Managing Your Website

Why it’s a Challenge

Managing a website is big challenge for small companies fighting to reach the growth phase. Chances are, your website’s performance is high on your list of priorities. It’s an asset that works around the clock to draw in visitors, build authority and give more information.

The challenge with website management includes a variety of different factors, from writing and optimising the content to designing beautiful webpages. I have listed the top 3 important factors when it comes to managing your website:

Top Challenges:

  • The speed of my website.
  • Is my site mobile ready?
  • Is my site SEO optimised?

I could write a much larger list here, and I could also write a blog on each of these points! But these 3 are what I receive the most queries for and what I believe to be the most valuable to get an understanding about from the outset of managing a website.

The Need for Speed

As Australia slips precariously down the ranks of average internet speed globally, the focus on speed for websites is this country is more important now then it has ever been. Couple that with the attention span of average internet users (8 seconds!) and the need to prioritise this is overwhelming. You can have the best looking site in the world, but if it takes over a minute to load then you will be disappointed by the results!

What to focus on:

  • Where is my audience?
  • Where is your server located?
  • Are my images optimised for web?

There are many ways you can optimise the speed of your website. Ask yourself, who am I targeting? If your audience resides largely in Australia, then it would do you little good hosting your website in America. If your audience is very much global, then you are best advised to look into a cloud distribution network or ‘CDN’. This will ensure that the data is hosted locally in every country your website is being requested. Also one of the biggest resources your website has to deal with are images. Having images optimised in size for web use is a great way to reduce load on your server. Just think; these images are for display not print and only have to, literally, look the part!

Get Mobile

With usage of mobile devices now surpassing desktop, its another area of great importance when it comes to managing your website.

total-time-monthly-august-2015

It can be a great disappointed for your audience if they visit your website and it doesn’t display properly on their phone. There are currently two ways to tackle mobile devices with websites. One is called Responsive Design, and the other is creating a completely purpose built mobile version of the same site, served to mobile devices only. Both have there merits and tribulations, but if I had to advise one I would recommend you opt for the Responsive Design.

SEO

I get asked about SEO a LOT. I would have to say it is one of the biggest buzz words that so many know about but few really understand! The simplest and easiest way I explain SEO is like this:

Google cares about people who use its service, what Google wants is for your site to provide a great service to your customers, so that when Google sends its users to you, they go back to Google and think wow that was good, thank you Google for finding that for me.  Then Google will let everyone see this site before others, as most of the time people find what they need there.

Google has a great deal of tools and methods of measuring and calculating user data and what people find valuable. Things like engagement, returning visitors, sign ups, all play a part in how your website will rank. Even the speed of your site will play a part in its rank.

The secret to an SEO success is to provide your customers with the most value in the fastest way possible.

Here are some site metrics on your analytics you should look out for:

  • Pages per visit
  • Average time on site
  • Bounce rate

What can you, the Business Owner do?

If your primary challenge with managing a website has to do with the skills and resources you have available, you aren’t alone. This is especially true for small companies who don’t have all the talent in-house required to cover content, optimisation, design, and back-end website management.

One solution? Hire freelancers and agency partners. This year, our data showed an increase in the number of respondents who indicated they use freelancers and agency partners for content creation. To find freelancers, we recommend:

  • Tapping into your personal and professional network by posting on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social networks with a description of what you’re looking for.
  • Browsing freelance writers and designers based on their portfolios and areas of interest. For writers, check out Zerys and Contently. For designers, check out Behance & Upwork.

Overall, you can make website management easier on your team by hosting your website on a platform that integrates all your marketing channels as well such as WordPress, Joomla or Ghost (purely blogging focused).

In this post I skim quite a few deep topics, I could go into much more detail on anything that was mentioned above. So if you are interested in more information, I would love to know! Please send me any questions or just choose a topic below and I would be delighted to cover it in more detail in the next post.

If you would like more information or help in creating leads for your business please email info@snowballclients.com.au

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