How to Beat the Doldrums

The doldrums – that dreaded atmospheric condition that in previous centuries drove sailors mad. Here is how wikipedia defines it:

The doldrums are noted for calm periods when the winds disappear altogether, trapping sail-powered boats for periods of days or weeks. The term appears to have arisen in the 18th century – when cross-Equator sailing voyages became more common. Colloquially, the “doldrums” are a state of inactivity, mild depression, listlessness or stagnation.

Make no mistake. We are smack dab in the middle of the summer doldrums – colloquially speaking that is.

Know the Symptoms

I see the signs all around me. In my weekly business meeting absenteeism is up dramatically. Clients can’t be bothered returning emails or phone calls. When they do respond they give the stock answer.

“Call me in September.”

I get it. I’m feeling a little listless myself. After all, here in New England the summer is gone in the blink of an eye and we want to make sure we soak it in before we get back to shoveling snow. But when it comes to your website, the “wait until September” strategy is a mistake.

Do it Now

If you want your website to be fresh in September,  don’t wait until September. Work on it now. Why? Because if you wait until September to turn your attention to it, it will be October before it actually gets done. You will have lost your chance to get your updates out there before your competition. But more importantly, you’ll be too busy yourself in September and you’ll end up cutting corners just to get your site updated. The result could be mediocre content, or worse. That’s not really what you want is it? Here are a few things you can do to protect your website from the summer doldrums:

  • Review your website’s content – Is it still current? Does it accurately reflect your business now?
  • Contact information – has anything changed, i.e. your phone number, address. If you don’t already have one, consider adding a google map to your contact page.
  • Mobile Optimization – is your website optimized for proper display on mobile devices? If it’s not, fix the problem now so you’ll be positioned to take advantage of the increasing number of users who access the internet via their cell phones and tablets.
  • Blogging – are you blogging? I know – you don’t have the time. Maybe that’s true but you should at least think about it. Blogging is a great way to establish your expertise and authority in your field.

Don’t Be That Guy/Gal

You know, the one who says “I haven’t updated my website in [fill in the blanks, weeks, months, or god forbid, years]. There’s no reason you can’t be thinking about this stuff while you’re sipping an umbrella drink or working on your tan. The point is this. A little bit of thought now while you have some free time will put you again of the curve when September hits and you get jammed. Don’t let your website fall victim to the doldrums.

And Now Back to You

Are you waiting until September before putting some serious thought into your website? Be honest. I won’t judge you. If you are, consider spending just a little bit of time thinking about it this summer.

Photo credit: edited from Calm, by Gary Felton. Used with permission.

Marvin Kane