There may be nothing worse than a company website frozen in time.
If we’re talking about literal loading time, a slow-moving website can have disastrous effects on bounce and conversion rates. According to Kissmetrics, 47% of consumers expect a page to load in two seconds or less, while 40% will abandon an unloaded website after just three seconds. And even a one-second delay in loading a page will lessen its conversion rate by 7%.
But if we’re talking figuratively, being frozen in time—perhaps it’s been two years since you’ve updated your site—causes your entire marketing process to languish. Outdated messaging, visuals, UX standards, and code can stymie your entire brand, making it that much more challenging to keep customers engaged long enough to convert them.
We’ve evolved beyond the point of IT departments coordinating site updates on their own. In this day and age, you need to combine marketing with web teams to streamline web content and the digital experience. At Pantheon, we call it website operations, or WebOps.
Your website is your biggest marketing tool—your ads, social media posts, email campaigns, and more are driving people to your website—so your marketing team should play a key role in how it looks and the message it conveys.
WebOps is a set of practices that facilitates collaboration and automates processes to improve the productivity of the entire web team from developers and designers to content editors, stakeholders, and more.
Born out of agile principles, WebOps encourages teams to use solutions that automate complex tasks such as deployments, backups, and regression tests. With these tasks automated, cross-functional teams have the freedom to create quick iterations and make data-driven decisions that keep the website fresh while driving conversions.
Here’s how those different disciplines fit together in a WebOps model:
Developers will participate in strategic discussions that help them understand the game plan and business value.
Designers will understand the rationale for all visual changes so they can advise on what modifications could be made to meet the business objectives.
Marketers will learn website design and development basics so they can understand how websites can generate results; they’ll also have a better grasp of the feasibility of any website changes they’d like to make.
Research indicates that agile-driven projects are twice as likely to succeed as projects guided by traditional waterfall approaches. This means WebOps not only lets you revise your website more often, but it also allows you to complete tasks at a lower cost and with less risk.
Interested in improving your WebOps?
Streamlining website projects—whether that’s a specific feature or new website content—enhances how visitors engage with the content, which hopefully leads to increased time on your site and more meaningful interactions with your brand.
Here are three ways a WebOps-driven website improves the customer experience:
1. Collects Multiple Perspectives
A WebOps approach integrates the marketer’s understanding of user engagement with the designer’s visual and UX expertise. In a waterfall approach, a designer might be tasked with redoing a page without knowing what inspired that change.
In WebOps, marketers, developers, and designers work together to test different approaches. They eventually produce a page that engages users and steers them toward an overarching KPI or North Star metric like website conversions.
2. Allows Marketers to Tailor Content Quickly
Content is the central focus of your marketing campaign. It’s what search engines use to direct users to your site, and what addresses your target audience as their needs evolve. It’s also how you develop relationships that end with sales, donations, registrations, or whatever your company’s goal might be.
With WebOps, marketers can update content in real-time. With developers and designers in the fold, marketers no longer need to wait for something to publish—and fear that a page won’t work correctly when it goes live. WebOps lets companies make on-the-fly adjustments to keep content relevant to their target audiences.
3. Tests and Updates the Website Without Disruption
The more hypotheses you test and iterations you run in an experimentation environment, the more data you’ll collect to inform your decisions. This information will allow you to optimize for success.
When we redesigned our website, we used the agile framework and Multidev environments to update different aspects of our site concurrently. By using a workflow with development, test, and live environments during our redesign, we avoided expensive interruptions that might disengage live users on our site.
WebOps takes a holistic view of how your website should function on multiple fronts. Use it to bring your website up to date (and keep it there). For more information on how WebOps improves customer experience, download a copy of our e-book “How to Kill the Website Relaunch.”