Website neglect: The bane of the small business owner.
How many of us simply have no time to tend to our very own websites? We are behind on those much-needed updates, blog posts, text edits, fresh photos and other shake-ups that improve our public profile, our SEO, and the experience of our website visitors?
Ironically, some of us are in the business of website development and management for others — and yet our own is looking tired. The busier we are, the more engaged we are with our clients, the more we are falling behind on our own 24-7 calling card. What’s wrong with this picture?
A victim of such periodic neglect myself, I reached out to several of my small business clients and colleagues: an architect, gallery owner, graphic designer, psychotherapist, sound recording engineer and a few others. Their web presence is a vital aspect of their businesses, but they are busy and time-strapped, with competing time demands. We agreed to meet bi-weekly at a local coffee shop with laptops, for a dedicated hour of website time. At our first meeting we cleared our cobwebs, and a few loose guidelines emerged:
- Find a location with a good broadband connection. Our coffee shop had a slow connection, especially with six people vying for bandwidth.
- Neglected websites often mean lost or forgotten passwords and log-ins. Come prepared.
- No checking email or taking care of client business — this hour is for our own business.
- Share technical expertise with each other, but not at the expense of your site updates. Major technical issues should be addressed “after hour.”
- Don’t let a website or connection malfunction get in the way of progress: Prepare a blog post in a Word doc, or make a list of tasks you can tend to once your site is back up.
- Social media is permitted — as long as it ties back to your updated website.
We updated blog posts, made some edits, and identified some bigger site improvements beyond our our of work. So we are off and running — twice a month, we bring our ideas, small techie questions, tips and updates to our morning website coffee klatch. Wish us luck.