As a technology consultant and website developer, I’ve had a business website since the late-1990s. My beato.com site started out as simple and straightforward: it identified my company, my services, and how to contact me.
Over time, I redesigned and updated the site as my services, web capabilities, software tools, bandwidth, and expectations changed. My main website authoring tools were BBEdit, Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Word, Macromedia GoLive and then eventually Adobe Dreamweaver.
But about two years ago, I noticed something: I didn’t really like my site any longer. Why not? It was always out of date. Why was it always out of date? Despite my own professional expertise, the site itself was very time-consuming (slow) to revise.
I concluded there were three basic problems to address:
- My site’s content was stagnant.
- My beato.com domain didn’t rank very high in searches for my targeted keywords.
- Most important, the site didn’t really showcase my true capabilities!
It was time to eat my own dogfood. In other words, my new website should accurately demonstrate my ability to create websites for others.
I began the site redesign by listing these simple goals:
- Show my Expertise. The best way to show my expertise would be to help others solve their own technology, communication and social media problems. And I should provide these timely solutions on my site. For free.
- Keep the Site Up-To-Date. Although I use Adobe Dreamweaver to build custom websites for clients, the easiest way for me to add my own new content quickly would be to switch to a blogging platform. Once established, adding new posts is quick and easy. I selected a self-hosted WordPress installation.
- Laser-Focused SEO. After much research, I decided to use the Thesis Theme for my new WordPress installation. I was able to quickly mold Thesis into the design I wanted. But most important, Thesis has excellent search engine optimization tools baked right in. This would definitely increase my keyword search ranking.
- Take the Personal Approach. Rather than simply talking about my company, I wanted to talk about what I personally bring to each consulting and website design assignment. I would do this by example — by helping others with their problems.
It’s taken a bit of time to build the content base of my newly designed site. But in the 18+ months since I switched over, my objectives are being achieved. My site is up to date because it’s so much easier to revise! It ranks way higher in keyword searches than it ever did before. And I truly feel it reflects the value I can provide to my clients — which ultimately has translated into more business leads.
Now when someone asks me “What’s the best way to backup my computer?” — or “How do I set up Gmail on my iPhone?” — I just tell them: The answer is on beato.com!
So many entrepreneurs don’t take their own best advice. That you could do that should sell plenty of potential clients on the value of your services.
Maybe I should send myself an invoice for consulting services!
Thanks for the feedback.
Hmmm…blogging based website construction? I usually hate blogs because it’s so damn hard to find what I’m looking for, so I give up and try to find a website. Your site seems a lot better organized that the typical blog, but I don’t know what I might be looking for, so I can’t give it a good test. (There’s an interesting predicament…how to communicate with the potential client who is so dense they don’t even have a clue as to what they might need. Oh wait, who wants a client like that?) Is it really that hard to update a site with Dreamweaver, or are you a super-ambitious new-content creator the likes of which we are not likely to see again?
WordPress makes it extremely easy to add to and revise my site since it’s done entirely within my ever-present browser. There’s no need to open up Dreamweaver and go through the multistep process of revising a site.
If my website content ever becomes out of date, it’s entirely my fault — not because it takes too long to change.
I agree it can be tough to find things on a blog! That’s why I include a search box on every page.
Hey Mike, just saw that you joined the WordPress meetup group! Awesome!!! Hope to see you there on Thursday night, 7pm, in LY122!
Thanks Ben. Not sure why I didn’t know about the WordPress group before. I’m looking forward to it!