If you’re building a website or an online business then you are entering a potentially very lucrative market and using one of the most powerful tools ever devised for reaching large groups of people. However the bad news is that you are also entering a very tumultuous place that is ever changing and that moves incredibly quickly. The biggest and best website online today won’t be the most recognizable brand tomorrow, and the rate at which the technology and trends change means that it’s just not possible to keep the same website design and business strategy for long without becoming obsolete.
So the question is what do you do? And how do you go about avoiding your website going the way of the Dodo? Well as that unfortunate example so effectively teaches us, it’s highly important to be adaptive to change and to keep one eye on the future. If only the Dodo had been more future thinking…
Here we will look at how to make sure that your website stands the best chance of success not only today, but also in the long term as the face of the internet continuously changes.
Write Great Content
A website lives and dies by its content. This is what will bring the majority of people to your site, and it’s what will dictate how long they stay. If you have compelling/useful/entertaining content that there will always be a reason for people to visit.
At the same time this will protect you from changes to Google. The reason for this is simple – Google exists in order to provide visitors with the content they are looking for and to make sure that everything they bring up is high quality. If your site is high quality and offers something genuinely useful then Google wants to link to you – and any future updates to their algorithm will benefit you as a result. Black hat SEO techniques are a ticking time bomb and it’s only a matter of time before you get caught out.
Build a Community
Communities are highly beneficial for your website and they can greatly help you to keep your site alive when all else is failing. People love conversation, they love feedback to their comments, and they are naturally drawn to feeling a part of something. By having an active forum on your site then you ensure this and keep bringing people back.
Don’t Just Rely on Google
SEO is an important way to bring people to your site, but you shouldn’t just rely on SEO. Sadly Google makes hundreds of changes to its algorithm every year – probably every month – and any of these could have a positive or negative effect on any site. Combine that with the fact that Google itself might one day lose its popularity and it’s a bad idea to be too reliant on the search engine. Advertise online, in magazines and through social networks and then Google won’t be the be-all and end-all of your site.
Web design has fads just the same as fashion and other industries have fads. One minute every site is using Flash, the next that dates your site by a few years. One minute the ‘blogspheer’ is the only thing anyone talks about, the next blogs and websites are largely one and the same. Don’t take any ‘fad’ too seriously, and keep the fundamentals of your website fairly simple so it adapts more easily to change.