The phase that a website is only your calling card is long gone. Your website is a business tool to help you achieve your business objectives, and often the focal point for your marketing campaigns mareting campaigns. Small companies and organizations often have to contend with website maintenance: they are several tasks that are added to the list. From my work experience a number of practical tips to make it easier for you to maintain your website as a small company.
Make someone responsible
Sounds like an open door, but I mean it as follows: make someone responsible for the website, but not necessarily the work itself. It is to keep an overview, plan and manage.
Make sure there are short lines
- Give visitors to your website the opportunity to email the website builder immediately in case of errors on the site.
- Make clear agreements with your website builder: how do you efficiently submit a report and how does the website builder respond? A notification 'the site does not work' from someone by e-mail that is subsequently not reachable by phone, will give the website builder a lot of time to find out what exactly is meant. Within what time is the report picked up and how are you informed?
- As a responsible person, do not go anywhere. If a photographer delivers photos, ask if he wants to do that directly to your colleague who will put the photos on it. And gladly in the right format for the internet.
- Are reports required? See if you can automate it. For example, Google Analytics offers the free service to email reports as a PDF every week.
Planning: continuous and ad hoc
Separate all tasks into continuous tasks and ad hoc tasks. Ad hoc can be a notification to the website builder, a new photo of the building, adapted text ... everything that is one-off. Continuous tasks are continuous every week or month or quarter. The new collection. New prices. This way you keep an overview of the time required at what time of the year.
Lack of time
The well-known problem with website maintenance is a lack of time. There is always more work than time. The solution I propose: look at which tasks are important for the ins and outs of the company. Ensure that the colleagues responsible also have the time for those tasks. The other tasks are stopping jobs: a list of tasks to pick up when there is time. That is why it is important to prioritize those tasks.
That does not mean every week, but can also be every month or 2 months. Briefly discuss how the website works. How does it work with the website builder, how does the site work, and what could be better?
How well does your website run?
Make sure that someone regularly checks the status of your website for broken links, indexing and speed. A website can be outdated after 4 to 6 years. Consider one in time create a new website.
A link that doesn't work: annoying for the visitor and indirectly for you too. A handy free tool: www.brokenlinkcheck.com. Enter your website and you will immediately hear what needs to be fixed.
Does Google see your website completely? Google Webmaster Tools gives the best answer to that. Before you can use it, a verification is required, but after that it is an easy tool to see the status of your indexing (Google index), as well as blogging and security issues.
A good website works quickly. A slow website not only works slow, but is also bad for your search engine position. Check your website speed via Google Pagespeed. The results are fairly technical; If you see something worrying, contact your website builder.
How do you handle all feedback about the website?
You cannot avoid seeing regular improvements on your website. Emails from customers, comments from your colleague or calls from management. Depending on the size of your company, that can put a lot of pressure.
Distribute all input to notifications, content or technology. Reports go directly to the website builder. Content you assess whether it is a continuous task or ad hoc. Be careful, however, with taking on new, continuous tasks for the website: you can only do more work if you have more time for that. Otherwise it will be less time for everything. And you put technology on one wish list.
Website wish list for quickwins
The wish list includes all website wishes that are not reported and that you cannot solve with content. Give each wish a number, a priority, a reporter and a short description. Discuss the wish list with stakeholders on a regular basis. This way you determine which wishes you really want to fulfill and how you will distribute your budget.
Send this wish list to the website builder as a quote request. For each wish you want an hour estimate or price. Then discuss the quotation in an extra but short consultation. This is how you get the quickwins out: wishes with a high priority that cost little. And points that cost a lot but have a low priority are put on one parking list.
You can view the parking list over longer periods, for example if you are ready for a new website. What may then be important is to be able to find the considerations for whether or not to make an improvement. Otherwise points on a parking list will soon be thrown out because you no longer have a feeling for it. On the other hand: you don't want to immediately say yes to every suggestion as an organization. You can also point points directly at the door. But whatever you do with a point for improvement, always give feedback to the reporter.
Website maintenance for a sole trader
If you have a sole proprietorship, you have little to discuss internally, but enough to take your time. Write down all points about your website on a fixed point, for example via a document on Google Docs. Provide a recurring moment to view the status of your site. If it is difficult to reserve a fixed amount of time, always go through the list to determine the top 3 priorities. Then you can easily estimate whether or not you will have to find time for this.
Outsource website maintenance
If you are structurally unable to maintain the website and it is important for your company, consider outsourcing the website maintenance. You are thus guaranteed continuous website maintenance and you can make clear agreements about everything. Make the following considerations:
- How do you deliver text and photos? How complete can you deliver it? Can you give the website administrator access to your photo archive?
- Who chooses the photos?
- Which content needs to be updated regularly? How can you make this work as optimally as possible?
- To what extent does the website manager manage other parties, such as the translator or photographer?
- How do you handle ad hoc content? Do you regularly consult to prioritize these tasks?
- Is the website maintenance done at fixed hours in the week?
- How often do you personally consult?
Bloeise offers website maintenance writing content and optimizing for Google.