By Kate Priestman – Head Of Marketing, Global App Testing
We all know the importance of first impressions. In the digital era, your website is often the first chance to make an impression on potential customers, investors and partners.
Visitors will use your website as a proxy to judge your entire business. It is a fundamental pillar of your omnichannel customer service. If you didn’t apply attention to detail on your website, what are your products, services and customer support like?
Website maintenance is the best-practice to ensure your digital presence always leaves the best impression. Even though it isn’t often talked about at high-powered meetings and keynote conferences, almost all the big players get the most out of their websites by keeping them at the cutting edge.
So, what are some of the specific advantages of website maintenance?
Taking Advantage of the Latest Technologies
Every now and again, a new technology comes along which changes the nature of digital engagement. Sometimes it is a simple performance enhancing feature that improves your pages ability to load high quality images. Occasionally it is something which ties directly to your sales and revenue potential, like an optimisation of the checkout process.
Keeping your website up-to-date will also have implications for where it appears in search rankings. Google and other search engines will prefer websites with software which has the latest patches, bug-fixes, and security features installed. Using high quality bug testing software will help your engineers and designers deliver a flawless experience to your website’s visitors.
Having the latest technologies in place will prevent you from harming your SEO efforts and keep you from missing out on potential leads.
Optimising the User Experience
An engaging and streamlined customer experience is the foundation of an effective website. Your preferred action for the customer should be made obvious – learn more, request a demo, buy now. At the same time, none of the options available should be hidden.
There are also very basic aspects to take care of, like speed. Given that 57% of shoppers will abandon their online cart if the page takes more than three seconds to load, make sure your pages are fully optimised.
Make sure your website is optimised for mobile. With more and more digital interactions happening through phones, a substandard mobile experience can be an unnecessary and easily fixable value sink.
What’s the bottom line when it comes to user experience? Fundamentally, it’s a question of whether your website really works. Can a user get exactly what they want from your website with as little friction as possible. The right usability testing app can take your user experience to the next level, allowing you to iterate quickly and efficiently on your design ideas.
More subtly, the quality of your user experience also sends an important message. A quick, easy and seamless process tells visitors that you truly care and want to do business with them or deliver them some value. Lack of time or resources won’t be taken as excuses.
Broken links, incorrect spelling and grammar and slow page loading can all cause visitors to turn away without a second thought.
To get the most out of your website, consider using A/B testing to optimise the user experience. Try out different versions and compare how they perform with your visitors statistically.
Actionable Data Collection and Analytics
Much of modern decision making relies on data. Therefore there is a direct connection between the quality of your data collection, analysis and insight generation and the quality of the decisions you ultimately make.
Your website is an excellent source of data. Specifically, your website is one of the best ways of understanding your customers. What they click on, which pages they visit, how long they spend on them and in what order can tell you a great deal about what works. This will allow you to meet targets and increase revenue with unparalleled efficiency.
If you’re still wondering what is a VoIP phone, you’re not taking full advantage of the opportunities offered by modern communication. By conducting your phone calls over the internet, you can aggregate your call data with your website data. This gives you a powerful diagnostics tool for making better informed decisions. This is just one of the benefits of unified communications for business.
Security and Backups
Cyber-security threats may seem abstract but they have consequences for every business. If your website goes down even for a short period of time, this can have large repercussions.
Facebook’s servers went down in late 2021 for less than 8 hours, costing them almost $100 million in estimated losses.
While website maintenance can seem like an unnecessary cost initially, but when you put it into perspective, it’s a worthwhile form of insurance.
Even if you’re not the target of a massive hacking attempt, investing in the latest web app security testing software can prevent your website from going down accidentally.
In the event that your website malfunctions, if there are pressing security issues or if you just liked the old one better, you may need to roll-back your website to an earlier version. Regular maintenance will provide you with a plethora of backups to choose from, minimising the necessary downtime and repetition of lost updates.
Effective Content Marketing and SEO
Content marketing is one of the best ways to keep your website relevant to customers and search-engine algorithms alike. Not only will insightful articles take your site to the front of a visitor’s attention, it will also carry it to the top of Google’s first pages.
With regular content updates, you’ll have the opportunity to add the latest trending keywords and phrases which capture customer interest and curry algorithmic favour. This combination will result in more leads, more conversions, and higher revenue.
You can write and upload articles yourself regularly, but outsourcing to seasoned content writers will stop you from spending time on a strategy which may not work. To further maximise the value from your articles, consider content testing like a pro.
However you proceed, your goal is to create content that is so good that the readers want to know more, share your work or even to work with you themselves.
The best thing about regularly updating your website with new content is that it doesn’t smell like advertising. At least, if it’s done well. You’re putting out the best of what you know and, if it is high quality, that value will return to you tenfold.
There’s no need to just rely on hunches though. There are numerous data-driven metrics to measure lead generation. Collecting and analysing these through your website will take you from content creation to value creation much more quickly.
Regular Brand Promotion and Improving Reputation
Never underestimate the power of a landing page promotion. When you regularly update the very top of your website with your latest news, deals, promotions, and content you’re communicating to visitors that you’re doing new and exciting things.
On top of this, you give them a reason to keep coming back to see what’s new. That kind of recurring user traffic can return huge dividends on the time and expenses required to update your website regularly.
It may take some experimentation to get it right, but you won’t regret testing to fill-up business bookings.
While a well-designed and easy-to-use website will do wonders for your reputation, an outdated one might even lead visitors to assuming you’ve gone out of business. If you are going to advertise promotions on your front page, stay consistent with it. Getting excited about a deal only to discover that it’s expired would leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth.
If you really want to impress, include a way for visitors to provide you with anonymous feedback. Then, take action on that feedback. If it wasn’t given anonymously, consider thanking the individual. Finally, find a way to surreptitiously share the whole story. You’ll look efficient and friendly, a winning combination in business where it’s easy to be both too stiff and too disorganised.
Done properly, website maintenance more than pays for itself. The benefits range from the reduction in cart abandonment due to malfunction or slow page loading to the prevention of hacking and loss of uptime.
Website maintenance can feel like a never-ending chore. It’s part of the plumbing of your business, alongside your basic operations and finance department functions.
But, if you connect the mundane routine actions you’re taking, with the ultimate goal of impressing your site’s visitors and increasing revenue, it becomes much clearer why you’re doing it.