Why site maintenance is critical for online sales
Every second counts in ecommerce, especially for new users who are visiting your site for the very first time. With such strong competition, the overall performance of your website makes a huge difference to your conversion rate. So website maintenance should be an integral part of your ecommerce strategy.
That includes any updates, optimisation and the overall management of every element of your site. A pretty huge undertaking, right?
By the end of this article, you’ll know the key factors to consider to keep your site in top condition:
- Downtime = down on sales
- Site speed and ranking
- Broken links and plug-ins
- Trust and brand awareness
The dreaded downtime. One moment everything is running smoothly, and the next you’re fielding messages from customers who will want you to tell them just how quickly you can guarantee a resolution to any problems. Not only is this a stressful situation for you and your team, but it’s also hugely frustrating to any savvy shopper.
Instant revenue loss
You’ll lose any sales that were in the process of being completed, so there’s always an instant loss in your revenue.
The longer-term effect
A seemingly small glitch could put users off using your site for a lot longer than the downtime itself. For example, if your site is down for 30 minutes, potentially thousands of prospective customers could write off using your site to complete their purchase in the foreseeable future. Think about it, have you ever made a point to return to a site to buy something, after finding errors or bugs the last time you visited? Most shoppers will skip your site entirely and move on to the next one without a moment's thought.
Of course, customers and revenue are the topline figures that you’ll be eager to address. But there’s more to website maintenance than just ROI.
Site speed impacts ranking
Most SEO algorithms favour site speed, and given that SEO can bring in huge percentages of new users through strong positioning in search engine rankings, it’s worth maintaining a reliable overall site speed.
Improved UX impact on SEO
If you’re consistent in your website maintenance, you’ll probably find ways to reduce friction and slower processes over time. This makes for an improved user experience and a potentially higher SEO ranking.
Checkout speed & bugs
As an ecommerce site, a pivotal page to focus on is your checkout. The entire checkout experience makes all the difference to your conversion rate, but it’s also one of the most vulnerable parts of your site in terms of hacking, bugs or system errors. Through regular website maintenance, you can eliminate these concerns, often well in advance of anything escalating to time-consuming errors.
Core Web Vitals
Finally, if you have errors on your site that haven’t been picked up through maintenance checks, your web vitals score can suffer. A low Core Web Vitals score often harms rank, contributing to decreased brand exposure and conversion rates overall.
A decrease in visitors to your site can become a challenging cycle to get caught up in. A drop-off in users also impacts your search engine rank. You may then be at risk of losing thousands of potential new customers who just won’t get to your site, as it will sit too low in their search results
A broken link on your site is a great example of a tiny error that takes seconds to fix but looks amateur to any user. The same goes for any features of your site that aren’t working. Aside from the frustration of looking unprofessional, it’s impractical too. Broken links prevent accurate monitoring, so your data will be skewed until you resolve these issues.
If your site has performance issues, your brand name could suffer. Users have such high expectations and in ecommerce competition for every service and product imaginable is fierce.
Fix errors to improve trustworthiness
One way to combat this is through consistent website maintenance to prevent any unwanted errors from slipping unnoticed. You can quickly build trust in your brand through a good user experience on your site. Remember, if you are memorable to a customer for being efficient to work with, they are often more likely to return or recommend your site to other users.
Aside from the user experience, a critical part of any ecommerce site is its security. With an increasing number of transactions being completed online, there’s the added concern of increasingly creative and clever scams and cyberattacks.
Put customer minds at ease
You want to create a system and experience that is safe and secure, to put your customers' minds at ease as they make their purchases. The only way to achieve a high level of security is to be thorough and diligent in your site maintenance check-ups.
Be habitual in completing regular tests
Scan for malware and remove anything that looks out of place. Monitor the server and security logs to catch any suspicious activity before anything more serious happens. It’s also far less stressful to manage a site that is overwhelmingly secure, and confident in the knowledge that your customers' details are safe.
In summary on website maintenance
If you don’t have the right expertise already on board, consider investing in a website maintenance service to keep your site up to date. With security, brand trustworthiness and conversion rates on the line, it’s the right choice that will pay you back over time.
Talk to us if that’s something you’d like more help with.
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