In 2020 a poll found that the average person spends a whopping 34 years of their life looking at some form of device screen. In the same time, the prevalence of teenagers who need glasses has also doubled. How strange…
From TV’s to laptops and phones, there’s usually more than one device fighting for your attention and taking time out of your busy day, running your business.
Now unlike us, most normal people prefer watching their favourite show or scrolling social media. Not going down rabbit holes in Google Analytics, adding new blog content and analysing traffic data. Even if this is the case, keeping on top of your website is an increasingly important task when trying to drive business growth in a challenging environment.
Your website shouldn’t be adding hours and hours to your working life but rather the complete opposite. Your website should be working hard for you, helping to drive sales and enquiries and being easy to manage and update ongoing too.
What is a website content management system?
Back in ancient internet history, around 19 years ago, websites were built from static HTML and other web development codes to manually create the pages associated with your website. This code was then directly uploaded to your server and then by magic your website was born.
More recently, most websites are now built around a Content Management System (CMS) which allows users who don’t know how to code to edit content quickly and easily within their website’s pages (like text and images). Users can now even add new pages to their sites, for example self-publishing new blogs to your company website.
The most common CMS online is a platform called WordPress. In 2022 it was estimated that over 455 million sites run via the WordPress platform. Given it’s open-source, web developers across the world are able to work with this and customise it, in order to suit the design and functionality needs of their clients.
We like to think of WordPress a bit like spaghetti bolognaise. No chef owns it, but we’ve all got a recipe that we think is worthy of the al carte menu!
Effective content management for your business blogs & articles
WordPress allows you to effectively manage your website as it removes the need for a developer in order to make the day to day changes around your site, such as updating written content and images.
Users are also able to publish new blogs and articles direct on their website, which is an important part of your ongoing search engine optimisation strategy. Your blog content can also be scheduled in advance, meaning that this can be planned out ready and then automatically published throughout the month – corresponding with offline events or wider business updates.
WordPress is also extremely flexible, allowing developers to create ‘Custom Post Types’ which enable clients to automatically publish tailored content about their products or services. For example, we have an artificial grass client who uses custom post types to easily update their customer case studies with detailed information like product/grass type, area, and the size of the project. You can see an example in action here.
Finally, because so many people use WordPress there is a vast range of how to video guides and forum comments available online to read or watch at your own pace. It’s also even possible to build user guidance directly into the admin section WordPress, so if you’re struggling mid edit you can also review your support documentation.
The problem with WordPress is…
At this point you might be thinking ‘Well, this all sounds too good to be true!?’. And if you ask any WordPress developer, they’ll probably tell you it is.
This is because if you don’t take the right approach to your overall development or recipe then you can encounter problems which can result in site downtime or issues with how it should work. These include:
Using dodgy WordPress themes – Not all themes are bad, but some of them certainly are! A WordPress theme is almost like the front-end section of your website, allowing you to cost effectively customise layouts and designs. They usually include a wide range of pre-built settings, but if not correctly developed and configured then they can result in a buggy site. One which takes a lot of time and effort to get working correctly.
Slow page load times – Although WordPress works well out of the box, as you add more elements to this such as system extensions called ‘plugins’ and elements like page images, the overall load speed can slow down. In turn, this has a negative impact on your Google rankings. A good developer can ensure your site remains quick to load, regardless of the functionality you require.
Critical errors caused by plugins – The more plugins you add to your site, the greater the risks of them causing a conflict and bringing your site down. A good developer will use a blend of plugins and custom code to minimise the risks of your site crashing, without adding unnecessary development costs to your project.
Security risks – If you don’t keep your WordPress system updated then you increase the risks of your website being hacked. Given the number of WordPress sites out there, hackers spend time focusing on how to crack WordPress – however this can be mitigated by frequently processing updates.
All of these minor drawbacks can be addressed during your website build, providing your web agency takes the right approach to project delivery and follows best practices. This allows you to then self-manage your site ongoing easily too.
Who’s your best salesperson? Your website!
Your website doesn’t sleep, take holidays, or have one too many on the weekend leading to a poor performance on Monday morning! It’s a 24/7 window into your business ethos and as such should be a major driver for online enquiries to support your wider sales tactics too.
To ensure your website performs well in the search engines there are some considerations which need to be factored into your initial web build, along with effectively creating new content over time to grow your range of keyword rankings and the associated traffic.
When building your site, you need to remember some technical factors which will maximise your chances of developing Google rankings:
- Easy to edit page titles & meta descriptions for all pages
- Automated sitemaps & robots.txt files as users create new site pages
- Image compression applied on image upload, as it’s not automatic in WordPress
- Page caching to further improve page load speeds
- Google Analytics tracking to measure all traffic
Once your website is built, the aim of the game is to make sure it’s a streamlined process to add new pages and content to your website’s blog section. Blogging is a critical part of your overall SEO strategy, given that Google directly measures the amount of content being added in site and assesses their rankings accordingly. More up to date, relevant content – the higher your chances of your website ranking for relevant keywords.
It is important that your blog content is focussed on the questions that your customers are asking Google. Therefore, users need a quick an easy interface to create content directly aimed at addressing these questions though blog articles, FAQ’s, how to guides and even video content which can be easily embedded.
What should I do if my website is giving me nightmares?
Because website technology updates so quickly, most businesses have some element of their website which can usually be reviewed to improve how effectively you manage your content and the enquiries this generates online. However, if this is keeping you up at night you might want to ask yourself some key questions:
- Does your current web content reflect your latest business services?
- If not, can you update it quickly and easily?
- Can you specifically edit the content for the mobile version of your website?
- Can I update up blog without talking to my web developers?
- Does my website frequently have bugs or errors my agency needs to fix?
If yes, then it’s probably worth booking a free website consultation call to learn more about the ways this can be improved – for easy management and the growth of your business!