In the beginning

I built my first website in 1992-93.  As far as I know there are were 22 other websites at that time. I went on to build over a hundred for companies of all size from mom & pop companies to some of the top luxury hotels in the world.  I don’t do websites for others much anymore, but I still build a lot of my own stuff.  I’ve been doing business on the internet since early 1995.  Does that make me an expert?  Sort of.

The game has changed

Search engines tend to like old content.  In SEO circles you will hear the term “Domain Aging”.  Basically you get points for being around for awhile.  People – not so much.  After about 15 years online, I realized that because some things were still working I had  ignored that the landscape was changing.  It’s eye opening when you are making money and you suddenly realize that may be changing in the not too distant future.  You don’t want to mess with the revenue you have coming in, but you know that it is a matter of time before that stream dries up.  If the last time you did anything technically with your website was sometime before 2005, chances are you may be in the same boat and not even know it.

What’s different?

I used to be able to get top 3 placement pretty regularly with the keywords I was targeting.  And not just obscure thing.  I used to hold the top positions for most of the major cruise line names, all inclusive resorts,and some countries among other things.  If you searched for Aruba – I had the number one/two position for years.   Rather than getting into a dissertation on search engine mechanics, it doesn’t work the same way any more!  It’s no longer just about what’s on the page.  It’s about who provides links to you, social media references, video, podcasts, books, and a host of other things.

I loved my walkman

I’m hoping you replaced your walkman for some sort of an MP3 player at some point in the past 5 years.   iPhones, iTouch, iTunes are taking over the landscape and most people have taken notice.   For many people with walkman era websites they have been less observant.  Even web sites from 3 years ago may no longer being doing what you need it to do.  It’s frustrating revelation.  I have over 20 websites of my own, and I’ve spent the last couple years trying to bring them up to a point where they won’t be obsolete in 2015.

So where are you now?

Do you know your page rank?  Number of inbound links?  What is your sales funnel like?  If you don’t know the answer, or how to get the answer to these questions you are probably where a lot of businesses are that have been on line for a while.  Things are good.  You have a system that continues to do what you want.  But things really aren’t going anywhere.   If you come out of the back office long enough to see what your competition is doing, you will see that you are actually losing market share.   Sure there are exceptions, but if this sounds like you, it’s time to change.  The pendulum is switching because of mobile content and video.  If you haven’t noticed a change yet, you will within the next couple of years.  Most older businesses noticed a change in September of 2012 with one of Google’s updates.  The days of search engine results being the dominant source of traffic is slowly going away for most businesses.

Playing catch up

The good news is that you have an aged domain, business experience, and a working funnel.  The goal is to take it to the next level.  You need a managed email provider that works for you.  Mailchimp.com is great for a small list, constant contact is good for multiple lists where you may cross promote alot, and aweber is great for larger campaigns.  Integrated tools like infusionsoft are separate discussion since you really need to be at a high level to use them.

Social media platforms are continuing to enter the market.  Chances are a combination of 2-3 is what will work for your business.  This requires a bit of experimentation to figure out what works best for you.  The same applies to the advertising that is available on social networks.  I have found Facebook ads the best for targeting.  I haven’t found a good fit for twitter ads, although it did increase signups.  Your experiences will be different.  And then of course there is instagram, pinterist, and a host of others.  Find out how people are using the different platforms and experiment.

It’s about this point that you have the choice between the red pill and the blue pill.  There’s lots more to know and do, but at this point you have a view of the matrix.  It’s time to rethink everything you know to be true about the web.  A new chapter of your business is about to start.