In 1995, when I started this journey, a website was a bit of HTML and CGI scripts to make forms and other features work. It was pretty easy to get found because, well, there weren't that many websites.
It's easy to gravitate towards what we prefer vs. what is required. I know I've don't that at times. Especially when what is required can be scary, difficult, and frustrating. But if you tackle those fears and frustration head-on, the sky is the limit.
For those who contact me to help with their websites, most of their frustration comes from not feeling comfortable with processes or confident in website technology. They are not “techies.”
Add to that all the hype and quick, fast, and easy propaganda out there that misrepresents reality. They then feel as if it is only them that are having problems producing results.
The reality of what online success requires smacks them in the face, and that's a pretty poignant moment. While that can be overwhelming, let's push through and pull you up by your bootstraps.
Table of contents
- Not impossible — just a lot of work.
- Top Website Owner Frustrations
- How to Embrace Your Role as a Website Owner
- Your Success is Equal to Your Commitment
Not impossible — just a lot of work.
If you want to have an online business and your own website, accept that online success will not be easy. Most website owners do not realize the complexity of all the tasks they would have to process regularly until they are in the thick of it.
It's not because you aren't smart. You are. You are experienced at running your business, but when it comes to your website, that's a whole bunch of new things to learn and embrace. A different set of skills and priorities added to the mix.
That's where your desire to learn and apply makes all the difference.
But, there is a catch-22. If you do not want to be intimately involved and do not want to partner with someone to help fill any gaps, you cannot expect any decent results. Nothing happens by osmosis online.
Top Website Owner Frustrations
Can you relate to these frustrations?
- Rankings that never materialize.
- Site traffic isn't where you perceive it should be.
- Website performance metrics that do not meet standards.
- The necessary time or skills required to accomplish 1-3.
- The frequency and process of updating. And just keeping up.
You are not alone. Based on all the folks I have worked with for over 25 years — you are not the exception. You are the rule.
I've heard this from business owners just like you. Time and time again.
When it comes to their online program, they tend to take a more hands-off approach and assume that their offline success will translate to their website. That best practices and required tasks can be delayed or ignored to be accomplished when the site owner gets around to it — if ever.
Well, the thing is, search engines and site visitors may not know how great you are offline. How do they know you are the expert, the authority, the one to be trusted?
The online world is constantly evolving. Even those like me who live and breathe all things online find it hard to keep up. So what do I do? I prioritize. I set aside time to learn, do, process, investigate, review.
You can do this as well. Here's how.
How to Embrace Your Role as a Website Owner
When I used to develop websites from scratch (I only do so now for current clientele), I would provide clients my “priorities worksheet.” This worksheet detailed our responsibilities when working on their project—and the due dates.
Most were shocked at what they needed to be involved in. All the information I would need to create their vision. And how much they had not yet thought about.
Start by making your priority sheet. Write down what you need to do and when. And have the discipline to follow through—schedule time to learn the things you need to understand and become a sponge.
Rankings that never materialize.
The fact is the majority of websites will never see “top 10” rankings on Google for common competitive terms. Not that it is impossible, just improbable. So start with realistic rankings expectations.
And if you do hit the top 10, it will be after years of consistent effort. Years? Yep. Having your business success be dependent on Google rankings is not a solid business methodology. Not one I would base my business plan * on. Nor should you.
To hit that top 10 would require that you outperform the websites that already own those spots in every possible metric; for small to mid-sized businesses, that is a steep hill to climb.
So, what do you do? Your best to become competitive — over time.
- Schedule time once each quarter to do keyword research * for less competitive terms. Then write informative content that targets those terms.
- Investigate long-tail phrases that are not as competitive.
- Review your competitor's websites, see what they are doing, and implement your own unique spin.
- Do a thorough performance review of your website metrics to determine where improvement needs to be made. Then make them. Need help with some of the metrics? Seek out that help. Performance is critical to rankings.
Site traffic isn't where you perceive it should be.
When it comes to traffic to your website, you can do all kinds of things to build awareness both on and off-line to generate traffic to your website if you are willing to do the hard work. Start with these articles:
- 10 Starter Website Marketing Tips
- Your WordPress Website Inbound Marketing
- Marketing Mission: Target Those Who Care
Think about this… Would you rather have 1000s of visitors and only convert a handful? Or, would you prefer to have hundreds of site visitors and convert half of them? Hmmm…
Website performance metrics that do not meet standards.
The “standards” in this case are challenging. Did you know that with the upcoming Google “Page Experience Update,” even Google doesn't meet those criteria on some of its properties? But then Google doesn't have to worry about getting traffic, do they?
Recently Google pushed this update out from the original May release date to June. Regardless of when it launches, every website owner, if they are serious about rankings over time, needs to address these metrics as best possible.
Now, this doesn't mean if you aren't at 100% compliance by mid-June (or ever) that your site will nose-dive in the rankings. It means that if everything is equal when it comes to rankings, the website with the best page experience will have an advantage.
RANT: What sort of gets me frustrated about all this is, what about all the big guys with name recognition and huge advertising budgets? They don't rely on Google's algorithm du-jour for their business to be found so that they can make a living. So their sites can blow off these metrics. Little guys and gals like us do not have that luxury. That means we have to work harder. It is what it is.
The necessary efforts required to accomplish 1-3.
And what are those? Tasks that you can do yourself. What you don't want to do or can't right now, find a partner to help you out.
Best to embrace what you need to know or learn and get down to it. Yeah, it can be scary at times, but that's how you learn and accomplish things you never thought you could.
We then work together to prioritize the skills you want to learn, and we dive in. We put in the hard work — all of it.
Your Success is Equal to Your Commitment
Right now, I have four websites. And I spend a bunch of time updating, keeping them current, and all that goes with that. This includes updating themes, plugins, designs, and implementing any technology trends. It's not easy.
I set my online calendar with all kinds of color-coded reminders, so I know what I need to do and when. It's very colorful, to say the least, but it keeps me on track.
You can do this. You just have to want to do this. Ready, set, go!
At your service,