Why do they ignore website maintenance?

Right, I have something I need to get off my chest. I promise I won’t rant (ish).

Why do companies not keep their websites maintained and looking good?

There, I’ve said it out loud!

I’ve spent far too long keeping that inside. *sigh*

The thing is, we see so many companies out there spending thousands with marketing companies, or on hiring marketing managers, but it’s all for nothing as the website they’re driving the traffic to is, putting it bluntly, awful!

The message I pass on to all of our clients is this:

“If your website is poor, don’t spend money driving people to it.”

It’s as simple as that.

So, why do people let what is possibly the best sales tool they have, just go to waste? In fact, it isn’t just going to waste, it’s actually saying to the visitors “Take your custom elsewhere as we’re not really bothered. We don’t care for something as basic as our own website, so what makes you think we’ll look after you? Shoo.. be gone… go to the next company”.

Website Maintenance Go Away

Joking aside, that really is what a poor, under managed website basically says.

I’ve often asked myself “Why? Why do people let the face of their business go into a downward spiral? I don’t know the answer, but what I have observed is that those who ignore their websites typically fall into one of three categories:

Company 1) The really busy business owner/marketing manager who just doesn’t have enough hours in the day to look at the trivial matter of maintaining their website. They’re just too busy and if it’s not broken then don’t fix it.

Company 2) Some people really don’t have any taste! Sorry, but they don’t. They have no eye for what looks nice and what doesn’t, so they’re never going to spot a poor looking website even if it bit them.

Company 3) The business owners/marketing managers who work on an accountants principle of watching every penny, and only spending when absolutely necessary.

The outcome for companies one, two and three?

One day they notice their enquiries and sales dropping off; they’ve gone into free fall and instead of growing they’re actually going backwards. The trouble here is that by the time they’ve resolved their dodgy website, they’re months behind where they were, let alone where they should have got to in that time. And it costs them dearly. I see this All. The. Time.

My message to them would be:

Company 1) Invest some of your income into a marketing company who will keep your website looking good, and in turn keep the profits rolling in.

Company 2) There’s no shame in not having an eye for design, but you need to understand that there are people out there who do! So, hire a marketing company that can keep it looking fresh for you.

Company 3) If running your business on a shoestring is in your blood then I wish you well. There are businesses out there who do okay out of this type of management, but very few (if any) excel. Your website is an investment in your business’s future.

What do successful businesses do?

The businesses who are continually successful will almost always be those who are investing time and money into the elements of their business that drive in the most money, and this almost always has the website at the top of the list, and then the shop window and décor if you’re a bricks and mortar store.

The marketing itself is also a high priority to them too, but these successful companies have already identified that the beating heart of their business is the website, and without it they would be nothing.

So, what should you do as a business owner/marketing manager?

The most important rule is to walk all the way around your website at least once a month; making notes of any errors or areas of improvement. The biggest area of improvement on most websites is usually the imagery used on the site, and the balance of text vs. images.

Website Maintenance Evaluation

Here’s a handy checklist you should be filling out each month as an absolute minimum:

  • Get the site reviewed by an outsider to your company. You can be too close to it yourself to view it in a way that a new visitor would do.
  • Check the top fold of the site - does it tell a visitor enough about what you do and how to get in touch with you without scrolling any further? This is a biggie!
  • Are the images displaying correctly? Quite often browser updates can (annoyingly) change the way they appear.
  • Does the website look like it’s a premium site or a budget site? Be honest about this as it reflects how the visitor sums up your business.
  • Are your blogs and news posts up to date?
  • Check the navigation buttons - are they straightforward enough for a visitor to navigate their way around your site?
  • Check the website on both mobile devices and desktops.
  • Check the site speed - is it running quickly or crawling?
  • Do the buttons and links still take you to the right pages?
  • Could the imagery be changed to better reflect the latest trends in your industry?
  • Do you have enough knowledge-based content to fulfil a visitors requirements for information on you and your products/services?
  • Check your Google Analytics - are you showing growth in visitors or a drop? How long are they staying? How are they finding you? What is the bounce rate? Check these against the last period and last year to check for any signs of dropping.
  • Check your main keywords on Google against your competitors. There are tools to do this online, or you can do it yourself from someone else's computer, but not your own as it won’t give you a true reflection.

There’s a very useful post on this subject providing insider insights into keeping your website looking its best. Read it by clicking the button below!

How To Improve Your Online Shop