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.
With any journey, you won’t get very far without a driver behind the wheel, someone in control. As the driver, you can control everything from speed through to the music.
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.
If you’re not maintaining your website and keeping it well oiled, it can lead to a mountain of frustration for 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 found ways to deal with its clunks and clatters. .
What’s worse is for many, they didn’t even buy that banger themselves, they inherited it.
It’s up to them to pick up the pieces and get it moving around the track.
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.
In this blog, we’ll explain why keeping your website regularly maintained will help you and your team see more successes.
We recently ran a survey to better understand content marketers’ frustrations with their website. This blog will 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.
Until you can get it to the garage, you turn your music up and pretend nothing’s happened.
This heart-sinking feeling is what your team feels every time they have to publish content on your website.
You can hear their frustrations 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.
You may have even noticed that your team is reluctantly working later than usual, scurrying to shorten their task list after hours. All 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 or admit defeat and bite the bullet.
Finding just any mechanic doesn’t solve your problem.
They may not understand the importance of your issue, prioritising other issues or worse, other cars before yours.
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, or over something as simple as a layout change that just won't work.
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.
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.
Issues which are slowing the marketing team down, fall low on the priority list of those in charge of making the changes. Despite it preventing them from being effective in their role, it’s importance is just not understood.
But, nothing really compares to your site going down completely.
It 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 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.
The developers, your pit lane crew, will 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 current visitors you could be losing. A poor website affects future traffic too.
If search engines are crawling your site and it’s constantly down when they crawl, your site’s position will 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, you should take time to tinker and make improvements as you go.
You want it to be faster with better handling.
The same applies to your website and maintaining 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.
By having regular, consistent maintenance, you can make a list of improvements or changes 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.
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.
Proactive maintenance keeps your internal team efficient 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.