Spring is a busy time for Nebraska farmers. The weather is warming up and everyone is gearing up for planting season. Driving across eastern Nebraska today I saw a few farmers who had already started putting seeds in the ground. Spring is a critical time because it sets the tone for the entire growing season. Fertilizer applications, tillage, and seed selection are critical to a successful harvest come fall. Driving around looking at fields this afternoon made me think about how growing a crop is similar to building a successful website.
Using the farming metaphor, you could say that the soil is your website host. Poor soil severely limits a crop’s yield potential. Similarly, having a hosting provider that bogs down your site, has poor customer service, or limits your bandwidth can have a severe negative impact on your website’s usability and loading time.
The website is the seed the farmer plants in the field. It is the highest cost input for the operation, but also the most critical to get right. Is your website responsive and able to adapt to tablet and mobile size? Is your content updated regularly? Are users succeeding in finding useful content? Is it easy to navigate on both desktop and mobile?
Fertilizer, tillage, herbicides, and other field inputs could be the things done to improve a website’s performance. How is the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your website? Are people finding your business through Google? Can the page load time be improved? What features could lead to more sales and customer conversions? There are really an unlimited number of items I could list in this section. Similar to a farmer’s field, the amount of time and resources that go into improving a website must pay off economically.
Finally, a web analytics platform could compare with a GPS system, yield monitor, or other data capturing device. Web analytics programs like Google Analytics show exactly what is happening on your website. You can find out where users are coming from and where they go on your site. Knowing this data is critical for assessing the health of your website and finding actionable insights that can be used to give your site a boost!
How did I do? What other farming things could be related back to websites? Let me know in the comments below!