Sometimes the best blog posts are stories that illustrate a point.  Well this one is one of those posts.  I am sharing this with you from a story I heard and realized the importance and how it could have been prevented.  So if this post saves only 1 person from  potential loss of online business, then I’ve done my job.

An Internet Business Strategy not only includes how to build business from your website, but how to maintain your website through upgrades as well as your exit strategy.  How do you exit yourself from an established website that is earning revenue for your business?  These stages are just as important, if not more than building up your website.

Maintenance as far as this post is concerned includes content management (blogging goes under this), upgrading software, changing the branding/look and feel of the website, and adding new features to the website.  Each of these situations should be implemented via a well thought out strategy and business process.  It can be very simple and as easily documented via a spreadsheet of a Word document, but it is followed religiously.

In the case of updating your website or changing your website platform, (say from a static website to a wordpress website) you will need to have the following or a similar strategy in place before you make any updates.

  • Coordinate the list of  your service providers whether internal or external….  Web hosting, web developer, online business strategist consultant, SEO consultant, marketing consultants, graphic designers, and social media consultants.
  • Document in detail, the desired changes you want to make on your website, and how you will make them.
  • Send these changes to your service providers and ask them how these changes might effect how well your website will perform after the desired changes are made.
  • If you have a maintenance contract with your service providers, they will look at if for you and give you their reviews on changes you may need to make to your current proposed changes.  For those you don’t have a maintenance contract with, you can do an hourly contract to get their input.
  • Make any necessary changes that you receive from your team.  If you have picked your team where everyone is on the same page, you won’t have many points of contradiction in their feedback.
  • It is worth it to go another round and send back the updated report and get any additional feedback, or get the thumbs up.
  • You can feel comfortable that moving forward will not upset the flow of business, or at least bring it to a minimum.

Why is this so important?

I recently heard of a story that one of my colleague’s long term clients recently update their website to WordPress.  This colleague had been doing SEO for this client for the last 2 years and their work in positioning their pages allowed their client to get on the 1st page of Google for a large number of targeted keyword phrases.  Not a shabby place to be.  In any rate, their client decided to upgrade their website to WordPress, and in the process, completely renamed all of their pages that were in the search engines… As you can guess what happened…..  Their site completely fell out of the search engines, and their traffic dropped dramatically.  The client sent a frantic email to their SEO consultant asking what happened and when the consultant looked into it, they quickly determined the cause.  The search engine saw a completely different site because ALL of the relevant keyword pages it knew about had disappeared, so even their main level domain fell out of the search engine rankings as well.

The fortunate thing is that this won’t be a permanent situation, and if they rename the pages back to their original names, they should rise back into the rankings again over time.  In the meantime, they are losing business.

All of this heartache would have been avoided if the client had brought their SEO consultant in on their website update plans.  The SEO consultant would have been able to tell then right away what they needed to make sure to keep the same page names (good ones anyway that know how WordPress works would have been able to do that).  A little cost and time upfront saves a lot of cost and time down the line.

That’s my story for today….  If you are in the process of updating your website, then you should ask your experts what to watch out for before you implement it and it be too late.  Believe me, it is worth it in time, money and heartache.

Enhanced by Zemanta