I recently inherited an aquarium with fish already established and thought, “Hey, this will be fun!” As a first-time tank owner, I didn’t realize how hard fish keeping actually is. After visiting fish forum after fish forum, I realized I’m not the only one who thought you just put fish in a jar of water and fed them every once in a while. Now I find myself feverishly testing the waters for bad minerals and compounds, tweaking the tank setup, doing water changes all the time and, in short, putting way too much time into a bunch of creatures that will never do any more than eat, poop, sleep and swim.
At Least Your Website Does More Than a Fish
Of course, I find this to be a wonderful euphemism for a lot of first-time website owners. A website does more than a fish, but new website owners are just like new fish owners.
“Sounds like fun!” they say, thinking of happily throwing up this product on their site, or that service. They see websites as static things, never changing, never really growing, just kind of… being there. Waiting for them to put up their products, yes, but otherwise just quietly doing the job of bringing buyers in.
It’s far from the truth.
In fact, as I tested my aquarium water for the umpteenth time, I couldn’t help but compare it to the client we have whose website has a reaction time of about 5 minutes. This means we make a change and it’s apparent in their listings almost immediately. Everything we do has to be carefully tested beforehand. Everything has to be tweaked in minuet increments or we lose visibility now.
Having said that, it doesn’t mean that we just let it be, either. The continued health of a website is dependent on that testing and tweaking. Rather than be static, a website is something fluid – living. Organic.
Here are three truths you have to keep in mind if your website is going to succeed.
1. Growth Is Imperative
Your website has to grow. In general, a static website with no growth shows search engines that the site is dead. Growth is anything that keeps the site fluid, either by creating content or recycling. In search, content is king: infographics, relevant images, white papers, blog posts. It’s all content.
Why Unique Content Is So Important for SEO
A Short Guide to Repurposing Content
A Guide to Creating Organic SEO Content
How Does Blogging Help with SEO?
A Content Development How-To: Your Target Audience Needs Your Content
2. Testing Is Imperative
There’s growth, in which you add more, and then there’s change. “Testing” points towards change, although it can be part of growth. Testing helps you solidify your site and content offerings in a manner that your particular audience appreciates. Testing can help you answer things like:
- Does my audience prefer short or long content?
- Should I remove or keep the sidebar on my main pages?
- Would a different color/ layout on my CTAs help me convert better?
Split Testing: Improve Results Without Spending More Money
Improving SEO: The Three Ts for Strong Optimization
Optimize and Organize: Do You Need A/B Testing?
3. Change Is Imperative
Change can make the difference between ranking and dying. Again, your website is growing thing, but so are people, cultures and languages. The way we look at things, the terms we use, the ways we interact – these all make a difference that should be reflected in your website. A few places that should change with the times, or at least be reviewed from time to time:
- Meta descriptions
- Title tags
- Metrics and KPIs
- The way you do social media
Measuring Metrics: Walkthroughs, KPIs and Benchmarks
Competitive Intelligence 101: Do You Know Who Your Online Competitors Are?
Powerful Ways to Build A Social Media Campaign That Will Drive Results
The Go-Getter’s Guide to Website Optimization: Our Massive SEO Checklist
Website keeping, much like fish keeping, isn’t easy. As I’m learning with my new aquarium that it takes constant surveillance, so you must learn that your website takes constant work. Of course, you can always hire the marketing and SEO professionals like us to do it for you, but you still have to play a part in it. Your input is invaluable in making sure you get your message across.
Don’t let your fish… I mean website, die. Give it the TLC it needs and watch it flourish.