What is a way to convince clients to get monthly maintenance plans for their websites?
Website maintenance plans are awesome, both for you as a webmaster and for a business.
They’re basically like insurance for your website. You insure something valuable, like your car, in case anything goes wrong. A website is valuable and needs to be protected. And, like your car, websites need maintenance. They don’t run on oil, but they do run on software that needs refreshing, and that’s where you, the webmaster, comes in!
To answer that question, consider this: what could happen if you neglect the maintenance on your car? Just skip your oil changes? Well, you could find yourself on the side of the road somewhere. The car won’t start, and the hassle of getting it towed is far greater than the hassle of a quick oil change.
Maintenance is necessary, and what else is necessary? Auto insurance! How would you feel if you bought a $20,000 car… and totaled it a week later? Aside from the trauma of the accident, would you sleep a little better if you had full coverage and knew you would be reimbursed? Yes, insurance gives you peace of mind, and website maintenance plans give businesses owners peace of mind knowing their website will remain live and continue to generate leads.
In order to convince clients to get monthly maintenance plans, educate them on what could potentially happen if a business refuses to have their website maintained. Here’s 6 ideas:
- The site could get hacked. Broken into. Data stolen. Content altered.
- Poor hosting. Cheap hosting can lead to all sorts of problems, including, but certainly not limited to, a slow website.
- All content changes, even minor ones, are billed at an hourly rate, rather than included for free if you’re on a maintenance plan. So not being on a maintenance plan could get expensive.
- Without a dedicated webmaster, the website isn’t strategically directed to improve over time with fresh content. It could become dull and outdated after a few years.
- Backups. Without a reliable backup, your site could be wiped clean, gone forever, and you’ll have to start from scratch. Imagine the time and expense that would take!
- If a business owner updates their own website, one wrong move and the site could throw out an error message. That one error could take hours to troubleshoot, but minutes in the hands of a skilled webmaster.
There are plenty of other things that could go wrong without a maintenance plan, but those are some of the major ones. It is 100% accurate to say a website maintenance plan is a wise investment and in the best interest of a business.
What services do your clients receive on your website maintenance plan? Here are 16 compelling benefits to a website maintenance plan:
- Domain Registration — Every website needs a domain name. You can register, setup, manage, and renew your client’s domain name. Most individuals don’t know about DNS settings, MX records, WHOIS registration, etc., but as a webmaster, you do! That’s why you’re best suited to handle their precious domain.
- Web Hosting — Domain names needs hosting to make the website live on the Internet. Serve your clients’ websites on high-end servers that are both fast and secure. With cheap servers, you get what you pay for. Hosting can be really affordable, yet slow and easily hacked.
- Email Hosting — Instead of operating a business under a Gmail, Yahoo or AOL address, use a professional email address that includes your website’s domain name. A typical business email address format is contact @ YourBusiness .com. You can provide professional email hosting and support for your clients.
- Uptime Monitoring — Guarantee 99.99% uptime on reliable servers so your clients’ websites will always be live and ready for their customers. Approximately 5 minutes of downtime in the middle of the night is natural. No one can guarantee 100% uptime. If a client’s site is down for more than a couple minutes, you’ll investigate and fix the problem.
- Site Backups — Regular website and database backups are critical for a production-level website. As part of your website maintenance service, you can routinely backup your clients’ websites to several destinations and restore a backup as needed.
- Security Updates — WordPress websites (core, theme and plugins) often update for security purposes. You can safely apply these patches and keep a backup in case things go wrong. You’ll actively monitor your clients’ websites for new major and minor updates and apply them in the background. Their website stays live in the process, and your clients don’t have to worry or waste time updating anything!
- Search Engine Optimization — Connect their website to Google Search Console and monitor it for SEO improvements and issues. This is a tool provided by Google itself for webmasters. It provides insights on the pages they’ve crawled on your clients’ websites and tips on improving their ranking.
- Local Listings — If their local listings have incorrect contact information, potential customers might not be able to reach your clients. You can ensure their business name, address, email, and phone number are accurate on their local listings, such as Google My Business, Google Maps, and Facebook.
- SSL Security — SSL certificates provide boosts in website security, customer trust and search engine ranking. You can acquire, setup, monitor and renew the SSL certificates for your clients.
- Geo-Redundancy — With reliable servers, websites are simultaneously hosted on two separate server clusters in two geographically separate data centers. If the first location is unexpectedly interrupted, your site will automatically continue running in the second location- without any data loss. Locations are in sync and immediately available with your live data!
- Virus Removal — In the event that your client’s website does get hacked (even with all the security measures in place, this is never an impossibility), you’ll take time to remove the virus, clean up the website and restore the data. This also includes contacting search engines and browsers that have blacklisted the website because of the virus. You can’t be 100% protected against viruses, but you can make it quite difficult for hackers to break into your clients’ websites.
- Site Updates — When contact information changes, new services, price updates, new testimonial, new pictures, or anything else needs to be added, removes or updated on the website, a website maintenance service lets clients make any changes they would like. You can be available via email, phone, or text message to fulfill their update requests.
- Support — Clients often have questions or concerns about their website. Don’t let their website be a mystery — allow them to ask away! Be available to answer their questions and concerns.
- Blog — If they have a Blog, What’s New or News section, give them a special WordPress login to update it themselves. Alternatively, you can always do this for them by asking them to email you the blog directly so you can post it.
- Analytics — What good is a website if you can’t track its performance? You can install and monitor Google Analytics to see actionable data on your website’s visitors. This includes how many people visited the website, if they returned, whether they’re on mobile devices or desktops, where in the world they are, and much, much more. Use this data or hire a professional marketing specialist to get the most out of your clients’ websites.
- Performance Optimizations — High-def photography, videos, seemingly endless content, and lots of pages can cause websites to slow down, even on relatively fast servers. Therefore, perform optimizations to drastically speed up your websites to benefit both search engine rankings and user-experience.
Clearly, each one of those 16 services is valuable, but altogether, your website maintenance plan should be too good to pass up.
Help them view their website as, not an expense, but an income-generating machine. The machine costs money to build, and a little bit each month to maintain, but without it, you’d be losing business. Once they’re thinking in terms of how a website will increase their business, they’ll be more open to the idea of upkeep and maintenance. Of course they’ll want someone to care for their lead generator! Their income-machine! If they elicit those feelings, have that reaction, then you’ve sold them.
Ultimately, you need to educate your clients on the value of a monthly website maintenance plan. Explain the pitfalls of not maintaining a website. Have a thorough understanding of your maintenance services and their individual and collective value. Then, you should have no problem convincing clients to sign up for your monthly website maintenance plan.