5 Reasons your Website Needs Ongoing Care and Maintenance
Is your website delivering results?
Maybe when you first launched your company online, your website was bringing you all the traffic and leads you could hope for. You invested in a great design from a professional company, spent ages getting an SEO audit, and for a while, everything seemed like it was smooth sailing.
However, if you’ve begun to notice your numbers dropping recently, or you’re just not getting the same response you did a couple of months ago, then you might be wondering what went wrong. For most companies, the problem will be a case of “set it and forget it” syndrome.
A website isn’t something that you can work on once and never look at again. If you want your site to be attractive enough to attract buyers, and even brokers when the time comes to sell your company, then you need to keep on top of regular maintenance.
Why Your Website Needs Constant Care
It’s shocking how many modern businesses believe that they only have to work on their websites once. Web maintenance and care are some of the most critical components of looking after your digital company, but it’s also one of the most overlooked.
As the virtual world continues to evolve, you can either move at the same pace as your competitors, or risk falling behind with a website that starts to stagnate. Here are some of the reasons why you should have a schedule in place for regular website maintenance.
1. A Maintained Website is More Secure
Security is one of the biggest concerns that any business faces – online or offline.
As more cybercriminals take to the web to steal private information and valuable data, we seem to hear countless stories about websites getting hacked, and companies suffering from lost revenue and customers as a result. Not only does poor security on your website leave you vulnerable to a host of dangerous threats like malware, and ransomware, but it could also have a negative impact on your brand reputation too.
Even if you fix security issues after they occur, some customers will avoid your website because they won’t feel they can trust you to keep their data safe. A regularly updated and maintained website, on the other hand, constantly patches and repairs any issues as they show up, so you don’t leave any windows open for the hackers.
While your hosting company can do some work to keep you safe from security threats, you’ll still need a strong maintenance plan to make sure that you’re the first to know when vulnerabilities arise.
2. Make a Better Impression
Your website is essentially your digital storefront. It’s how you show off your brand to the online world and convince people that you’re worth their investment. If your website looks unprofessional or outdated, then it’s going to be hard for you to convince customers that they should buy from you. In fact, a poorly-designed website could even mean that you scare away brokers when you’re trying to sell your business. After all, most online investors won’t want to have to pay the money to have a site completely re-designed before they can start making money from their new business.
A strategy of regular maintenance for your website ensures that you won’t fall behind on design trends and preferences. When you’re constantly checking on your site and comparing it to your competitors, you can start to see when you might need a design refresh or something new to improve customer experience.
Remember to ensure that your site is designed to work well with both desktop and mobile browsers too. More people than ever before are shopping from their smartphones these days, and you don’t want to miss out on an incredible opportunity to make a big profit. While you shouldn’t necessarily change your site every time a new trend comes along, big changes like responsive grids and better navigation can make your site more appealing and valuable.
3. Keep your Content Fresh
There are various components involved in a good website maintenance strategy. While it’s important to make sure that your site looks good as trends change, and that everything works smoothly from a security perspective, it’s also crucial to keep your content assets in check.
While the design of your website will impact the first impression that customers have of you and your company, it’s your content that will keep people around for longer and convince them of your credibility. With great content, you can show your audience that you deserve their trust and their custom. By spending some time to regularly look through your content, remove blogs that aren’t working, and add new ones, you’ll be able to boost your incoming traffic and increase brand loyalty.
Remember to keep a close watch in your content marketing metrics like engagement levels and bounce rates, so you can adapt your posting strategy to suit the preferences of your target audience.
4. Boost Usability
Even if you have the most attractive and entertaining website online, you’re going to have a hard time making a profit with it if your customers can’t use it. As technology continues to transform, visitor trends are changing with it. A regular maintenance plan for your website will help you to make sure that you’re still using the right formatting and navigation strategies to suit your audience.
For instance, many websites today have horizontal navigation bars – which might be great for devices with larger screens, but they’re not as useful for smartphones and tablets. A recent trend to hit the web design marketplace is the implementation of the “hamburger menu” which can be much easier for customers to use on a smartphone.
Check that you’re still giving your customers the best possible experience with your website. If it’s difficult to get around your blog posts or check out your new products, then people will simply skip your website and head to a competitor instead.
5. Enhance your SEO
Finally, regularly maintaining your website also gives you an opportunity to make sure that your SEO strategy is up to scratch. Since a good portion of your customers likely come to you from organic traffic, it’s important to make sure you’re ranking for all the right keywords and phrases. Of course, there’s a lot more to ranking on Google than putting the right words into your blog posts.
Google, as well as other major search engines, constantly updates its algorithms with new rules on how to make it to the top of the ladder. If you’re not keeping track of your SEO strategy, then you might be falling behind on the rules. Everything from the speed of your website, to the websites that link back to your products and blog posts, can impact your SEO today.
Make sure that your strategy is strong enough to keep getting you the organic traffic you need. As you maintain your website, remember to:
- Remove anything that could slow down loading times
- Focus on customer experience to keep people around for longer
- Use keywords organically in your content
- Add images where possible with meta descriptions
With regular care and maintenance, you can make your website really shine!
Bio: Jock Purtle is the founder of DigitalExits.com and an innovative entrepreneur who started his first business when he was still in his teens. When Jock isn’t running his business, he’s writing for high-quality publications all the way from Forbes, to CNBC and more.