Your website can be a very powerful tool for your business, but it needs to be well planned and regularly maintained. If you are struggling to get the results you want, or you are having trouble finding enough time to for content creation or website planning, then this post is for you.
Keeping your website up to date does not need to be expensive or time-consuming.
Managing a website does not need to be difficult. With a well-thought-out strategy that fits your business needs and your budget, you can create a plan to keep your website fresh and interesting. At the same time, there are some simple things you can do to keep it safe and secure.
And most importantly, you can concentrate most of your effort on attracting new customers and new opportunities to your business.
You can break down website management into three separate areas:
- Website maintenance,
- content creation and promotion,
- website performance.
WordPress Website Maintenance
This is the basic technical work required to keep your website functional. There are a number of tasks that need to be performed on a regular basis to protect you from potential problems, like hackers or software errors.
Although the technical side of this work can be complicated, it is also the easiest work to outsource.
The software that you need to maintain can be broken down into three categories. WordPress plugins, WordPress Core and the Server.
WordPress plugins add functionality to the standard WordPress system and are often programmed and maintained by third party developers. They are usually fairly regularly updated; sometimes monthly or even more frequently.
The core WorpdPress system will also be updated every few months. These updates also typically run quite smoothly, but can also cause occasional conflicts or errors.
Server-side updates are most often updates to the PHP version, but updates can also be required for other support systems in the server stack. These updates should be made by your website host, but will usually require you to manually activate the new version for your website.
In most cases an update will improve performance, add new features and/or to remove security vulnerabilities.
Typically, updates are just a click of a button and many can even be automated. However, sometimes the update can cause conflicts with other plugins, or even contain a bug from the developer. If this occurs, then you can be left with a broken website. Fixing these problems can be time-consuming and expensive.
An easy solution to keep your WordPress website up to date
This process of updating your WordPress website is a purely technical job that is invisible to your customers. It requires WordPress expertise, but it does not involve content or communication with customers. That makes it a perfect job to outsource. By outsourcing it, you will never need to worry about whether your website is safe, and you will receive regular reports to ensure that everything is in order.
Content Creation and Promotion
This is a very broad topic and will be different for every business. As a minimum, we recommend taking some time to create a written document that outlines the content that you will publish, including the type of content, when it will be published and how it should be distributed.
For some businesses, this might just be a quarterly newsletter. For other’s it could include regular activity on social media, blog posts and webinars.
The type of content you should create will depend on your brand strategy. In most cases we would recommend that you create content that positions you as an industry expert. You can do this by creating content that solves problems for potential customers, while at the same time highlighting your strengths and USPs.
One very important thing to keep in mind is distribution. Content is worthless if no-one sees it, so you need to plan how and when the content will be promoted. This might be organically via search or social media, or it could be via paid advertising campaigns.
Ideas for planning your content marketing program
The first thing to do is establish a budget. Think about it both in terms of time and money. How much time you and/or your team can invest, and how much money you are willing to spend.
With your budget in mind, create a plan that shows you and your team who should create which pieces of content, and when and how it should be published and promoted. It can be very simple if you have a small team or budget.
Depending on what you decide you want to do, you might need to update your infrastructure so that you have the tools you need. For example, this might be a newsletter system or some new landing pages to capture new enquiries.
The third item on our list is performance and review. Part of the plan described above should include KPIs that tell you if your website is delivering the desired results.
It is important to start with KPIs because they will immediately show you how to build/configure your analytics and reporting system. Ideally, you should have a dashboard that shows you all of your KPIs on a timeline so that you can measure improvement. This allows you to assess how effective your content plan is at delivering the results you want.
With a good dashboard, over time you will get a clear picture of which types of marketing activity work best for your business, which in turn allows you to make better decisions and investments.
Example of Google Data Studio report
Reporting on your website's performance is a critical step in ensuring that you continue to improve your online marketing programs,
Creating a Plan for Your WordPress Website
A successful website does not need a huge investment, but it does need a smart investment. Just like every other aspect of your business, to get the results you want, a little planning can go a long way. At Markegy we have over two decades of experience working with businesses of all sizes to deliver effective websites and online marketing campaigns.
Get in touch via the form below to talk to an expert about how you can get the most out of your website.