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The Importance of Maintaining Your Website Victoria Andersen

Written on: June 20th, 2016 in best practices, web design

Maintenance is crucial to the success of your website, and in turn, your business. Like changing the oil in your car, taking the time to regularly assess and update your site is the best way to maximize your investment. At best, your website supports your business’s values, showcases products or services and functions as a powerful sales tool. At worst, a stale site reduces credibility, frustrates potential customers and reflects poorly on your business. 

The key to successfully keeping your website fresh is not just updating content, but also assessing how your website is working for you, and tailoring your updates to improve performance. A well-maintained website fosters better SEO, increased traffic and promotes a more impactful, powerful brand image. 

Monthly

Assess

  • Analytics. See what is working and what isn’t. Taking time once a month to look at your Google Analytics, or any other analytics system your business may be running, makes it easy to spot what’s doing well and what might be coming up short. Take look at which pages are getting the most views and the time being spent on these pages; high traffic pages are where you can maximize your impact. For more information on which analytics you should be watching, check out Metrics That Matter.
  • Define conversions, based upon your monthly, and long-term, goals. Setting up conversions and tracking them on a monthly basis is going to keep you in tune with your site and able to make informed decisions on what needs to be done to increase the value of the site.

Update

  • A blog post. Having new content on a consistent, monthly basis gives your audience something to keep coming back for and gives you a space to demonstrate your industry knowledge. A blog also boosts the amount of content on your site without cluttering it, and consequently can support SEO.

  • Homepage banners. The homepage banner is a place to great display what is new/important at the moment. Refreshing the content and visuals here is one of the simplest, most obvious ways to show you are actively updating your site. Your homepage is the first impression for new visitors and the first thing seen by returning visitors; keep it looking fresh.

Quarterly

Assess

  • Your CMS tools. Look back at your monthly edits, are there things you are always updating once a month or more? Is it possible you could have a CMS tool built so you can manage the content yourself? Having a CMS that is well tailored to your needs makes updating your website easier and more efficient.

  • Stale content. Are there areas of the site that are no longer used? Remove clutter and unnecessary content to better focus your site.

  • Your competition. How does your site compare to theirs? It is important to acknowledge what others in your industry are doing. There are always new tools and features that your site could benefit from.

Update

  • Press/news section. Your press section is a major factor in building the credibility of your business through your site. Press releases are cost-effective tools to publicize the latests news, events, hires and achievements within your business. A regularly updated press session shows you are active, engaging and growing. 

Yearly

Assess

  • The goals and direction of your site. Is it still serving you well? Is it inline with current technology? Is it hindering your business’s growth or fostering success?  

  • Submit your site for user testing. It may be time to switch up your navigation to something more modern and intuitive. There are many online resources where you can submit your site for user testing. That will give you valuable insight as to how users interact with your site.

  • Design. Reassess the look and feel of your site. Are the colors style representative of your brand? Are images high quality and engaging? Is the overall design modern? A reskinning of a site can be a great way to do an overall update, without the time and cost of a full redesign.

  • Performance. Is the technology on your site up to date? Do pages load quickly? Technology is constantly evolving and improving; if your site is slow loading potential customers are likely to leave you behind.

Update

  • The new year. Whether it's how many years you have been in business or a PDF and documents that reference a passed date, be sure they are updated for the new year. Update your copyright year to reflect the new year, as well.

  • Statistics about the company. With a new year comes new business, new numbers and new statistics. Having statistics about your total sales, customers served, investors or distributors is a great way to build your businesses value and credibility, but only if the information is up to date.

With defined goals, routine maintenance and commitment to continuous improvement, your website can continue to grow and better serve your business for years to come.  And in this ever-changing world of technology, it is important to keep your website your sharpest tool in the shed. Not sure where to get started? Drop us a line and we’ll help you optimize your website for success.

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