If the web is important for your business, and it's 99% likely it is, you should outsource website management. Website management is one of those services that means something different to every client. Ultimately, however you define it, website management involves outsourcing some aspect of the day to day running of your website to specialists to take it off your plate.
of Website Management
Although it's often rolled up in a hosting package, there is much more to website management than just renting space on a server. The other aspects of managing a website are the important ones, the ones that stop your website from falling over or getting hacked. A typical service would include most of the following:
Uptime monitoring means that your agency would get notified if your website went down and take immediate action to restore it. In most cases, if one of our client sites goes down, we have it back up before they even notice. On the other hand, we have seen websites on other servers go down and stay down for a considerable length of time, which clearly is not ideal.
Software Security Updates
It's extremely important that whoever manages your website takes security updates seriously. They are the first line of defence, stopping hackers from doing their dirty work. When a CMS (WordPress, Joomla etc.) issues a security update, you want to know that it is going to be implemented promptly.
You know that time when you made loads of changes to a page on your website, then realised it was the wrong page...after you had put it live. That. Or the time when you pressed delete instead of saving. Accidents happen; we've all been there, but before you get your coat, give your website management company a call and ask them to restore the latest backup. If you are really lucky, nobody else will even notice!
Even with the best planning in the world, the unexpected happens. For example, you might need to change your pricing or remove an employee from your team page, and you don't have anyone available in-house to do it. Check your website management contract - you may have minor content updates included and a team of experts ready to help you out.
As Google places more emphasis on Core Web Vitals, the speed of your website will affect your visibility. Having experts keep an eye on your website's speed and making the necessary tweaks will help your site show up and keep visitors engaged because they don't have to hang about to see what they need.
That leads us to the more marketing-related type of website management.
Outsourced website management can also have a broader remit, which is basically managing any aspect of your website, to help your business get more customers.
News and Case Studies
Keeping your website up to date with your latest company news shows the world that you are active and shows google that you are adding content to your website. Case studies are a great way to reassure potential customers that you have the capabilities they are looking for and give them lots of ideas for how you can help them. Getting these added to your website while they are topical rather than putting them at the bottom of a to-do list and waiting for someone in-house to find the time is definitely worthwhile.
Most of us know that we should be blogging. It is a great way of creating awareness, by answering the questions that your potential customers are asking (if you don't believe me, read They Ask You Answer and come back later!). However, deciding what to write about involves researching what people are searching for, planning your priorities and then tackling that blank screen to get the words written. With the best will in the world, it's probably never going to happen, unless you outsource it to a marketing agency with the right sort of expertise.
If there is one thing that you MUST leave to the experts, it is design. Seriously, don't even try! If you want any design changes for your website, call your agency. That way you make sure that the changes enhance your website rather than ruining it.
Adding new pages or new features may be possible to do in house if you have a Content Management System (CMS) that is set up to let you make changes. However, for more complex tasks, it is so much quicker to ask a developer. They will probably do in one day what would take you a couple of weeks. Money well spent!
Creating video is dead easy - all you need is a smart phone. However, if you want to make it look polished and professional, getting your raw footage edited by an expert makes all the difference.
Those are the main services involved in website management, although once you hire a decent digital marketing agency to help you, you might also ask them to get involved in your strategy, your SEO or your PPC advertising as part of your overall aim to grow your business.
So why else should you outsource your website management?
Looking at the lists above - do you have the time to carry out all these tasks? And if you do, how long will it take you and how stressed will it make you? Wouldn't you rather pay an agency to do it for you and get it done promptly and efficiently?
Having a team on call means that the important things get done when they need to get done. That's what your agency is there for. You know yourself that client work comes first and working on your business, including updating your website, and looking after your marketing gets left to last. How many people suddenly start thinking about marketing on a Friday afternoon? Surely one of your main business assets, the one that brings in business, deserves better? Your agency will schedule your work in and make sure that the priorities (like software updates and time sensitive content) get looked after when they need to.
To look after all these website management tasks you'd need to hire a whole marketing team, including writers, developers, designers and video producers. That's not going to be cheap, especially at the moment when good marketers are in high demand and able to name their price. Using a digital marketing agency gives you access to a whole team for the price of one person.
By outsourcing your website management you have access to experts in their field. These are people who live and breathe online marketing, day in, day out. They will be attending training courses, taking certification exams and keeping their knowledge up to date. They are working on several different projects at once, and rolling out what they have learned across all their clients' work.
If you know that your website is being well looked after, it frees up space in your mind and lets you focus on the things that you are good at, it's the most compelling reason to outsource website management. The end result is a dream team - you working on your business and your agency keeping your website in peak condition.