It wasn’t that long ago that web design companies offered a “website maintenance” package to clients to have some recurring revenues from existing customers. Many of these monitoring services promised website uptime performance monitoring, “hit reports” and “uptime monitoring”. More often than not, clients quickly realized that these services seldom delivered any value and ended up feeling cheated and disgruntled.
The online medium and the role websites play has dramatically changed to where a company’s website can be deciding factor in business decisions. It can build or ruin a company’s reputation. It’s no longer an online version of a business card – websites today are virtual offices and companies need their websites to do the job of marketing their business online, generating leads and more.
While design, content, SEO and other online marketing channels are important, companies are now revisiting the definition and value of “website monitoring”. Here’s a look at what a meaningful website monitoring service should deliver – and its importance to businesses.
Value of Website Uptime Monitoring
Imagine someone clicking on a Google search result where your own website features, or someone clicking on a link to your website, or even a person who has your business card and decided to check your website out. Now imagine the impression this person would have about your website and business if the site is down and refuses to load. Your website can form a perception about how your business is run.
Like visitors, search engines do not favor websites that frequently face outages. If your site isn’t up 99.9% of the time, search engines will determine that your website isn’t reliable enough and you will start slipping in search engines as well.
Website Performance Monitoring
We live in an era of mobile web access where patience is rapidly diminishing. If your website doesn’t load quickly on the slowest of connections, your visitor is more than likely to lose patience and never return. Search engines recognize this too and are rewarding fast websites by pushing them up the search engine rankings.
The performance of a website is affected by two things:
- The server configuration, settings and speed
- Your website design and the way your website is coded
As part of your website’s performance analysis, you need to monitor page load time, server speed and take steps to ensure that your website is running as fast as it possibly can.
Where are the visitors to your website coming from? Are there any trends and patterns in your website traffic that could provide marketing insights? Can these statistics help you improve your website? Yes – and traffic monitoring can do even more:
- If a large percentage of your visitors come from a certain country or region, it can pave the way for business expansion into new markets
- If considerable number of visitors come from social sites, then that can determine your marketing efforts in maximizing the traffic potential from social media
- Which specific sites send you visitors can provide insights into potential alliances
- What pages your visitors go to, where they leave the website, how much time they spend on your site can all help you fine tune your site to maximize leads and inquiries
- If a certain term or phrase is driving visitors to your site from search engines – and you rank on page 2 for that term – a little refinement can significantly push up traffic to your website from that term
What terms is your website ranking for? Are they relevant to your business? What kind of content should you add to your website? All these decisions and more can be helped by web analytics if you monitor your website traffic and ranking.
When you add content to your site by way of blog posts, articles, new sections or services, how do you know that the content is performing? Content monitoring is a constant analysis of your website content – what needs changed, what needs to be added, what needs to be removed and so on.
Website Monitoring Services
All of the above and more are fast emerging as “needs” and not just “good to know” statistics. Website monitoring is no longer the meaningless “maintenance” service many companies used to offer. Flying Cow Design offers standard and custom website monitoring services to our customers.
- A standard monthly monitoring report covers factors like site up time, average page load time, time on site, bounce rate, number of pages indexed in search engines, number of links from other websites, rankings of your site for a pre-defined set of keywords and more
- A custom website monitoring report can include the business metrics that matter most to you and can either be a modification of the standard report or a report based on your monitoring templates and needs
If you need your website to constantly do better, you can no longer ignore the value of true website monitoring services. Contact us to know more about our website monitoring services and how they can make a difference to your business.
CEO, Flying Cow Design
Attended University of Auckland
Lives in San Francisco Bay Area