Changing how you view your website

I grew up in a world where there was no such thing as websites. In fact, it wasn’t until I was in high school that they became a thing. I still remember a class I had where one of our homework assignments was to find 10 websites.

Today that world seems not only distant, but hard to remember. What did we do before Google, cell phones and Amazon?

The World Wide Web has become the lifeblood of our society. We use it for everything from dating to running our businesses. Unfortunately, however, some of the paradigms that existed before the web have a tendency to sneak into how we look at our participation in these modern and exciting activities.

Your business website should be something you can be proud of and your greatest salesperson. It should be working day and night to deliver important and accurate information in a meaningful way to those looking for what you offer.

Aside from being your best salesperson, your website should also meet some important technical requirements. It needs to be responsive, meaning that it plays well with small screens and big screens, and it works on mobile data networks and high-speed hard lines alike. It should also be dynamic.

I want to talk specifically about that last word: dynamic. Building ads, billboards and TV segments have always been part of the marketing world, and they all share one thing in common: You sit down, come up with an idea, build it, and deploy it. Then you wait…for it to work or not work, and when the time comes to redeploy it, you may update or change it. This development strategy seems to have a tendency to creep into our web strategy as well, and it doesn’t belong there.

A website is nothing like a billboard or an ad in the phone book; it’s not just a place for people to get information. The primary reason for this is that, like a salesperson, a website is constantly headed out into the wide world of the internet to try to find people. It is wooing search engines like Google and Bing with its informational prowess, trying to get them to tell their friends about your company.

Your site engages in conversations with these search engines that are looking at what you are today, comparing you to everyone else that wants to be on their lists in order to figure out how to rank everybody. Each search engine has their own secret way of doing it but at the end of the day, determinations are made.

As you probably know, these determinations, and the subsequent rankings, are how you show up in the search engine results. If I type in “DC Charter Bus,” for example, where the site ranks in the results indicates what Google thinks about the site.

One of the things that most people overlook is something called the “freshness index.” This is something these search engines take into account, and it refers to the amount of fresh content that is on your site. Basically, crawlers come to your site and ask this question: “What have you added, changed, or updated since we last spoke?” The answer contributes to how you rank in their final lists.

This change that Google made has pushed companies, including motorcoach operators, into the business of being content creators and website administrators. It has required them to look for ways to change a site—not just when they’ve acquired a new piece of equipment or hired a new employee, but to actively and consistently build new content on their sites.

If you start to see your website not as a “if you build it they will come” kind of tool, but as an evolving part of a modern business model that needs continuous development, you’ll understand that your website has the potential to become your best sales representative. If you take time every month to find ways to provide additional information and content to your potential customers, that effort will help drive you up the rankings and get you where you want to be!

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