually PROVEN to you that it wasn’t. Or an even BIGGER muppet if you ignored evidence of a tactic that could double your lead generation every month.

The only way to do this is to go through the tactical plan and RECORD EVERYTHING.

So data is they key here. Boring. Old. Data. Yup.

Data from your tactical executions (launching the site, or a new version of the site) is used to make your next execution even better. This is where the real work lies with any website. So it then means that the better your data capture and analysis is, the faster you can iterate. Finally, this means that how you built the site from day one to capture that data is THE MOST CRITICAL THING TO GET RIGHT.

The beauty of this is that it’s never too late to do it right. So if you are already knee deep in your website that’s fine. I’ll teach you what I’ve learnt over 20 odd years and I will also offer to be your guiding mentor if you desire that.

Your website is NOT the layout. So many people seem to care about how their website looks over what it does. You need to realise that your website visitors don’t give two hoots about your layout or look and feel. As long as it is a modern design and displaying nicely on their device, your users only care about what they came for and that ain’t your pretty layout or logo.

So focus on useability and delivering what your audience really wants. And realise that without proof of what they like or don’t like, you are just reinforcing your own bias. Site owners who don’t get this waste their time on everything but what really counts.

After 20 years and hundreds of these sorts of sites under my belt, I still don’t approach any website thinking I know it all. Sure, my starting assumptions might be slightly more fine tuned, but I know from experience that they need to be tested before sinking any serious money into that strategy.

 

spend more time delivering value to your customers NOT creating email content

About the Author: Brad Jeffery

About the Author: Brad Jeffery

Chief Bottler - BottledCode

Brad is the Founder of BottledCode. He is also the Founder of IdeasKicker.com and is the inventor of the term Crowd Vetting. In 2005 he co-founded RealXstream.com, a video streaming service for the extreme sports industry and in 2014 was a senior tech lead on the largest FinTech project in the Southern Hemisphere. He also spends his time running multiple e-commerce sites as well as working with the NSW State Emergency Service. Over the last 20 years he has built hundreds of websites, apps, middleware, plugins and services and has a passion for marketing & developing automated business processes through software. 

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