For larger websites especially, web maintenance services can be a ho-hum, tedious bunch of tasks There’s dealing with regular script updates, creating backups, monitoring your website’s analytics, updating the content, auditing the website for broken links, and the list goes on.
When you offer website maintenance services to your clients, these should include the following:
- Resolving Web Hosting Issues
- Managing User Access
- Providing Training to the Client’s Team
- Auditing and Reporting of Website Content
- Providing Data Analytics Report
- Managing Website and Data Security
Let’s have a look at what website maintenance services entail, their significance, and the best practices for managing these services effectively.
- What is Website Maintenance?
- Why Agencies Should Offer Website Maintenance Services
- Best Practices for Website Maintenance
- Bonus: How to Sell Website Maintenance Services to Your Clients
What is Website Maintenance?
If you haven’t already guessed it, website maintenance services comprise all those monitoring and maintenance activities that keep your websites relevant and performing well. This performance can be measured by how well the website ranks on search engine results pages (SERP), the relevancy of its web pages, and whether it has significant, sustained traffic.
If you intend to provide website maintenance services to your clients, you’ll be handling the following tasks among others.
- Web Hosting and server monitoring
- Checking all forms are running
- Updating website content to pull traffic and engage with potential/existing customers
- Monitoring the comments
- Finding and fixing broken links
- Creating backups to avoid loss of files
- Updating web application version and relevant plugins
When you handle website maintenance for your clients, you free up their time and resources to focus on business operations and growth. That is the value you’re providing your client. At the same time, you can benefit from offering these services yourself.
Why Agencies Should Offer Website Maintenance Services
Among other benefits, website maintenance services can be a source of recurring revenue from your clients. Here’s the gist of how selling website maintenance services can be beneficial to you.
- They help you generate recurring revenue from existing clients.
- Since managed web hosting is part of a website maintenance package, you can resell hosting for added revenue.
- It helps you boost client retention, as clients find it easier to stay with a single agency that both builds and maintains their website.
Best Practices for Offering Excellent Website Maintenance Services
Between managing existing clients and onboarding new clients, there’s a lot on your team’s plate. So it’s a good idea to follow best practices and standards to save your team some time even as you ensure quality. You can use these best practices as a checklist of sorts.
1. Webpage Performance Optimization
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This consists of making improvements to web pages so users spend a long time on them. Web pages need to be monitored regularly to ensure they load within the 2-second mark; otherwise, the website visitor will likely abandon the webpage for the competitors on the next search result.
You can also improve the user experience of your webpages by installing chatbots to engage with your potential customers. Chatbots help improves page response time and increases the average time on page for visitors.
Tasks pertaining to website optimization may include reducing image size, updating content, and finding workarounds and widgets that can display media without significantly increasing page load time. Webpage load time can also be improved by changing the location of your server to a data center that’s closer to you and your target audience.
2. Improve Website Security
Security is one of the most crucial aspects of maintaining websites. Improve your security measures to ensure hackers are unable to steal sensitive data such as your customers’ personal information.
Here are the website maintenance tasks you need to regularly carry out to ensure security:
- Update Server OS version for the latest security patches and updates
- Update web application version to ensure that the latest vulnerabilities and bugs fixes are installed
- Update CMS plugins so the blocks within the web application are as secure as possible
- Install an SSL certificate so your website is secure and data is encrypted
- Monitor your CMS logins to ensure there have been no unauthorized attempts of logging into your web application
- Create backups of your server files and web application to minimize data loss
- Enable Server and Database IP Whitelisting so only authorized devices can connect to the server
- Install and enable firewalls to prevent hackers from attacking your website
3. Improve Web Page Experience
Improving the user interface and user experience of your clients’ websites by previewing the webpage on multiple devices (mobile, tablet, surface) and different internet browsers. This is critical, as it forms visitors’ first impressions.
4. Consider Using a Managed Hosting Platform
If you’re a creative or design agency working on a website project, this is especially for you.
A managed cloud hosting platform can handle the technicalities of server management and application monitoring. This takes a significant chunk of the workload off your team, giving them time to work on their expertise.
5. Empower Your Team While Scaling Services
While scaling your services, it’s important to designate resources appropriately so you can manage large projects with aplomb.
That’s why it’s necessary to empower your team to make decisions. This delegation of authority will help you grow your team, while you can focus on onboarding new clients. Your team can also use client feedback to improve their services.
6. Provide Regular Detailed Reports
If you’re handling web maintenance tasks, there’s a good chance your agency lacks time to focus on your existing clients and brainstorm new ideas. You engage with your existing clients by providing them with detailed performance reports. These reports comprise of the following details:
- Device Usage – The web traffic grouped by mobile, tablet, and desktop users
- Channels – View website traffic behavior based on organic search, ad clicks, campaigns, and more
- Webpage Stats – Show the top-performing pages based on sessions, average time on page, and bounce rate.
- Keyword Search – The keywords potential customers and visitors search for that will lead them to this webpage.
- Overall Summary – A custom summary based on the above metrics and suggestions of what to work on to improve traffic and increase conversions
Note: You can add pages to the detailed report, including SEO or other services you offer, and give them to your client as part of an upgrade.
Furthermore, your client is likelier to upgrade their payment plan with you if they like the support and business relationship they have with you.
7. Consultation Sessions
Schedule designated days for feedback sessions with your clients. To truly take advantage of this, it’s critical to have your agency’s internal teams aligned for streamlined communication.
The real benefit here is that you can offer consultation to your client and help them align their website to better fit their business goals. Furthermore, problematic areas can be identified and fixes can be discussed, which helps plan out upcoming tasks.
Bonus: How to Sell Website Maintenance Services to Your Clients
If you weren’t already selling website maintenance services to your clie3+nts before, and now want to do so, we have you covered. Here are some techniques you can use to convince your clients to purchase website maintenance services from you.
1. Offer Discounts and Promotions to Existing Clients
Existing clients mature with your agency, and you’ll want to appreciate them for their loyalty. One way of doing this is by offering them discounts and promotions on website maintenance services as a thank-you for being loyal customers.
2. Trial Speaks Louder
Instead of upselling your services to new clients, give them a month’s free website maintenance services. This will help them better understand the convenience these services provide.
One effective way to sell website maintenance services is by giving new clients a support team and adding the trial as part of that service. That’s a better hook than selling after-sales support services and website maintenance as separate entities.
3. Educate, Don’t Just Sell
Most agencies have trouble selling web maintenance to small business owners, mainly because they’re trying to cut costs and this service appears to be an added expense. However, if positioned correctly, these services would attract small scale business owners as well.
In order to do so, you’ll have to prepare your client and tell them to opt for a monthly support service. You can provide them with a month of free post-launch website analysis, tell them to upgrade after that. After that, you can upsell services like monthly SEO analysis, consultancy, and more.
Hence, it’s important to show what website maintenance is all about before going in for closure. For a design agency, there are plenty of ways to upsell their services to their clients.
In a Nutshell
Those were the basics of best practices of website maintenance service management.
You’ve learned about offering these services as part of your packages, as well as some of the neat tricks of the trade. I’ve also covered the opportunity cost of running website maintenance yourself and how you can nurture your relationships with your clients and ultimately improve their retention rate.
If you think I’ve missed out on any essential pointers on web maintenance, what it comprises, and its benefits – be sure to share your two-cents in the comments section below. I’d be happy to get back to you and start a discussion!