We see it all the time: A dynamic, great-looking website is launched, and then . . . sits there. Why have a website if it’s not being used to bring in new customers or service the current ones? It’s a head-scratcher for any web developer, and certainly for any marketer. Bring on website maintenance!
Many companies have web fatigue – they’re so relieved their site is finally done, and essentially they’re done. They hope updating will happen by magic. Aside from updates, what about glitches, bad links, or rescuing the site when it’s been hacked? Or security, which is fast becoming an essential for your users. Hiring a developer on a monthly retainer is a good idea; it ensures that updates, fixes and the latest security requirements are being made, and it’s a reminder to clients that the site is a marketing tool to be used.
Here are some tips for setting up your website maintenance:
1. Assign the tasks to a specific person, whether you contract the job to your web developer, or have someone in-house do it.
2. Set goals. What should you be doing with your site – monitoring site traffic via Google Analytics? Updating your company news? Posting new products or a weekly blog? Whether it’s analysis, sharing white papers or creating landing pages for email campaigns, set these tasks as goals, schedule them, and follow up.
3. Review your site regularly. Look for glitches or old content that needs to be replaced. Proof your text for typos – we’re amazed at the spelling and grammatical mistakes we see on the Web. Mistakes are a direct reflection of your credibility. Be correct: Look it up!
4. Hold a more thorough review once or twice a year to spot if big changes are in order. Have you changed your marketing strategy, or are the photos looking dated? Does the site need a complete overhaul? Are there new Web requirements your site isn’t meeting? (Yes, there are – there always will be, and you need to meet those.)
5. Your website is living, breathing marketing collateral, not brochures sitting in the corner of the breakroom. It’s out there, it’s supremely flexible, so use it. Think: “What’s next? What can we add and what’s not working?” It’s one of the best opportunities you’ll ever have to communicate with your market, but only if you take it.