We spend a lot of time coming up with weird metaphors for what SEO and web design would be if they were something done offline. Would they be construction? Remodeling? Housecleaning?
Let me explain. You see, we’ve come across a pretty consistent problem among business owners, an understandable problem, but still a problem nonetheless. Many business owners want their websites and SEO to be a one-step process.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), web technology is constantly changing, updating, and improving. A website that you paid tens of thousands of dollars for five years ago may need to be completely re-hauled today to perform well in search.
That’s not to say that your original design team did a bad job. In fact, they may have done better than anyone else could’ve done at the time. However, as technology changes, websites absolutely have to change in order to meet the standards of the web.
So you have two choices. You can either try to patch up an outdated website (which becomes increasingly harder to do as your business grows); or, you can invest in rebuilding your website so that it becomes more usable, searchable, and shareable. You can remain stagnant in the face of change, or you can improve your business.
I’m sounding harsh, aren’t I? Let’s talk in metaphors for awhile, wanna? Okay, so when you buy a car you expect to be able to use it for maybe ten years or so, right? What if every couple years the city completely redid the roads, and suddenly your car was uncomfortable to sit in, didn’t accelerate well, and none of your friends wanted to ride in it.
Luckily that doesn’t happen, but if it did you’d have to find a way to either buy a new car or invest in a monthly bus pass much more often. Web design is like that, especially if you want to keep up with your competitors, be competitive in search, and increase your conversions.
Here’s another metaphor: you can think of your online presence like a donkey or like love. Donkeys are reliable, predictable, strong, and loyal. Those are great qualities to have. However, according to our resident donkey expert Niki, if you change things up with a donkey, they get confused and ornery. Yikes. That is not a good quality for a business owner to have.
Love is also strong and loyal, but to make a relationship work you’ve got to be willing to change and grow. This is true for romantic relationships, for parent-child relationships, for all relationships where you love and care about someone.
Your customers and clients need you to listen to them and their needs. If they’re unable to navigate your site smoothly then you’re neglecting your relationship and they will leave you. Simple.
So what can you do? Well, you can set aside part of your budget for technology. Know that when you have a website built that you’re going to have to have it built again as your business grows and as technology advances.
My conclusion? There are no concrete, real-world metaphors for web design. We are living in the future that previous generations only envisioned: this a world that is temporary, virtual, and constantly in rapid flux.