For most of the past decade or so, I have been building and managing website for clients globally. Most businesses felt that once their website was online, the need for design and management was basically over. In today’s business world, a website is, arguably, your most important marketing asset, a platform you use to promote your business and its offerings. Although we are now focused on building our Cider Company, I find most websites to be poorly managed.
Some thoughts on how a website should be managed from my 20 years of building them. I built a LOT of websites over a 20 + year period and todays websites are not anything like the ones I worked on. They are all templates now for the most part. For almost 15 years, the websites I built were in HTML.
What Does a Website Manager Do? The content on your site and your peripheral online marketing campaigns can strategically draw targeted traffic to your website, making a significant and measurable contribution to the success and growth of your business. But in order for that to happen, someone has to oversee the site. That person is a website manager.
Today’s Business Website. The web has been growing exponentially. Ten years ago, it wasn’t that difficult to set up a website and then make sure customers could find you online. But with today’s overpopulated Internet, it’s not so easy.
The best marketing strategies require time, attention, and commitment to execute effectively.
It may sound like a hassle but now, in addition to any print, TV, or radio marketing, you also need an entire campaign to market your website. But there are actually numerous benefits to online marketing that traditional media cannot provide:
– Your website can capture statistics, giving you full visibility over your online marketing efforts.
– Space on a website is practically limitless, and it can hold text, images, audio, and video, making it more versatile than any other marketing platform in the world.
– E-commerce means your site can act as a checkout point, a virtual cash register that generates real money.
– Search engine optimization means you can advertise to highly targeted prospective customers (so you get more for your dollar).
The increasing complexity of the web and improvements to website development technology means that an effective website in today’s marketplace requires a considerable investment. It’s not enough to hire a designer, have your site built, and then forget about it. Someone needs to take on the responsibility for managing the website.
Managing a Website. There are no fixed set of duties that a website manager performs. Some spend an hour or two a week managing a site, others work at it full time. Some are solely responsible for the site’s technical functionality and code or content updates while others oversee every aspect of a business’s online marketing campaigns.
The best website managers are someone who is experienced in all aspects of running a successful website and who can work effectively and consistently toward helping you realize your business goals.
For most businesses, taking on the vast duties internally of a website manager is not feasible. As the Internet continues to expand, it’s becoming more complex. Sure, you can log into your website and update the content, but you have to know what type of content your site needs. If something breaks, you need to be savvy enough with code to fix it. And you need to be able to interpret statistical data and make smart decisions about which opportunities are worth investing in. You need to be a web expert or hire a web expert. But not me any longer. I’m done 🙂