The Ultimate Guide to Website Management

Is your website not performing as well as you’d like? Yext has the ultimate guide for website management.

min read

Your company's website isn't just an online presentation of your content. It's an important reflection of your business' priorities, values, and quality.

An amazing company won't be able to counterbalance a terrible website. And with how many customers access your data or content virtually, it's incredibly important to make sure you're putting your best foot forward on all platforms.

But where do you begin? A website can be as minimal or busy as you choose — but as with most things in life, there's a balance that will work best for you and your users.

Here's the ultimate guide to website management for those who really want to shine with their "digital front door."

Determine What You Want From Your Website

Is your website where you sell your products? Is it a regularly updated collection of articles like a blog? Do you need to be optimized for video playback?

There are plenty of questions like this to ask yourself when it comes to managing your website. Before you can really start to shape your page into its best form, you need to know what that needs to look like.

Be Prepared for Site Failure

Even with a CMS, your website can take some time to put together. It's probably got quite a bit of images, content, and links.

You don't want to have to put it together again. That's why you should regularly back up the online data you store on your website. Like backing up a computer drive, you don't lose everything if anything were to happen, so backing up your website is critical. If your website crashes and everything gets lost for some reason, you need to be able to bring everything back from a recent backup swiftly.

The longer your website is inaccessible, the more revenue you lose.

Consider a Content Management System

A content management system, or CMS, is simply a service that makes organizing your online content easy. They take care of the backend design, so your team doesn't have to focus on writing HTML or Javascript.

Instead, you can put more energy into the design and layout of your pages and content, depending on the templates offered by the CMS.

There are many options when choosing a CMS, and finding the right one for your business is important. Some might be more expensive than others, while some could be totally free but rather limited.

Analyzing your business website needs is the first step, then researching your options and collaborating with your team to find the best option for what you want.

Display New Content Regularly

Unless you have a particularly unique product — and often, even then! — it's pretty useful to have a stream of new content flowing through your page.

While attracting users to your website once is a huge achievement, bringing them back with interesting and useful resources will build a relationship between them and your company.

Whether it's newly written content or recently developed products, give your audience a reason to check back with your page.

Make Sure It's Relevant to Your Audience

You want your content to reflect your business and what your target demographic is looking for. If you were managing a website that sold hand-made sweaters, you probably wouldn't have articles on your page discussing the latest federal tire safety regulations.

While you can expand your content a bit past what you immediately cover with your business to attract a wider range of users, you don't want to stretch into unrelated topics.

For example, if we go back to our boutique sweater seller, it wouldn't be a stretch to have content that covered fashion trends or 'how to put together a full ensemble of clothes.' (Including the sweaters they sold, of course.)

Keep SEO (Search Engine Optimization) In Mind

Search engines have made huge advancements since their origins in the early 1990s. Using advanced natural language processing and artificial intelligence to determine what content is most relevant to the user's query, search engines have been optimized to find high-quality content.

A few years ago, you might've been able to cram a ton of meta keywords into your page in an effort to get it onto the front page. But these days, you need high-quality information on your page to get recognized by major search engines.

This is a good thing for everyone. Users get better results and more relevant search results, and websites get filled with superior content.

Invest in a Dedicated Specialist

Putting together a website can be a lot of work, and managing it can be a similarly active job.

Depending on the size of your company, you may or may not already have a dedicated team or member that focuses on managing your website. This could be a responsibility of the IT team or an even more focused group.

While you might be able to share the duties of page management with your existing members, having a dedicated specialist that mainly focuses on the website can ensure that you have a high-quality online profile at all times.

Analyze Traffic Data (And Use It!)

Traffic data is extremely useful when it comes to optimizing your website and shaping your products. Track things like:

Where your users go
What they look at
Where they're coming from
What demographic they're in
What they search for
If they leave immediately, what page are they bouncing from?
Page bounce rate is the number of users that visit a single page on your site and then leave. Nothing stuck out to them, they couldn't find what they were looking for, or worse, something pushed them away.

Long load times, inadequate navigation tools like an internal search engine, and lack of revenant content can all increase your bounce rate. Analyzing traffic data can help you streamline and boost the positive aspects of your web page, keeping users on for longer.

Check All Platform Traffic

Considering that about half of all online users are accessing the internet from their mobile device, it's pretty critical to make sure that your page works well on the platform.

Proper formatting is key when it comes to the mobile experience. You also want to make sure that your page navigation works.

Consistently Update

Managing a website is a responsibility that requires regular attention. While getting it up can be a bit of work, ensuring that things are at top performance consistently is important.

You need to make sure that your page is meeting the needs of your users, and with the constantly shifting landscape of the internet, you need to pay attention at all times.

Identify What Your Site Doesn't Need And Remove It

Whether it's old articles that aren't relevant anymore to your audience or content or products you don't carry anymore, you need to ensure that your page is completely up to date but cutting any wasteful data that's taking up space.

You want to be as focused as possible when it comes to your online data for two reasons. You want to make sure that everything you have available is what your audience needs.

You also need to keep in mind the speed of your page. The more unnecessary content that lives on your site, the more you might be clogging your load speeds. Delays will turn away users quickly, so you want to make sure you're optimizing your content and page load times.

Utilize Customer Reviews

Customer reviews can be a major help when it comes to shaping and managing your website. After all, your customers are the ones your website should be designed for at the end of the day, so make sure to listen when they tell you if they do or don't like something.

Of course, this comes with a "grain of salt" asterisk, but customer reviews can tell you what's working on your site and what you need to adjust.

It might not be limited to customer reviews; checking which pages get the most or least traffic can be just as useful.

Don't Change Too Often

There is certainly a balance between having too much new content and not enough. Your marketing team will be familiar with this, but make sure everyone on the team is on the same page.

Make sure your audience can recognize your page and find what they're looking for; whether it's a regularly visited article or page, you should leave it for people to return to.

While updating content is important, taking away what people want just to put new data up isn't always the right decision.

In Conclusion

Managing your website is something you should do regularly, but it doesn't have to be difficult. Make sure to keep it updated and listen to what your users are telling you through traffic data.

Keeping a well-maintained website is a strong reflection of your company's values, and it keeps users coming back to you for more content.

Click here to learn more about putting your best foot forward on your website by delivering better information and relevant answers to your customers.

Sources:

  1. Why Every Business Needs A Website | Forbes.com
  2. Mobile Internet Traffic Statistics | Oberlo.com
  3. Website Load Time Statistics | Websitebuilderexpert.com

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