The majority of organisations consider the creation of a website as a project with a defined end date: the implementation. Some years may then pass without significant updates to the until the site becomes so out of date that a new web project is initiated and so the cycle continues as in the diagram below.
Diagram taken from A List Apart
Yet, these organisations do not treat their buildings, vehicles, equipment or staff in this way. Buildings, vehicles and equipment need regular maintenance and staff have regular reviews and training so that they all operate at their best.
We strongly believe that the same approach taken with other business assets should also apply to websites. This is for two main reasons.
- The effectiveness of the website is maintained over a much longer period rather than the site suffering periods of decline. The enhanced customer experience will lead to the site attracting more business and will avoid the reputational damage a neglected site can cause.
- It is more cost effective for businesses. Large, expensive new website projects are required much less frequently and the lower costs for website reviews, maintenance etc. are spread over a longer period. In addition, as stated in the point above, the site brings in more customers for longer, leading to higher income.
The curve then changes from a revolution every few years to a more evolutionary approach as illustrated below.
Diagram taken from A List Apart
Having had a new website created, we believe that you are best served by taking on this approach which includes our support and maintenance service.
However, if your site has already been in place for a while and you are not satisfied with it, we recommend a full website review. Your dissatisfaction is likely to be because of:
- lower numbers of website visitors than expected, i.e. a problem of attraction
- fewer new customers than expected i.e. a problem with conversion.
Our website reviews address both of these topics in detail and so gives a comprehensive picture of how your website is performing. More importantly, the website review specifies how the site can be improved. The areas to be covered by the report will be discussed with yourselves but, as a minimum, it is likely to cover:
- search engine optimisation
- digital marketing strategy
- social media frequency, relevance, appropriateness
- design and how it matches up with your customers’ expectations
- content quality and relevance to your audience
- conversion strategy
- a wide range of technical factors including mobile friendliness, page load speed and site structure.
The report will give a series actions to be taken to improve the areas that are weak and these will be prioritised according to the impact they will have in meeting your objectives. We will also cost each of the activities so you can make informed decisions about how best to proceed. Implementation of these actions will then lead to a more effective website that can achieve its potential and meet the objectives that you had for the site when it was first created.
Developing a regular maintenance and review approach to your business website will help in managing the costs of the site. It will avoid expensive and potentially risky new website projects as well as keeping your website as a more effective business asset for a much longer period of time.