False! Fact: If you ever believe for a second that when you launch a website it’s done, and you never have to touch it again – you’re absolutely wrong.
More often than not, I’ve heard building a website is the equivalent of giving birth. Granted it doesn’t take nine months to produce (or not usually), but it can be a painful experience and it stays with you for the rest of your (company’s) life.
Discussing internally with our team, we often find that many clients share this same thought:
I have a good friend who manages communication for his company. He asked me the other day, “At what point can I stop worrying about SEO and consider it finished?”
Um, never. It’s not a project – it’s a marketing element that you’ll work on in perpetuity. Same for your website.
To which another team member replied:
How can you stop working on SEO? Your website is the salesman that never sleeps. 80% of searches are informational, but many of those informational queries are also eventual buyers at the top of the sales funnel. You’re not running ads to those usually. Google is seen as an authority on the web, and your ranking in the SERPS is Google’s stamp on what they think of you from the eyes of the common user.
That kind of logic comes from the same sort of people that see marketing as a line item they can decrease during tough times. NOOOOO!!! Everyone else is decreasing. It’s time to take market share. Invest more, not less. Build that sales funnel, or your sales staff will be asking what happened to their leads in 6 months.
Redesign/building is one part of the process that is often difficult and drawn out. There are so many variables involved that can make or break the success of a website. I find that I’m often not 100% happy with the website by the time it launches. According to designer/developer and writer Kailia Colbin, the feeling is pretty common:
I am tired of the design. I see only flaws. I realize all my paper prototyping and use-case modeling and beta testing failed to account for the 500 unanticipated ways in which our needs would change and our organization would evolve. Often, by the time we go live, I feel stupid: How could I have not thought of that? Why couldn’t I have seen that far ahead?
This is not to say a website can’t be perfect but it’s a constant process. As your company evolves, so will your website. You want to build it to cater to your audience and your goals. The obvious goal is to always do better, right?
My disgust with the websites I work on isn’t something to be ashamed of; it’s an evolutionary tactic. It saves me from growing too attached to any one of these incarnations. It keeps me focused on improvements and possibility. And it reminds me of this essential truth: When it comes to online presence, our work is never, in fact, “done.”