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After months of designing and building a website that’s user friendly, responsive, and functional, hitting the publish button will feel like a relief as you open your online shop to users around the world. After launching, your next step will be to manage the success of your website through strategic website management.
Managing a website can be straightforward if your marketing team are equipped with the relevant knowledge, expertise, and skills. Sharon McDougall of Scotland Debt Solutions, shares what key areas you must focus on when managing a website to keep it operational, compliant, and relevant for users.
The anatomy of a functional website
A website can only remain fit for purpose if it is maintained which means investing in a combination of technology, tools, and talent. In addition to the customer-facing side of a website, the infrastructure will require equal attention as numerous behind-the-scenes components help breathe life into a website.
The support system behind a thriving website consists of five components that must be regularly fine-tuned to keep a website operational.
Content – When building a website, work closely with a content writer to produce text for the website. Content is king, as, without this, your website will essentially be a blank slate and serve no purpose to your customers. Website content must be optimised for search engines, echo your brand, and serve call to actions that drive conversions.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – For any website to attract users, it must be discoverable through search engines, and therefore optimised accordingly.
According to Search Engine Land, SEO means ‘improving your site to increase its visibility when people search for products or services related to your business…the better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to garner attention and attract prospective and existing customers to your business.’
A website can be optimised for search engines by producing quality content, building clean architecture, link building and ensuring that your site can be crawled and indexed.
User Experience (UX) – Does your website deliver a pleasant user experience, answer search queries and navigate users to the desired destination? The experience for the user must be seamless on all devices which can be hindered by the likes of poor site speed, broken image links or HTTP 404 error pages.
Security – Risk mitigation must be a priority to protect customer details, build trust and prevent cyber-attacks. If your brand is associated with a high security risk, this could deter customers from entering and raise a red flag to search engines. Basic housekeeping includes securing your website through the likes of an SSL certificate which authenticates the identity of a website.
Insights – The success of a website must be measurable and quantifiable to assess an accurate return on investment. Insights such as traffic data, bounce rate and conversion rates can help gauge the success of your website – this analysis must be incorporated into your website management strategy.
Managing a website requires joint-up thinking from experts with basic experience in content writing, SEO, link building and user experience. From troubleshooting to A/B testing, website management can help elevate your business, improve rankings, and ultimately drive more traffic to your online shopfront.
Thank you to Sharon for outlining the basics of maintaining a website, it is a great starting point for businesses that are unsure of the fundamentals.