I’ve previously spoken about why your website is your vehicle to marketing success especially when it comes to your customers and website visitors. Your customers are with you on this journey, in essence, they decide whether or not you make it to your destination at all.
With any journey, you won’t get very far without a driver behind the wheel, someone in control. Your driver can control everything from the speed at which you travel through to the music and conversation on the trip.
But who drives your website toward your destination of marketing success?
Your content team of course!
They are your driving force. They should be accelerating content and campaigns through your website at Formula 1 speeds without losing a tyre or burning out your engine. But, if you’re not maintaining your website and keeping it well oiled, it can lead to a mountain of frustrations for your drivers - your content and web editors.
Many organisations act like a team of drivers who bought a second-hand banger, it doesn’t quite do the job - they’ve learnt how to get it around the track but have never improved upon what they bought.
They’ve probably been driving that car for years and over time have gotten better at how it handles. They have found ways to deal with it and those workarounds have improved with time.
What’s worse is for many, they didn’t even buy that banger themselves, they inherited it from the previous team of drivers when they joined the team, who didn’t understand what they needed in a car to win races.
But the car is still old and isn’t going to win any trophies.
You wouldn’t send your driver into a race with an old engine and expect to win first place. You shouldn’t expect the same of your website and content team either.
We’re here to provide you with the business case you need to get buy-in from your senior management, CEO or board of directors and get the maintenance your website and team deserve.
We have insights from a recent survey that ran throughout July 2020 to better understand content marketers’ website frustrations so we can share with you what keeps your marketing team engaged, effective and happy at work.
Stop turning the music up
How many times have you gotten into your car, set off down the road and you hear it?
That weird noise coming from your car - you have NO idea what it is or why it’s making it.
Until you can get it to the garage, you turn your music up and pretend that it’s not happening.
This heart sinking feeling is what your content team feels every time they have to add or update content on your website. You can hear their screams of frustration as they shout “Why aren’t you working?!” at their screen.
The biggest frustration for content teams is when a task they know should only take 15 minutes takes them over an hour. They’re looking at their ever growing list knowing they should be much further down it if it wasn’t for the pesky website not working properly!
You may have even noticed that your team is reluctantly working later than usual, scurrying to shorten their task list after hours because of a few website admin issues which have held them back.
Not having website maintenance is like not having a trusted mechanic. You either plod along, turning your music up higher and higher or you bite the bullet, and get it fixed knowing it’s going to cost you an arm and a leg if you don’t do your research and find a trustworthy mechanic.
And even if you do have a mechanic, they may not understand the importance of your issue, prioritising other issues or even other cars before yours.
If you keep ignoring the problem, at some point your car won’t start.
When it’s your website, it means your customers can’t access your site or your team can’t publish content. Ultimately, you’re waiting for the development team or an agency to fit this into their busy schedule to fix.
If you bought a car from the Audi dealership and didn’t take out a maintenance plan with them, you couldn’t just turn up on the day and expect them to fix it on the spot.
You may wait days or weeks for a fix which could mean you miss important campaign launches, real-time opportunities and mean you’ve lost the race before it’s even started.
Improving your site shouldn’t just make your customer’s journey better, it should also benefit your content team too. Whether it’s fixing issues that slow your content team down, the ones that frustrates them to the point that they’re losing creativity, or something as simple as a layout change.
Website maintenance puts you back in pole position.
40% of UK marketers say the skill they most value in their role is creativity.
Keeping It Ticking Over
Slow loading pages are a big annoyance and not just for your customers, marketers are feeling the pinch too. In our recent study, we found that nearly half of marketers surveyed were frustrated by their organisation’s slow loading website. As marketers, many appear to feel the pinch of the customer first approach. Issues which are slowing the marketing team down, fall low on the priority list despite it preventing them from being effective in their role.
But, nothing really compares to your site going down completely.
Strictly speaking this affects your customers most of all. However, we feel it should get a mention here as it’s equally as frustrating for you and your content team when your website is down.
Those dreaded 3 numbers staring at them on a blank page. It stops them dead in their tracks.
And let’s not forget that nobody can appreciate all of their hard work if they can’t even get onto your site!
46% of marketers are frustrated by their organisation’s slow loading website
As part of your website maintenance, your development team or support agency should be watching out for periods where your site is going down unexpectedly. If you haven’t planned for downtime, it can be a red flag that you need to hit the pit lane and find out what's going on.
Your pit lane crew, the developers, will then try to figure out what the cause is so that you’re not continually losing valuable traffic to your content teams creative writing!
It’s not just your customers who are on your website now that you could be losing. Poor websites affect future traffic too.
If search engines are crawling your site and it’s constantly down when they crawl, your site’s position on that search engine will also be affected and you could see your site plummeting through the rankings.
As 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results, when your rankings plummet the traffic inevitably drops too.
Beyond losing traffic, if you have pay-per-click campaigns or adverts running and your site is constantly going down, you’re essentially rolling down your window and tossing your marketing budget money out.
Tinkering to improve
Just as you’d maintain a racing car to make sure it can actually race, between each race you’d tinker to improve. You want it to be faster with better handling. The same applies to your website and website maintenance. It’s about more than just making sure your customers can see it and that your marketing team can publish content to it.
You want it to be winning trophies, bringing in leads and winning customers, to do that you need to make regular tweaks and site updates. You may change the layout of some pages or want to create better, specific landing pages for your campaigns. By having regular, consistent maintenance, you can make a list of improvements or changes that you’d like to make and use your maintenance to take care of a few of these each month.
If you run into any issues on the site that are causing frustrations, usually called bugs, those fixes normally come under your maintenance plan but as every plan differs slightly, you’ll have to check the specifics of the one you choose.
Productivity and Growth
Just like racing, regular maintenance stops you from falling behind. It gives you opportunities to iron out frustrations that make your marketing team lose their creativity and spark.
They are your driver and need to stay focussed on getting your car around the track - winning races.
They shouldn’t be trying to figure out how to actually make it around the track at all.
What surprised us the most was that although 60% of our survey respondents said they had a maintenance plan, only 46% were using their internal team or supplier to submit tickets around the frustrations they had with their website.
In any kind of race, the smallest mistake can cost you your place and those little frustrations will slow you down. There’s always someone hot on your heels ready to overtake you, the same can be said for your website.
Proactive maintenance keeps your internal team efficient and effective at doing what they do best.
Publishing and creating valuable content that your customers will love. By enjoying the content, they’ll keep coming back and with the right marketing strategy, will end up buying from you.
If you need help getting your website back on the road and winning trophies or you simply want to keep your place in your market, we’re here to help you. Our dedicated ITIL support team can work with you to keep your website working at its best for you and your team.