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5 Stages of Website Grief

"This website is brand new. How could you be telling me that my website is ineffective after all the time and money I just poured into it?”

This is a common reaction after businesses have a professional, thorough evaluation of their current website done. Even brand new sites can do a really poor job of attracting, engaging and educating visitors.

This reaction is typically followed by a grieving process, of sorts. Companies are forced to face the reality that one of their biggest lead-procurement tools has fallen short because they did not formulate a strong content strategy to go along with a new website design.

This truth typically causes companies undergoing a content evaluation to experience the traditional stages of grief.

  1. Denial: "Of course I’m confident our site is performing well. Well no, I’m not able to tell you how it’s helping, but I’m fairly certain it is.”
  2. Anger: "Why isn't anyone coming to our website?!” "More importantly, why am I not getting any leads through my new website?!”
  3. Bargaining: "Maybe if we make the logo bigger”,“What if we add more information to the home page?” or “Everybody’s on Facebook! I’ll create a Facebook account! That could help!”
  4. Depression: "We can't afford another website and I have no idea how to make this one do what it was supposed to."  
  5. Acceptance:"This website is obviously not doing anything productive for our business. Something has got to give.”

How to Move On from Your Less-Than-Ideal Website

Once you’ve resigned yourself to the fact that your existing website content isn't attracting, engaging and ultimately converting your visitors into customers, there are actions you can take that will help align your website with your business goals and objectives. 

Start by taking an inventory. Examine the content you have that IS working. Look at your Google Analytics or Bing Webmaster tools to examine which are the most popular pages with the most time spent on them. From this research, determine what topics are of interest to your target audience and start developing more content around these areas. 

Even though Google is blocking search terms coming into your site, you can still look through the search terms people use when on your site. This research will help you determine which areas are lacking in content or areas that your visitors cannot easily get to. This will help identify areas you should focus on for developing helpful pieces of information. 

Prepare. Begin brainstorming topics that would be helpful to your audience and ways to effectively communicate and disseminate the information to them. Start writing or making videos. You want to reach your audience in a way that will pique their unique interests.

Implement. Put the new content on your site. It’s often surprising how much content businesses create but never actually publish. They’re either waiting for the "right time" (which was yesterday) or they’ve become distracted and moved on to something else. Get it out there! 

If you don’t align your website goals with your critical business goals, it’s hard to evaluate what your website is actually delivering on. The key to the content of your website is that it’s only as good as what you put into it.  Many companies set up their websites to function like a virtual storefront; a place for interested visitors to browse through products. Very few people realize there is an additional element – content – that needs to come first to encourage and convince visitors to actually make a purchase.

Aztek can help you develop a content strategy that drives tangible business results and turns customers into evangelists for your brand. Want to learn more? Let’s talk about your current website and how a content audit can help!

Image credit: Creative commons image:tkksummers