Are you a business owner with a website?
Modern website management requires a website to function in the world of commerce today. A fully functioning site is an investment in time, money, business management and promotion that serves as perhaps the most important asset a company may possess. Especially during Corvid-19
Business owners might commission website design and maintenance from a professional web design agency, a marketing company, a freelance designer or even from friends and family. Understanding the functions and performance benchmarks of a good website is essential in order to justify the capital expended on the website. The business management team needs to understand the importance of the company website.
Select the best quality web design company and webmaster your business can afford. Interview several and look at the work they have produced. A quality web designer or web master should be able to provide answers to these questions.
Your website management check list
1) How does the web design/webmaster ensure your site will rank near the top of search results? Our article, “How to Search,” explains some basics about how Internet searches function. Your website success depends on the design, functionality, performance and optimisation of all facets of the page.
2) Can the web designer ensure your site functions equally well in multiple web browsers? View websites with Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome from a computer outside the company to get an idea of the functionality of a site. Business owners with a website can also request an audit or a Mystery Shopper can visit the site when used for E-commerce.
Important points to consider
i) Does the home page load fast? Less than 3 seconds is considered ideal loading time. Get a free, useful load time report from Pingdom.
ii) Does the main focus of the business appear “above the fold” on the website where it can be seen without the user employing the scroll-down bar?
iii) Do all graphics, photos and videos load quickly and correctly?
iv) When was the Home Page last updated? Is the content “fresh?”
v) Each page within the site should have a unique page name and title.
vi) Each page should have three appropriate keywords, a description and a minimum of 300 words of text plus at least one graphic.
vii) Page names, titles, keywords, descriptions, fresh content and graphics are indexed by search engines which then catalogue the pages according to the search engine’s algorithms. When someone performs an Internet search this is the information used by the search engine to suggest pages in the search results. Without proper preparation of every page, a business may struggle to appear in the top 40 search results.
3) Once a web designer has been selected and a web site created, the designer should create website sitemaps. These list the pages within the site and the location of information on the site. Without sitemaps, websites are unlikely to rank well in search results.
Google and Bing search engines use the .xml version of sitemaps, whereas others may use the html version. Sitemaps should be updated at least weekly and every time pages are added or changes made to the site, if your site uses WordPress, this can be done automatically.
4) The website management team need to know information about visitors to their website, including who they are and their locations. Sites built with WordPress, for instance, have access to plug-ins that provide this information.
Google Analytics can provide site owners with detailed insight into the nature and habits of visitors to a website. Knowing how a site is used and by whom provides managers with valuable marketing information.
5) Do not launch a website and then forget it. Sitemap generation, site maintenance and promotion need to be integrated with the creation of the site itself. Owners should be aware of and involved in these decisions and updates in order to maintain the benefits of a well-designed site.
6) Site owners should invest in the use of highly-rated external sources that send visitors and potential customers to the website. The company blog on the site may be such a resource. Keep the blog active with a continuous stream of company information and fresh content.
Some companies create YouTube videos about the company, products and services as features for their blogs. Articles and instructions placed on the blog can be another good source of inbound site traffic. These items should be included in the sitemap, as well.
7) Company information may be distributed as PowerPoint documents, Twitter or Facebook posts or even Press Releases on the company website. It is a key part of website maintenance to keep updated company news and announcements before the eyes of site visitors.
8) E-commerce customers as well as bricks-and-mortar store shoppers do a significant amount of online research before committing to a purchase. Your company needs to be seen on the Internet as the “Best of Class.” Your business may only get once chance to be seen and chosen by your next buyer.
9) Of course, many customers use their Smartphones or tablets to access the Internet and do their research. Your business needs to have a web presence that works equally well on any platform or device. This called “Responsive”.
Use the information above to keep abreast of developments with your website team. If you understand how your business website performs, meets customer expectations and produces results, you will be better positioned for online success.
Feel free to contact us if you still have questions or need more information than your in-house resources can provide. Check out our Q and A section, it could have answers you need.