We don’t believe in a launch and leave approach – it’s not good for your website or your business. Building a new website is a costly undertaking, and time consuming too. Failing to consistently update and improve it will quickly lead to an outdated site that is more expensive in the long term.
Making continuous improvements to your website ensures you get greater value from your investment and it’s an approach we advise businesses to take.
In this blog, we cover why continuous improvement is the best approach for your website and how an annual audit and retainer plan can help put this into action.
Why is a continuous improvement approach best for your website?
We’re huge advocates of continuous improvement for many reasons including:
- Support of your goals: As your business evolves, so too does the needs of your audience and, subsequently, your goals. Your website needs to evolve in line with these considerations so it can continue to support your business.
- Avoid a costly rebuild: This approach helps to avoid a costly rebuild earlier than required. By constantly staying in touch with the state of your website, it also gives you the ability to efficiently plan and prioritise future work.
- Maximise your investment: An iterative improvement approach empowers you to get the maximum lifespan from your site before a redesign or rebuild needs to be considered. By maximising your investment, you’re essentially reducing you total cost of ownership and able to make the most out of the budget you have available.
- Stay on top of technology: Due to continuous technology advancements, no website is static and no technology a site is built on is static. Everything from the code language to design practices to how the site talks to your CMS is constantly being updated so your website needs to move in line with these changes.
- Ensure optimum performance: Continuously reviewing your website allows you to regularly check for faults, ensuring optimum performance. Doing so means your business won’t be let down by sub-par website performance such as decreasing site speed or a poor user experience.
While each of these points provides significant benefits to your business, it’s important to consider how to put an iterative improvements approach into action for your website.
How can an annual website audit help?
Your website is a living, breathing business asset and it requires ongoing maintenance for optimum performance.
An annual website audit is important to achieving this and should be offered within your agency’s support services. No matter how old or new your site, we recommend undertaking an audit every year – we’ve appropriately named our auditing service a Website MOT.
Taking a deep dive into your website’s code, content, functionality, integrations, user experience and site performance, an audit ensures everything is working as efficiently and effectively as possible. This provides valuable insight to further improve site usability, engagement and conversions.
What’s involved in our Website MOT?
Designed to save you money in the long run by extending the lifespan of your website, here’s what you can expect from our Website MOT:
- Technical site audit: To really understand how a site is built, we undertake a site audit at the start of any project – this is particularly important when taking over a website from another agency. A full technical code audit will identify security flaws, performance issues, spot where best practice has changed and identify opportunities and threats for future development. Our technical audit produces a prioritised recommendation document detailing our findings.
- Front-end code audit: A front-end code audit looks to identify where the front-end code of your site can be improved by considering best practice, quality of existing code, security and performance. Similar to the technical site audit, the front-end code audit includes analysis and reporting which is completed by one of our UI developers.
- Site performance: Performance issues could be why you’re experiencing an increase in bounce rates or a decrease in engagement. These can vary from delays to rendering your site completely unresponsive. With a poor site performance comes a low level of usability which can have a significant impact on meeting your site goals.
- Google Analytics audit: Google Analytics is the gateway to understanding how your website is performing. It’s therefore important to ensure the data being reported is accurate. Our audit reviews your account in depth to identify misattribution, ensure key data is being correctly tracked and discover potential issues with your account settings.
- Content audit: Content is the foundation of any website. It communicates with your audience regarding who you are and what you do. But it can date extremely fast. Google Analytics can provide insight into your content performance including where there may be gaps, outdated links or updates required.
- UX audit: As your website continues to develop, pain points in your UX can begin to emerge. A review of your current user experience allows us to uncover why page conversions are low, bounce rates are high and how to enhance site usability. These insights can then be used to determine where informed recommendations can be made.
- Site responsiveness: Do you know what device the majority of your users browse on? Every device your website is viewed on has a different sets of rules for elements such as interactions, text and button sizes – all of which can affect a user’s browsing experience. Our audit considers these factors to identify the most common device users are accessing your site from to make small changes that create a consistent browsing experience for all.
Issues with functionality and usability can easily be overlooked on your own website which is what an annual audit aims to resolve. If you want to find out more about our Website MOT service, take a read of our blog or contact us.
Supporting your website’s continuous improvement with a retainer plan
Web development agencies can and should offer support and ongoing value for your business. One way this is done is through a retainer.
A retainer plan enables you to work collaboratively with your web agency to prioritise work and implement continuous improvements. Whether that’s UX changes, new features and functionality, fixes, upgrades or new performance measures, retainers are an effective method to consistently stay on top of your website.
Our retainer plans typically include:
- Allocated hours or days in the production schedule for work to be completed, allowing for full timescale visibility and prioritisation.
- The support of an account manager to plan and maintain development and design tasks in a shared system alongside regular planning calls to determine the work that needs to be carried out in the next production slot.
These retainer models usually cover ‘sprints’ that follow calendar months, allowing you to control your investment in your website and channel budget towards activities that provide the greatest return.
An approach that works extremely well for many of our clients, we support the likes of Ryobi, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Institute of Structural Engineers, Newcastle Building Society, Peabody and Hodder Education with dedicated retainer plans.
Launching your website is just the start of our partnership with any business. We’re dedicated and on-hand to help you maintain, evolve and improve your offering past go-live. For more information on our services and how we can help you get more from your website, get in touch to discuss your business needs with us today.
What our clients say about us…
“We have partnered with NetConstruct for six years and they have been fundamental in growing our online presence across Europe. They have made fantastic developments to website performance and we are currently implementing features of the Kentico EMS platform so that Ryobi can utilise its sophisticated marketing tools such as marketing automation and content personalisation to deliver custom experiences to the users. The team is a joy to work with and is always prepared to go the extra mile.”
Joe Wicks, Digital Marketing Manager, Ryobi