So you’re building a new website. That’s great! Your business is tapping into a larger customer base and joining the rest of the world online. Maybe you’re still finalizing a few things. Maybe you’re trying to decide if it’s really worth paying for all the recommended services that come with maintaining a website professionally…you can probably handle that yourself, after all. Blog management? Can’t be too hard to turn out an update every month or so. Site updates? You don’t plan on changing things too often. Social media? You’ve definitely got that covered. So managing your own small business website doesn’t sound too bad.
We won’t argue that it’s possible to handle it all yourself…and if you’re willing to put the time and research into doing it well, you can make some inroads. But where most business owners go wrong is underestimating the sheer time commitment involved in taking it all on yourself. In addition to the time that goes into doing the actual work, you’ll invest countless hours researching digital marketing best practices and how to grow your website right.
Here are the most common pitfalls of managing your own small business website:
Where most business owners go wrong is underestimating the sheer time commitment involved in taking it all on yourself.
1 | You don’t update often enough. Or at all.
Keeping your site current isn’t just about adding new gallery photos and updating text every few months. If you want to stay relevant, search engines like Google want to see current content that updates regularly. These are the basics you should be contributing at minimum biweekly, but preferably every week if you want to keep your small business website relevant:
Photo gallery updates:
Your biggest selling point to customers is high quality photos of the work you do. Whether these are product photos, completed jobs, or before and afters, having current photos makes all the difference. If your business sells intangible products like tax prep or legal services, then quality content becomes even more essential.
Remember the good ol’ days of churning out 500+ word essays for class? Welcome back. Having a blog on your site has so many benefits in terms of SEO and lead generation, you can hardly afford not to have one. But churning out content takes time, even if it’s a subject you know well. Researching high-performing keywords, researching relevant info, and composing a readable article can take hours, so if you’re not building in time for writing, your blog will suffer.
Technology is always evolving, and internet browsers are no different. You can’t control which browsers your customers are using to access your site, so it’s essential your website works on all of them. As often as these updates occur, you may run into the occasional issue that interferes with user experience on your website. So you should regularly check out how your small business website looks on multiple up-to-date browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, etc) to ensure everything is working as intended.
2 | Your website crashes unexpectedly.
The other half of website maintenance is on the backend, behind the scenes. Unless you have extensive experience in web design, you’re likely building your website through builders like WordPress, or Squarespace. While there’s no doubt they make it easy to build a small business website, their software is constantly updating and releasing new versions too. This means at some point, your site will need some technical updates to keep up with the changes.
If you aren’t monitoring your site regularly and updating as these changes come along, your site can crash. Downtime is a huge setback in terms of visibility and lost opportunities. Depending on the extent of the updates needed, you could need some serious technical chops to get it up and running again.
3 | You run out of ideas.
So maybe you manage to blog weekly for a good month or so. Maybe you’re posting away on social media promoting your services and latest projects. But sooner or later, your creative well runs dry. It doesn’t seem worth it to drag the internet again for new keywords, or check out your competitors’ articles for the umpteenth time.
It happens to everyone, even full-time creatives who create content for a living. If you don’t have a strategy in place for pushing through the wall and getting it done anyway, you’ll lose your main source of SEO and attracting visitors to your website, and business will dip.
4 | You stop being social.
Sharing blog posts across Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook draws a surprising amount of activity to your business. People engage with content they connect with and benefit from. If your blog posts trickle off, your social activity will too. Fewer likes and fewer followers means a shrinking audience across all online presences. This makes it harder to reach a relevant audience when you finally do get around to promoting new content, and your network will be difficult to recover.
5 | Your web traffic declines.
There’s a reason content is king online. In addition to showing current activity, keywords are the primary benefit of regularly updating content. Every new blog you post means a new keyword to get traffic to your site (and therefore to your business). We’ve written in depth on how blogs contribute to Search Engine Optimization, so supplement your research with some tips on how to target keywords effectively in blogging. Many business owners assume that just having their small business website live is enough to help people find you. But it’s a lot more complex than that, and it’s worth doing a deep dive into what factors drive online traffic to your site.
So is it really worth your time?
That’s ultimately up to you. It depends on your level of tech-savviness and your confidence in your web management skills. It depends on the number of hours you’re personally able to commit to these tasks every week on top of your other commitments to your business. And it depends on whether you’re willing to spend those hours yourself, or would rather pay a professional to handle it in your stead.
If you enjoy content generation and consider it all part of the journey for your business, you can certainly make it work. Formulate a consistent marketing plan, and work out a rigorous posting schedule you can follow to set yourself up for success.
But if you’re like the vast majority of business owners we encounter, you’ll likely find the time investment costs more than what you’d save attempting to do it all yourself. Professional marketing companies are capable of doing all of this, often for less than it would cost to hire one new employee. You’ll be assured of consistent, high quality updates, and they have the technical experience to handle maintenance and updates on your small business website.
So best of luck in growing your new website! And if you are curious to compare the value of your time to the cost of professional web management, you can get a free quote from us today.
That’s it for this week’s Red Arrow Blog. If you found these resources useful, let us know below! And be sure to follow our social media for weekly articles to help you make the most of your business.