. . . . well, not really.
Far be it from me to disagree with the dreams of the wonderful Kevin Costner or the chill-inducing speech from James Earl Jones as Terence Mann. But the line of logic laid out in their 1989 film Field of Dreams just doesn’t hold water anywhere but that Iowa cornfield.
You may have noticed that our Element 74 website was recently the proud recipient of a giant make-over. And we’re so proud of it! We’ve got new features like our portfolio, team profiles, and service spotlights.
It was a long, laborious process–as is usually the case with all industries, when you’re so focused on client needs, the easiest priorities to push to the bottom of the list are your own. But honestly, we wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re proud of the work we do for our clients, and now we’re excited about our new website, too. And as much as we would love to mark this item as “complete” on our checklist, websites are never really “finished.”
The Field of Dreams Treatment
Unfortunately, a whole lot of websites get that “Field of Dreams” treatment. We invest all of this time and hard work into building something out of nothing: these beautiful, responsive websites (or in Kevin’s case, a full, working ball field) and then we sit down on the bleachers and wait for the masses to come in. And it just doesn’t work that way.
A website, just like a business, isn’t a one-and-done cost. It’s merely the first step in the greater investment that is your digital marketing efforts. Traffic–the masses, buyers, customers, whomever you identify as your target audience–needs to be driven to a website.
Frequent internet users are a growing demographic, and they can tell how much you care about your business from how much you care about your website. If you’re making the effort to keep up, to answer client questions, to populate your site with timely and useful content, they’ll notice.
You have 3 seconds for your website to load and between 50 milliseconds and 10 seconds to wow the user through design and UX (user experience) enough for them to stay. If this sounds crazy to you, try this simple exercise and remind yourself what 10 seconds actually feels like.
How long could you last without moving? It’s difficult. Especially at the computer, where we aren’t wired to sit and wait; everything is instantaneous.
Creating a Method for your Madness
So how can you care for your website to make sure it doesn’t collect dust sitting on the side of the inter highway?
A blog (like this one) is a great way to keep your website updated constantly with new and relevant content. Even businesses that have stood the test of time still have updates in their industries that you can keep your clients aware of. Or use your blog as a chance to expand on topics. When it comes to blogging, the world is your oyster. And the pearl is a higher ranking on Google.
An awesome way to drive traffic to your site is to stay up to date with your social media. If you haven’t checked out our E74 instagram feed, you need to. The Instagram Idol here is Cindy, and she invites people into our virtual world daily by posting fun, relevant pics of us doing things around the office! By cultivating our instagram, Cindy is actually giving us an identity that people can remember. When clients end up on our site (where you are–hooray!) then they’ll already have a sense of who we are, and be more inclined to explore. Not sure where to begin? Follow some of your favorite stores and businesses on Instagram or Twitter to see how they do it.
Digital marketing is pretty vast, but here are some of the highlights. SEO is a must (check out this blog for more on that) if you want your website to get on the map. Email marketing, Pandora Ads, YouTube ads, Google Display ads–all of these are avenues that you need to be discovering if you want to stay relevant online.
And remember . . .
All of these are complementary to your website, inspiring action and driving users to your site. Assign a certain person or chunk of time to commit to growing and tending these things. Of course, if you’re too busy to stay on top of your digital marketing, that’s where agencies like ours come in. We may not have the magic of Kevin Costner, but we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves.