You’ve finally taken that big leap and hired someone to design a website for your business. And after many laborious hours of technical coding and creative know-how, they have designed a killer website that makes you go “WOW – I LOVE IT!” Now it’s up to YOU to make it grow into the “tree of life” for your business!
Launching a new website is like planting an oak tree. You take a brand new, delicate seedling and plant it in ideal growing conditions. You put in a lot of time to make sure it receives adequate water, fertilizer and just the right amount of sunlight. Your little tree starts growing into a tall and sturdy young oak and forms many more branches, bearing big beautiful leaves, and the promise of future nuts or seeds.
You’re proud of your little tree and show it off to anyone who comes by. Your little tree continues to grow and its many branches are now reaching out far and wide, welcoming the birds to build their nests in its sturdy branches. Word spreads and before you know it, the squirrels and other critters are scampering through its limbs, gathering the nuts or seeds it has produced. As more limbs and leaves develop, your little tree (which is now a BIG tree) offers a cooling shade for you to sit under on hot summer days, and adds a touch of warmth and beauty to your landscape. You’re amazed as you sit under your big tree and stare upward at the sky above. A sense of overwhelming proud comes over you as you remember that tiny seedling that you planted so many years ago, and marvel at the way it’s grown into a fine old oak tree, providing you with many days of pleasure and service.
Every fall you prune back its limbs and shape it up so it will come back even fuller and lusher the next year. You adorn it by planting beautiful plants and flowers around its base and adding decorative yard ornaments by its side. You make it the centerpiece of your yard and everyone that comes around is in awe of its beauty, size and strength. You listen as songbirds fill its willowy limbs with beautiful sounds in the spring, and marvel at how its barren limbs endure freezing temperatures, and bear the weight of heavy ice and snow in the winter. But with a little TLC each year, your old tree continues to endure through each season, bringing you the promise of green leaves in the spring and cooling shade in the summer.
After a few years, you lose interest in your old tree as other things occupy your life. You no longer take time to prune back its limbs or plant beautiful flowers around it. After a while, the weeds take over around its base and wild vines start to climb up the trunk of your old tree, intertwining between each limb. Heavy limbs that should have been cut back begin to bear down on younger limbs, causing them to break and fall to the ground. Damaging winds and frigid temperatures from winter storms cause more limbs to die and break off. The next spring, a hill of termites infest the rotted wood that has laid there for so long, and soon after, they invade the base of your old oak tree, eating away at it like a gang of hungry beavers. Hungry woodpeckers start pecking at the trunk to get to the termites for food, causing more holes and damage.
You ignore the paltry condition of your old tree, thinking it’s just Mother Nature doing her “thing”, and take for granted that it will soon bounce back to its previous healthy state. Meanwhile you go about your business and wait for your old tree to come back to life. One hot summer day, you go out to sit under your old shady oak tree and instead find in its place thin, barren limbs and a hollowed out shell of the trunk of your old oak. A tiny tear slips from your eye as you recall the many days of pride and pleasure the old oak had given you in past, and wonder how it ever got to this point.
Then you remembered how you were too busy to prune back its limbs, or plant more flowers around its base. You remember how you let the dead fallen limbs just lie there until the termites invaded them. You kept meaning to clean them up but just never got around to it. You notice the tangled mess of dead vines around the trunk that had grown clear up into the limbs, choking the younger ones until they finally died. You meant to pull them off months ago, but never got around it that, either. You listen, but no longer hear the melodious sound of spring songbirds coming from high up in its limbs, or hear the rustling of leaves as squirrels play chase from branch to branch. The big leaves are long gone, no longer providing the cooling shade you once enjoyed summer after summer. What happened to your sturdy old friend? It gave you so much joy, pride and pleasure and now it’s just a gauntly skeleton of sticks and weeds, no longer able to provide you with function and beauty.
Your website is like that old oak tree. It starts out as a tiny seedling - full of new life, beauty and promise, and depends on YOU for constant nurture and care in order to grow into a fully mature and functional part of your yard’s landscape. Your website is the “tree of life” in the “front yard” of your business, and requires the same love, attention and support as any real tree. Without it, like the old oak, your website will surely die and no longer be a vital part of your business landscape, providing the beauty and functionality you need to be successful.
As with many situations, lack of interest, care and concern can bring many things to ruin. Don’t let your new website be one of them! Take time to keep it updated with fresh content, new products or services, and interesting or beautiful photos. If you don’t have the time to do it yourself, invest in a website designer or marketing firm to do it for you. The small investment you make into taking care of your website will pay off in helping it to grow stronger, bring in more customers, and become a “tree of life” for the success of your business for many years to come!
Website designer, social media consultant, nature photographer and published author, with over 10 years experience in business advertising and marketing! LT Web Designs specializes in website design and social media marketing for small and local businesses in Eastern North Carolina.