Website Suck? No Visitors? Follow these 5 easy steps to Internet Glory.
Ian Lurie Sep 17 2007
Almost every business owner I meet says “I have a web site. I just don’t have enough time to make it not suck.”
Well, you don’t need a lot of time to make your website not suck. You can do it while you’re slurping that first latte of the morning.
Here’s how you do it in 10 minutes a day, Getting Things Done-style:
- Have whatever you use to manage your to-do list handy: Your Moleskine, your day planner, whatever.
- Log in to your web site traffic report. If you don’t have any statistics report, don’t set it up right now. Just make a note on your to-do list to ‘Create Google Analytics Account’. Assign this to yourself. Then make another note on your to-do list to ‘Set Up Google Analytics’. Assign that to your web developer, if you have one, or to yourself. Skip to #5.
- If you do have a traffic report, find the 3 search keywords that sent you the most traffic the previous day. Write them down, next to the date. Are they the ones you want? If yes, you’re done with step 3. If no, then add a to-do on your list: ‘Write 150 words about [keyword you want here]’. Then add a to-do after that: ‘Publish 150 words to web site’. Assign the writing to yourself, and then the publication to your web developer, if possible.
- Now, in your traffic report, go to the Top Content or most popular pages report. What’s the most popular page (besides your home page)? Write it down, next to the date. Is the page you want most popular? If yes, great. If no, make sure the page you want to be #1 is featured on the home page and the three most popular pages. If it’s not, create a to-do for each location in which you want to feature this page.
- Write down one piece of information you’d like to add to your site. Make it a to-do but mark it as ‘later’.
That’s it. Finish your latte.
A few ways to make it go even faster:
- Set up your analytics software to e-mail the relevant reports every night at midnight. That way you don’t have to waste 2 minutes logging in.
- Do this all on your computer. Then you can just cut-and-paste the to-dos for other people and e-mail ’em as appropriate.
- Do this all before you do anything else in the morning.
The Monthly Checkup
Every month, go back and review the changes in top keywords and top pages. Also check overall site traffic for the month, and if possible, sales or leads or whatever your conversion goal is.
What are the trends? Are things stable or improving? Then just keep up your 10 minute per day routine. If numbers are falling, or you just don’t like your progress, you have a few choices:
- Scream and tear your hair out. I recommend this one regardless, as it’s therapeutic. Just move the latte first.
- Get some help. Hire a writer through eLance. Pay them to write one of the pieces of information you listed in #5, above. Then pay someone else to add the page to your site.
- Make your site easier to edit. If you have a small site and a small budget, think about setting up your site using one of the big hosted services like SampaSite. If you have a bigger site and a budget of $1000 or so, consider paying someone to set up your site using a tool like Movable Type, so you can quickly and easily add pages on your own.
- Give up. This whole internet thing’s just a fad anyway.
I cheated a bit. My headline says ‘website suck?’. But the truth is, it should’ve said ‘Internet Marketing Campaign Suck?’. Because this article is really about internet marketing, and there’s a lot more to it than your website. I took poetic license for the sake of a better headline. I apologize.
This post is about what you can do in 10 minutes per day. There is, of course, lots more you can do…
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More