How website downtime can ruin your digital marketing efforts

Websites going through downtime is not uncommon, as sometimes the hosting provider schedules a regular maintenance for couple of hours and warns you ahead about the temporary disruption. In such situations, you will have some time to take precautionary measures like scheduling the downtime at non-peak hours or letting the visitors know the website will be up and running in a while.

Unfortunately, things will not always work as per our expectations and sometimes the websites become inaccessible due to unexpected downtime for variety of reasons, leaving the visitors in chaos. This definitely is not a good thing and can ruin the online reputation of your website, affecting not only the users experience with your website, but also with the search engines as well.

It is hard to calculate the exact financial damage downtime can do to your business. But with respect to digital marketing, your investment becomes inefficient if the website is inaccessible to the users. There are negative consequences of downtime on the digital marketing efforts of a business.

Website downtime damages reputation with Google and other search engines

A significant number of users reach your website through search engines, typically a much smaller percentage of users are familiar with your URL and type it directly in the web browser. The traffic through search engines to your site depends on the site being in the top of search engine results pages. Listing in Google results pages happens through a complicated algorithm and one of the aspects that is considered as important in ranking is the user behaviour on your website. Google checks for parameters including number of users clicking your site for certain keywords, errors while accessing your website, whether users stay for long or leaving the website instantly. Google marks it as unreliable if problem exists with any one of these elements, and obviously the site gets damaged reputation and will be losing positions in the search engine page results. When this occurs, years of hard work that you have put in establishing your online business will be damaged, and you may have to do it all over again and make an additional investment in digital marketing, purely because of downtime.

Loss on investment

Businesses spend lot of money and time on digital marketing efforts to optimize their sites into SEO friendly so that they can increase their visibility in search engines, and be ahead of their competitors in page ranking. Definitely these companies expect good ROI (return on investment) in the form of increased sales and profits. However, if the site is going through prolonged or frequent downtime, it is inefficient to invest money on traffic channelizing services like digital marketing. Imagine yourself as an Internet user trying to check out the products in the shopping cart after hours of purchase research online to find a good place to buy and this website gives an error message saying 'URL not found'. This is a very frustrating experience for any customer and there are little chances of this person coming again to your website for shopping in future. The same is the case with search engines like Google that may consider your website as unreliable and penalize the site by pushing it site down in the search page results.

Impacts search engine rankings

Having a website go offline for short duration occasionally may not influence search results. However, if site is experiencing downtime for long periods at a stretch and frequently then it impacts negatively on ranking. The users rarely go to the websites that are listed after first few pages and obviously this will lessen the chance of converting the lead into a customer resulting in decreased sales, loss in revenues and brand damage. The good news is that, you can minimize these downtime losses and the damages it can cause to your business by taking precautionary measures ahead of time.

How to mitigate the effects of downtime?

Planned downtimes are much easier to manage when compared to unplanned outages, as in later case we cannot anticipate when the site is going to go down. If it is an unplanned downtime, the reasons can be anything from hardware or software failures to server breakdowns due to accidents or environmental disasters caused by nature. As a website owner the one thing that you desire is that, outages need to be resolved at the earliest otherwise additional issues pile up making it more complicated to resolve. Even after discovering the problem, sometimes it becomes tough to address the issue. In such instances, it is better to have a service that can track the websites and alert about the issue whenever outages occur. Website monitoring is one such valuable service which not only monitors and tracks the working of several elements that could interrupt the functionality of a website, but also alerts promptly.  The prompt alerts on the website downtime issues enable the resolution process to be initiated quickly and improve the quality of the user experience.