Another blog post, another holiday. This weekend is the celebration of fathers everywhere and for me & the rest of the world, a sometimes frustrating one. My father is what you would call a minimalist; the kind of guy who sees no value in brand names, clothes that fit properly, or paying an expert to do work that you should try (read: fail miserably at) first. He often mutters between clenched teeth “Stop complaining, it builds character” when my family pleads with him to seek outside help after the 14th attempt of fixing the sprinkler system. Let me put it this way: have you ever read Calvin & Hobbes?  I am convinced that Bill Watterson camped out in my back yard observing my father for years and we are owed some kind of royalty for likeness rights.

I don’t blame him–raising 6 kids is no easy task and he’s done so well that he was promoted to grandfather of 5. But like many others in the world, shopping for Dad on Father’s Day is something I have come to loathe. Some say, “What do you get the man that has everything?” I find myself saying, “What do you get the man that finds everything useless and wears socks with no elastic & multiple holes because he hates paying for something more than once a year?” The point is, I truly appreciate my father and have to think hard to get him something that he will not only like, but actually use to his benefit.

Not to trivialize my father or his role in my life, but some people take the same approach with shopping for their website. Once a year, they feel obligated to get something, anything, for their site out of habit. For Father’s Day, we are bludgeoned over the head by ads that tell us to buy ties, wrenches, gizmos, etc. For your website, I would bet you are solicited constantly to get more links, add more blog posts, create new pages, etc.  The parallel here is that every year, it’s the same pitch to the consumer: your father/website just needs a little of item X and don’t worry that you got him/it last year, he/it will love it and use it again and again!

So here is my plea to you today: when shopping for an addition for your site, please don’t go with the same old thing. Find something that it needs and can use to grow and prosper. Unlike my father, websites have something to help narrow your shopping focus.  Data, lots of wonderful, happy, shiny data! Go look and see if your blog is driving traffic before spending time writing more posts. Is this traffic useful, does it lead to sales or conversions? Are the posts ranking? If you are having a hard time seeing value in it, why bother “buying” it again? If your father has 45 ties and maybe wears a suit once a month, does he need another tie? Maybe you are thinking about getting more links? Hop into your webmaster tools and see if your link profile has grown over the past year. Do you have a portfolio of links from various domains, pointing at different URLs on your site with unique anchor text? If so, why create more?

Fathers (websites) are crucial to your life’s (business’s) development but often are unappreciated or overlooked. By avoiding standard gifts & looking at what can add value or show appreciation to your father, you may actually see a genuine reaction upon the gift’s receipts. Wishing you a happy Father’s Day and good luck with the gift hunting!

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