You’ve invested a great deal of time and money in getting your website up and running, but even though you’ve cleared that major hurdle, the race is far from over. You want to keep your site moving forward in the fast-moving marketplace, managing your digital presence in order to improve your site and meet your business needs from year to year. That means that in addition to your initial investment, you’ll need to consider the cost of maintaining your website and planning for improvements on a regular basis. Not sure how your website should fit into your annual budget? Here are five things you should consider:
Most enterprise businesses use a Content Management System (CMS) such as Ektron, EPiServer, Sitecore, or Wordpress to power their website. You probably pay an annual license fee for this platform, but you also should make sure you are keeping your CMS software updated. This ensures that your site is secure, and it also allows you to make use of the latest features of the platform and keep up with ever-changing online technology. If it’s been a while since your last upgrade, you’ll want to make room in your budget for getting your site up to date.
As more and more people use mobile devices to access the web, it’s important to make sure your site is formatted in a way that allows it to be accessed on a variety of screen sizes, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones. If your site hasn’t been optimized for mobile, you might be driving possible visitors away, so you’ll want to investigate your options for a mobile version of your website. There are several things to consider, including what your current technology is capable of, whether your content is properly optimized, and which channels you want to reach.
How easy is your site to use? Are visitors able to find the information they want? Are users able to easily navigate throughout the site? Are there any roadblocks keeping people from doing what they need to do? It’s a good idea to regularly take a look at the way people use your site to see if you are able to simplify customers’ journey, which can help drive more conversions. Including a User Experience review in your budget is a good way to make sure you are taking a look at what currently does and doesn’t work and providing the best experience for your users.
Are you tracking your site traffic and keeping up with trends across all channels, including mobile and social media? If not, you’ll want to incorporate an analytics package into your site, since monitoring this data gives you essential insight into who is visiting your site, where they are finding you, what actions they are taking, what percentage of your visitors are converting, and whether you are meeting your goals. And even if you do have an analytics package in place, it doesn’t hurt to revisit it and make sure you are tracking all the data that you need and your goals are up to date.
Marketing has traditionally taken the form of paid ads, something that gets your name in people’s mind in hopes that they will then come to you to buy your products or services. This is called outbound marketing, and in our current age of information overload, it is becoming less and less effective. Instead, companies are now gravitating toward Inbound Marketing, in which a company produces content that people will want to read and share, drawing them toward your website and then providing them with ways to use that information, converting them into leads and, eventually, paying customers. This has proven to be a much more effective way to engage users, and when done right, it can even turn them into evangelists that drive more business to your site. If you’re not taking advantage of the possibilities that inbound marketing offers, you’ll definitely want to make room in your budget for getting started down that path.
As we all know, budgeting is complicated, and any business has multiple stakeholders who all have needs for your website. Determining how to prioritize these needs can be difficult. Luckily, Diagram is here to help! We can take a look at your site and your online strategy and help you understand which of these aspects you need to address, and what it will take to do so. Sign up for a free budget consultation today! Do you have any other questions about keeping your site updated? Do you need any other information about anything we’ve mentioned? Please feel free to leave a comment below, or contact us to speak with an expert.