It’s important to perform regular website maintenance to keep your site up to date. What’s more, web reporting allows you to see how your website visitors behave
There are lots of reasons to update your website regularly:
You might need to perform several tasks to keep the content on your website updated:
How often you refresh and review what’s on your site will depend how important the site is to your company. If it only contains basic information about your business, you probably won’t need to update it very often.
Conversely, if you run an ecommerce website which generates lots of revenue, you’ll need to regularly update it to change promotions, keep customers interested and ensure details of the items you sell are bang up-to-date. You can also benefit from checking your web reporting statistics daily – even minor changes could boost your bottom line.
You can access lots of web reporting data to find out how people use your website. This can be valuable when deciding what changes to make:
Testing what works on your website and what doesn't is key to improving your site's performance. A/B or multivariate testing allows you to create different versions of your website - visitors are split into different groups and each sees a different, edited version of your site.
As the visitors interact with your website, you can see which of the versions performs better. You can test which images, headlines, text, colours or layouts work best and then roll the changes out to all visitors.
You can use your web reporting data and test results to justify changes to your website. For instance, if people tend to leave your site during the registration process, you might simplify the registration form, then use web reporting to see what difference this makes.
You can collect web reporting data by installing a web analytics system onto your website. This involves placing a block of computer code onto your site. It can often be done automatically. Google Analytics is a popular, free web reporting tool. Other options include Clicky and CrazyEgg.
Many web analytics packages are free and offer access to extensive information about your website. Be wary of information overload and use your overall business objectives to determine which areas of your site to concentrate on.
A good way to ensure maintenance and updates get done is to establish a regular schedule and delegate the tasks to specific people. For instance, you could perform price changes and add new products on Tuesdays. Set a regular time to check web reporting data too.
You might also be able to automate maintenance to some extent. Content management systems often allow you to set a date for content to expire. You can also keep a list of pages on your website and aim to review each at regular intervals – say once every six months. Many web reporting tools also allow you to deliver key reports automatically by email.
For more information on this topic, see the Resources box on the right.