Thursday 11 December 2014

The Importance of Long Term Planning for Your New Website

There’s few things quite as exciting as launching your brand new website. You’ve got everything in place, you’ve run all your tests, and now you can’t wait to set it out into the world and wait for all those visitors to flock by in their droves.

The day comes, you upload the last of your files and there you have it, your very own website, live on the Internet. Thrilled with the results, you tell everybody you can about the site. Your friends and family hear about it through texts, phone calls and even around the dinner table, your colleagues and clients receive an enthusiastic email, and your social media followers are urged to check it out.

Many of them do. They swing by, take a look around and tell you how great it is. Then they leave again. Sure, some may come back on occasion, but after that first visit, most have already seen everything they want to see and have no real reason to visit again.

Weeks go by. Weeks turn into months, and soon that sparkling new website you launched with such gusto now languishes in some dusky corner of the Internet, unloved, uncared for, and neglected.

What a waste of time and resources, right?

Not really. With a bit of long-term planning, you stand a much better chance of keeping that initial momentum running strong long after launch.

Fresh content

Nothing works quite as well at keeping your visitors coming back to your website like a frequent stream of fresh content. After all, why would they return time and time again to see the same old thing they saw last time?

Updating your website with a regular stream of new material such as blog posts, articles, or even photo galleries and videos gives those visitors a reason to return. They liked what you posted last time, so when they see you’ve posted something new, chances are they’ll like that too and want to check it out.

Fresh content also has the added advantage of helping with your Search Engine Optimisation. The more quality material you post on your site, the more favourably those major search engines are going to look on your site, and the further up those search results you soar.

Cheap hosting

When you first set out to create your website, it’s all too tempting to get drawn into those bargain deals offered by cheap web hosting companies, though again, here’s where a little long term planning can really come in handy. Some of the best web hosting deals are in fact some of the cheapest so it's always best to look at the options by using sites like this.

Those deals usually only last for a single year term. After that, you’ll be asked to pay the full price, or at least something close to it.

To make sure you can still afford to keep your website live after that first year, look into how much its going to cost you once the honeymoon period is over, and set that aside in your budget.

Marketing plan

That initial influx of traffic that comes when you tell everybody about your new website is great, but once that early hype dies down, how are you going to continue to attract new visitors to your site?

We’ve already talked about the importance of adding new content to hit those search engines and keep your existing audience returning, but to increase that audience base, you’re going to need to do a little bit of marketing.

This is neither as complicated nor as costly as it sounds. With a bit of planning and forethought, you could create compelling social media campaigns, set up a newsletter or even reach out through offline media to draw attention to your new site and ensure you keep the momentum up long after you launch.

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