When my father and I launched The First Dance, we had a DVD (individual for couples and a 2 hour class.) We still have those. But we had just a few pages, mostly “corporate” FAQ, About Us, Contact Us. Not innovative. And mostly a failure.
That is, until I got really frustrated knowing we had amazing stuff to offer. And learned how to get traffic. Now we get thousands of visitors a month, for free, who read all sorts of great content!
But in the last four years, we now offer the Prepare/Enrich Couple Checkup, premarital books, a money game, and an online class! We have hundreds of website pages with great advice and stories. I’m even working with wedding vendors to get them to offer DISCOUNTS if couples purchase our products. I’ve already got an Ohio DJ service giving couples $100 off if they buy a marriage prep book. That is the definition of innovative – they get a free ad, they support marriages, we sell a book and help spread our wisdom, and couples get a huge deal.
Our website has been hacked way too much to get it to “retro fit.” If we were a real house, we’d be on stilts, precariously adding chunks off windows, to get more room! It’s frustrating for many reasons, including how much design matters!
Today I found a free website template that excites me! I’m starting the arduous task of moving everything over, but already, the SAME information pops, intrigues, and welcomes the eye 100x more than my current website. Knowing what I know will save us probably $3,000 in labor hiring someone else. And, I don’t do the BIG MISTAKES webmasters do, namely, renaming every website page!! They often start over, forgetting that Google and readers have read the old pages, which vanish when the new website launchs. This is a total disaster, but you often have no idea because you don’t look at your web traffic. One website I know had a full 50% bomb – or one in every two people coming to their site using keywords, were unable to get to the site because the page no longer existed.
I’ve got a ton of work ahead of me, but it’s also a great opportunity to rethink everything! Just like a home, websites really do require a “spring cleaning”, or complete rehaul every once in a while.