After months of meetings, design tweaks, and content reviews, your company’s spectacular new site has gone live. Hooray. Now everyone can go back to the other 2,452 things on their to-do lists, right?
Well, not quite. But hey, give everyone a week off from thinking about it. Heck, give them two. Knock yourself out! But then, promise me that you’ll come back to it and put website ROI on your list of marketing priorities—it is a key tool in the B2B buying process.
At the most basic level, managing a B2B website is a lot like owning a car: bad things happen when it’s not maintained.
Hackers Love You
For starters, you’ll start getting love from unwanted sources.
Hackers love unmonitored sites. Lack of oversight gives them time to do whatever nefarious things they please. Brute force attacks, XSS attacks, even the dreaded SQL injection, all of which allow them to steal personal and financial information from you and your customers, as well as redirect visitors to malicious sites.
Skilled hackers can reduce your site to smoking rubble while you enjoy your morning latte in blithe ignorance. And the longer you neglect your site, the more damage they can do.
And if you’ve been hacked, Google will know. Anyone trying to get to your site will get the dreaded “This Site May Be Hacked” warning, which, as you can imagine, will not give visitors the warm-fuzzies. Even if you’ve addressed the hack and secured your site, Google may penalize your company’s website and might not remove the warning for some time. So your healthy site will still be in a “visitor quarantine” of sorts.
Search Engines Ignore You
Or, even worse, they’ll blacklist you.
Sadly, risk of a catastrophic hack isn’t the only reason you should be actively managing your site. Without regular refreshing, you’ll drop in search results ranking. You may have been lucky enough to show up on page one at first, but stale content will exile you to the no-man’s-land of page two…or worse.
Even if your website marketing partner has used every SEO trick in the book, a static, unchanging, and unused website will tank your search rankings. Those crawlers and bots are reviewing your site regularly, and if you don’t give them some juicy new content on a regular basis, they’ll demote you. And keep on demoting you until potential customers can’t find you. (Think it doesn’t matter? 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, and 47% of people click on one of the first three listings.)
Clearly, the risks are huge. But your motivation for keeping the company’s website updated, healthy, and fresh shouldn’t just be, “avoid total annihilation.” And, fortunately, there are loads of beneficial, positive, hearts-and-flowers reasons to tend your site regularly.
Humans: Right this way, please
First and foremost, a well-managed site creates a better experience for visitors. Regular content updates can be used to engage customers, share useful information, and highlight success stories. Rotating content also hooks visitors into wanting to come back to your site to see what’s new.
Keeping an eye on site health also allows you to see which pages have a high bounce rate, and update them with even more useful information. Visitor-free and exit pages are dead weight, and won’t help you create an overall experience that drives conversion, or high search engine rankings. Refresh them, or cut them loose.
- once your page loads, users form an opinion in .05 seconds.
- 75% of people judge a company’s credibility based on its website design.
- content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing and generates more than 3X as many leads.
- a whopping 80% of business decision-makers would rather get company information from a series of articles than an advertisement.
In the end, managing your business website will result in more visibility. This means that search engines will reward you with better positioning, and that makes it easier for customers to find and start a relationship with your company—which is why you built your website in the first place!