You’re a small-business owner with a shiny new website built by friendly martian. Congratulations! Now what do you do with it? Here are three tips that will help you make the most of your new site.

New website tip #1: Learn manual shifting

This is your competitor’s website. They don’t know how to drive it and now it won’t move.

A site on cruise control just doesn’t work. So many times, a business will launch a new website and then just forget about it. Nothing gets updated, the business hours are eventually wrong, listed services don’t exist, and the site becomes a junker.

As when you first learn to drive, you’ll need to learn some basic skills to keep things moving. You can search the web and learn about using proper headline tags, where to enter data, how to make a blog post, etc. It’s free education, but it’s time consuming and you have to know what to look for. It’s easier to take a class on website basics or WordPress at your local community college, or join a meetup group, or participate in an online course.

However you do it, somebody at your organization should always know how to make basic website updates—or you can have an outside agency drive the site. (Hmm…who could that be? Contact friendly martian here.)

New website tip #2: Fill the tank with premium fuel

If you use this, your website will go nowhere.

Without gas, your beautiful Lamborghini of a website is just sitting at a stop light and the Toyotas of the world are passing it by.

Think of your website as the race car on your team and your other marketing assets as the pit crew that keeps it going. Use your crew to promote your site anywhere you can:

  • Use free tools like social media channels to point customers to specific goods or services.
  • Add your web address to any printed material you have: signs, business cards, stationary, customer receipts.
  • Develop email campaigns and maybe a blog like this one.

Your site is a gas guzzler and it demands time and attention, but fuel is pretty cheap. The more you put in the tank the farther it will take you.

New website tip #3: Rotate the tires and change the oil

Superchargers make website mechanics happy.

Just like a new car, a website devalues quickly in terms of design. New bells and whistles come on the market every day. However, just like a car, if you buy a good basic site and maintain it, it will last a long time.

Always maintain your site. If you let it go, and don’t manage your plugins, PHP versions, databases, security certificates and content, the site will slowly start to resemble a 1970s Mercury Grand Marquis rusting away in rural driveway. If you don’t know what those things are, friendly martian is happy to be your website mechanic. We have maintenance packages that will keep your site in show-car shape.

After awhile, all sites begins to feel a bit stale. But you can make substantive upgrades that will give your site new life. Skip the fuzzy dice on the rearview mirror and instead add a nice landing page that increases customer leads, or add a contact form that funnels your customers into specific interest groups. Thoughtful additions give your site more horsepower. Contact us about how you can make small improvements that make a big impact.

Hit the road, Jill

If a small business owner learns the basics, uses good fuel and does the required maintenance, their website will perform well —bringing in customers and generating new leads. It might seem like a lot at first, but they’ll soon find themselves in a groove, driving down the information highway with the top down and the radio on.

(We saved the worst automotive metaphor for the end. You’re welcome.)