12 Nov Why Website Maintenance Should be Part of Your Marketing Routine
At Odd Duck Media, we believe that a successful marketing strategy is multifaceted – a holistic approach that focuses on client acquisition, retention, and education is key to developing your client base. Website maintenance is, without getting too technical, the act of updating and cleaning up your website on a regular basis – out with the old, in with the new, so to speak. That can involve changing the content on your website, changing how your website is coded, and getting rid of old and outdated information. Though print media marketing is still relevant, you need a well-developed website maintenance plan to help your marketing succeed in this new age of digital commerce. Let’s dive into why:
Content Is King
You’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king” a million times and like any good cliche, it’s repeated because it contains a lot of truth. Website maintenance helps you with this approach in three different ways: it gets rid of old and out-of-date content, it adds refreshing new content to the site, and it ensures that your site is functional so your users can find the content.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: you go online, you look for a restaurant’s hours of operation, you find it’s open and you head on down with your partner for a date only to learn the website was wrong and the restaurant is closed. You’re probably going to leave a bad review, complain to the manager, or at the very least, not go to the restaurant any time soon. Proper website maintenance gets rid of that problem because you’re actively looking over your website regularly to check for exactly this type of error. The same idea applies if you write blogs about industry news or you have pages that detail particular processes; when that information is out of date and your clients act on it, you’ll end up bearing the brunt of their frustration. That’s bad for marketing.
The corollary to “bad content hurts marketing” is, of course, that good content helps it. Update your website with exclusive content, be it posts about exciting new projects you’re working on, images of a new product or your team, or some video of something uniquely yours. Content marketing is all about delivering something useful or interesting to users; the focus is on them, not on you. This helps you create an affinity for your brand – the people absorbing your content appreciate that you get them and that can help move them towards making a purchase.
The last key to maintenance is functionality. There’s nothing more aggravating than dead links, chat bots when there’s no one actually available to chat, or pages that don’t load properly. In order to appreciate your content, people need to actually be able to access it and that means you need to be constantly vigilant about what’s hosted on your website. Regular maintenance will help you avoid these problems and keep your customers happy. It bears repeating that your website is one of the most important forms of marketing you have because it has both content and products/services that your customers will value. A broken website is like a torn billboard – it looks bad.
Seek & Ye Shall Find
You’ve probably heard of search engine optimization (SEO) but if you haven’t, here’s a quick primer. Search engines like Google use a wide variety of factors to rank the websites that pop up when you search for a particular term. SEO is used to get search engines to select your website as number one when people search for relevant terms. There are a number of ways that this can be accomplished and many of them tie in with the “Content Is King” category we just discussed. People use search engines to find just about everything and that’s why SEO has become an extremely important part of marketing strategies.
You can optimize your site by making sure there are no dead links, ensuring content loads quickly, and making a clean website that’s easy to navigate. You can also optimize by creating content that’s relevant to questions or terms that people are looking up. When you can answer questions a prospective customer is asking, search engines will view your website in a more positive light. As you can probably tell, all of this is intimately linked with the customer experience, which we’re already focusing on. This is because search engines want to link to sites that are helpful to the people using them. The more user-friendly and content-rich your site is, the more likely a search engine is to place you towards the top.
Online security is becoming more important as the years go on; the number of data breaches has increased 54% in 2019, compromising people’s identity, financial security, and trust in the online infrastructure. What’s more, web security affects SEO. It goes without saying that a data breach is a marketing nightmare. Fortunately, regular website maintenance can help you catch potential weaknesses in your website’s security. It can also help keep on top of new exploits that could cause you headaches.
Website Maintenance Is Good Marketing
It’s important to keep track of where your advertising budget is going; you might be spending money on traditional ad campaigns that could be better spent on website maintenance. One of the advantages to website maintenance is that it’s generally fairly low-cost to implement, and when you do it regularly, it’s easy to track the amount being spent. What’s more, there are a number of analytical tools available to websites that aren’t available in traditional advertising campaigns so you can gather excellent data on the influence that website maintenance has on client acquisition and retention. A properly maintained website will help you attract clients, keep the clients you’ve attracted, and avoid negative perceptions of your company. All and all, it’s extremely worthwhile.