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Why Websites Need Water

Nurture Your Website - Watch Your Business Grow

Design

Site design trends, User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) knowledge is constantly changing and your website needs regular design updates to stay current. 

Websites that look old and outdated have less chance of keeping users engaged and hence reduces the chance of conversions, whether it’s making an eCommerce purchase, making an enquiry, signing up for an event, etc.

As a well maintained garden draws the eye and makes your walk a more pleasant journey; a well maintained website will give the user a more pleasant experience and greatly improves the chance that users will come back.

Check out our blog article about digital trends to watch out for in 2017 for inspiration.

Content

Usability

The worst thing that your website’s users can see are promotions or news articles that are months or years old. This gives the impression that the business either does not exist any longer or cannot be relied upon to give a good service.

It is also important that links to other pages, sites (including social media) and contact details are up to date and don’t result in dead links.

Think of it this way; you see a jacket on a website that you really want. You drive to the address that is on the site only to find that the store has moved. Most people would give up at this stage but you’re more resilient so you call the store and get their new address. When you arrive at the store you now find out that the price is not as advertised on the website. Chances are that you are now so fed up you walk out of the store without purchasing the jacket. This is exactly what happens with users trying to find information or make an online purchase if your site has out of date information.

With regular feeding and weeding, your website will perform at its best.

SEO

Regular website maintenance and content updates are critical for search engine ranking for both eCommerce and brochure websites. If you want your website to appear in the top results you need to know how the search engines are ranking information and pages and how to update details on your website, such as the keywords you are targeting.

Check out our SEO fundamentals blog for some tips to help get your website on page one of Google.

Data Analytics

Analysing the data collected by your website and your Google Analytics, updating or trialing various site details such as different 'Call To Actions' or Shipping Pricing Models can lead to an increase in website performance and conversions.

One option is to add A/B testing (sometimes called split testing) to an important page such as the landing page from an advertising campaign. This is where you can show 2 versions of the same page to site users at the same time and then compare page conversion rates. This would be like telling half of your shoppers, which walked into your physical store, about the blue jacket and the other half about the red jacket. You could then compare how many of each you sold in a week so you know which of the 2 jackets to focus on in your next advertising campaign.

Another way to trial an idea is to add a fixed period offer and compare your data against a previous time period.

Amazon is extremely good at analysing their data and this lead them to introduce “Free Shipping” rather than “Discounted Shipping” in certain areas and this lead to a dramatic increase in sales. Find our blog on the power of free shipping here for further information.

This is like watching your garden so you know which plants grow better in your soil and get the most attention from the people walking past. This lets you know what to keep and what to replace.

Security

Hackers are constantly looking for vulnerabilities within Content Management Systems (CMSs) and within plugins / apps for those CMSs. Because of this, CMS creators regularly release updates and security patches that need to be applied to the websites.

To keep your website and user data safe, and to ensure that your website remains available, a plan for regular maintenance can ensure that CMS updates are applied in a timely fashion and spread the cost.

Browser updates

Updated versions of website browsers are also often released. Although you have no control over which browser versions your website users are using, making sure that your website works well on the latest and most popular versions ensures that users can interact with your website and have the best possible user experience.

Conclusion

Whether you have an eCommerce website with multiple integrations, a simple brochure site advertising your physical store or a website for a non-profit organisation; your website is essentially the face that you show to the digital world. Therefore, it is critical that it is looking and performing the best it possibly can and regular website maintenance is the only way this can be achieved.

A website is like an apple tree, it will bear the most fruit if you make sure it’s got the right amount of water, fertiliser and make sure it’s weeded and pruned of dead branches.

Craig Hedley

Author: Craig Hedley
Published: 05/05/2017