Field of Dreams gave us the famous platitude that “if you build it, they will come”.
That may be sound advice if you are Kevin Costner and are considering building a baseball pitch, but it has always been terrible marketing advice. When it comes to websites, “build it and they will come” strays into the realm of disaster.
Building a vibrant, successful site entails far more than just building the site itself. To ensure your website is a success, you need to commit to maintaining it and ensuring it is always working optimally. If you want people to visit, and keep on coming back, this ongoing upkeep is essential.
One helpful framework is to think of the different elements of that upkeep as a toolkit, and one of the most important weapons in your maintenance arsenal is web monitoring. Web monitoring may sound fancy and technical, but in reality, it just means keeping a careful eye on your website for glitches and troubleshooting problems before they happen. A little investment can pay big dividends, for five key reasons:
Problems with your site are a sure fire way to alienate your audience
Research from Akamai finds that 69% of tablet users expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less. Research conducted by Google in 2016 also found that 53% of those using mobile to visit a site will leave a webpage if it doesn’t load within three seconds.
Imagine you were visiting a new site for the first time and didn’t know what to expect. Would you sit through a long wait or move on to the next thing? If we’re being honest, probably the latter.
A fast website will have the opposite effect
Just as a slow website can damage your ability to reach new users and form a bond with them, a fast website is a vital ingredient in getting first-time visitors to become regulars. The same Google report found that sites that loaded in five seconds enjoyed 25% higher advert views, 70% longer average sessions and 35% lower bounce rates compared to those that took 19 seconds to load.
That being said, if your site takes 19 seconds to load, you should really get in touch with us.
Slow isn’t just annoying. It will cost you spots in the page rankings.
If your website isn’t working properly, you may as well send your finely tuned SEO strategy straight into the garbage bin. Google has been penalizing slow-to-load websites since 2010. As of last year, this includes sites on mobile too.
Web monitoring can help find the glitches that might otherwise go under the radar
Building a website is an iterative process. The more complex the site, the greater the risk of broken links and other errors creeping in. Web monitoring can help avoid these by monitoring a range of multi-step transactions in order to identify any issues before your website’s visitors have to go through an unpleasant user experience.
It can also help prevent the ultimate catastrophe: downtime
Even with the best will in the world, websites will still sometimes experience downtime. However, with a good web monitoring service, you can not only greatly reduce the chances of it happening, you can also ensure that you – and not your site’s visitors – will be the first to know about it.
(Featured image: Katie Taylor/flickr)