Build Your Bridges: How to Improve Site Performance

“No man is an island” according to John Donne. Turns out, neither is no well-performing website.

Still, plenty of businesses build a website all about,and only about, them. It’s got their “about”, their FAQ’s, the contact pages, the list of services. Then, they go out and do their work.

There’s no blog to generate updated content.

There’s no social integration, online or otherwise.

They don’t participate in community events, initiatives, or charitable outlets.

Or, they do and never talk about it.

No one reviews them, links to them, or even really visits the site.

And, maybe the search engines don’t either, because they can’t access the site well. It’s just another pretty face with broken code and no inner optimization.

Sigh.

Here’s the analogy I always share: your website is an island. It’s real estate you buy and build upon. There’s an airstrip but only a few people have planes. What you need are bridges to the mainland. You need access pathways for your traffic to reach you.

It’s a web, this internet you built upon. Webs naturally have connections. If you aren’t connected, you aren’t truly here.

Incidentally, Jacksonville achieves connectivity through its many bridges over the St. John's River.

Incidentally, Jacksonville achieves connectivity through its many bridges over the St. John’s River.

 

 

Why You Should Care About Having a Better Business Blog

Would you, or do you, yourself ever read your own company blog? Be honest. Or, is a better question, “When was the last time your company blog was updated?”  Virtual cobwebs on the site much? Time stamp from the last administration?

“Maintaining content is a top pain point” said over 59% of B2B’s and B2C’s (report compiled by Ascend2 and Research Underwriters). These are businesses who understand the need for content and an online presence; they are the proverbial choir who doesn’t need another sermon on why they should have a blog in the first place. They understood the need for construction and made it happen. Checked it off the list. And then….

It’s a bit like a body, actually. Your body needs fuel and it has a stomach and mouth so that you can feed it. So you make it a meal. If you feed it a few meals and leave it alone for a really long time, it will starve. It doesn’t really matter that you fed it a long time ago! If you feed it junk that won’t perform, it will be weak. You’ll keep shoveling resource into it and not seeing a return, like trying to run a marathon on corn chips and diet soda. And many companies are guilty of either starving or junking their blogs.

It wasn’t on purpose! They didn’t mean to! They simply (and often innocently) fell for a few common snares.

  • they told their secretary to do it. (Or, replace secretary with anyone in-house who already serves another role). This person has a job to do and you just dumped a major pile of invisible to-be-done work in their lap. They don’t have time for it and most often, don’t know how to create content that performs online. As soon as something more visible comes up, the web content needs sink to the bottom of the list.
  • they outsourced and shopped lowest price. Look, I’m going to say it as gently as possible: When it comes to writing, you get what you pay for. Machine generated and poorly translated copy is cheap and available. No one will read it and chances are it won’t even help your site. There are more enjoyable ways to waste your money.
  • they got a blog because they thought they should, and now they aren’t so sure. This happens when the ROI is bad. You don’t see the results you expected so you question the justification of resource. Here’s a secret:  I believe that not every business should have a blog. Maybe you should scrap it; let’s talk about that. But I also believe that if you have a blog, its saying something about you, good or bad, and you have an obligation to care about that. I care about it deeply (I despise wastefulness. Make it work well or Cut. It. Out).
  • the best laid plans… Sometimes you have a good plan and even better intentions. It’s on paper even! A posting schedule and preliminary keyword research and perhaps even a topic list. You didn’t cast it off to someone unqualified. You understood poorly written content might harm your reputation and didn’t fall for it. But your blog still isn’t current. It’s not performing. And frankly, you are too busy to chase down the reason why.

Don’t lose site of the priorities:

  1. You need a regularly updated blog site, written well enough to be read by people and optimized for search engines. 
  2. You need this to be completed with the same quality and integrity as the rest of what you want your business to be known for having. 
  3. You need this done by someone else because you have other things to do. 
  4. You need a blog site that is part of a correctly built website, so that nothing behind the scenes can sabotage your success. 

Good business blogs become an asset, a cog in the wheel that does it’s part. They aren’t designed to carry the whole load themselves, just in case your performance expectations are too high. But if they’re broken, they also compromise the strength of the entire strategy. Your online reputation matters. What does your blog say about you?

Photo taken on the dock of Mandarin Park @Julington Creek after a perfect summer rain.

Photo taken on the dock of Mandarin Park @Julington Creek after a perfect summer rain.