Effective Website Maintenance and Updates
Did you know regular website updates and maintenance can not only fix issues with your website, but also help prevent them? It’s true, your website shouldn’t be a set-it-and-forget-it asset. It should instead be constantly evolving with your business needs. That means you need to create a website maintenance plan that routinely monitors site health and effectiveness.
Why Website Maintenance Isn’t Optional
If you fail to perform regular maintenance, you end up losing out on countless search engine optimization benefits. Let’s go over some of those below. As you’ll see, website maintenance can not only fix issues with your website, but also help prevent them.
Improve Your Site Speed With Website Maintenance
New improvements to your content management system or hosting technology can have an impact on your overall speed. Google looks for fast-loading sites, as site visitors are not going to wait around for a resource-intensive landing page.
This includes visitors using mobile devices. With the rate of people using mobile devices to access the web growing steadily, you could even make the argument that it’s even more important to keep your site as speedy as possible.
“A site that’s mobile-ready will rank higher in Google search results than one that is not. Blue Corona found sites that were not mobile-ready were slammed by a 50-percent reduction in organic traffic since Google officially announced their decision to rank mobile-ready pages higher.”RELATED READING: How To Convert Leads Into B2B Sales With Your Website
Sometimes improving this site attribute is as easy as using an optimization plugin.
However, you don’t always get that lucky. It’s also worth noting that using too many plugins or poorly coded plugins can actually slow your website down.
The reality is, you may need to perform more extensive updates to get the performance you need for your SEO efforts. Though it’s not always the case, changing your site structure, switching to a new content management system, or completely overhauling your design may be required.
Website Maintenance will Fix Security Holes
The search engines aren’t going to keep a hacked site at the top of the search results. If your website is compromised, all of your hard SEO work becomes undone.
For example, have you ever been browsing the internet and all of sudden a security warning pops up?
This is because Google, anti-virus programs, and browsers have built-in security measures that warn users against accessing websites that aren’t secure.
If this is happening on your site, you’ll want to take action immediately.
Even if your site hasn’t been compromised, it’s still crucial to perform regular website maintenance to proactively stop this situation from happening. Fortunately, this can be surprisingly simple to do.
The best route to take is by installing updates as soon as they come out, whether you’re having issues or not. You never know when a widespread zero-day security exploit could take out your site.
Website Maintenance will Grow Your Content Library
A stale website with old content doesn’t provide a high-quality user experience. Google will probably overlook your site when it comes to ranking for your chosen keywords. You don’t want to end up on page 2, or worse!
That’s why part of your website maintenance schedule should dedicate a portion of time to growing and improving your content library.
Ideally, you offer a variety of content for your visitors, as everyone has their own preferences for format and style.
A good mix could include a blog, a resource section with how-to guides, product review videos, and infographics, as well as essential business pages such as information on your products or services.
Website Maintenance will Leverage New Features
Here’s a fun little experiment:
Go to the Wayback Machine and look at some of the late ’90s websites.
Here’s an example of what the Google search page looked like in 1998, for example:
Now, compare that to what it looks like today:
BIG difference! Which interface do you think provides for a better user experience? Even though the basic functionality of the search is the same on both versions, the updated design and interface of the current iteration is dramatically more inviting.
As you can see, web design and development have come a long way. Innovative features are popping up regularly and you can’t overlook these technological changes. Especially when they help you succeed in other SEO areas.
Freshen up your website every few years, so you avoid becoming outdated.
You can incorporate the current best practices for web design and structure, allowing you to adapt to an ever-changing SEO world. One that favors people–like you–who stay on top of the latest and greatest innovations.
6 Step Website Maintenance Plan
Getting your keywords to the top of the search engine results page (SERP) is a difficult task. Keeping them there is even harder. Don’t let a lack of website maintenance and updates cause all of this work to go to waste.
What To Include In Your 6 Step Website Maintenance Plan
While each website is different and will require it’s own website updates and maintenance, there are several standard items that you should be addressing on a regular basis. If your web developer offers a website maintenance plan, they’re almost certainly performing the following tasks:
- Site Backups
- Security Check-Up
- Site Monitoring
- Website Analytics Check-Up
- Digital & Content Marketing Audit
Let’s dive in to each of these in more detail.
We mentioned earlier that sites need regular updates to protect them against hacking threats and other potential security issues. Additionally, some websites that use a content management system like WordPress, will need additional updates of their own. This includes updates and patches for plugins and themes if your site uses them.
Site backups can be a two-part ordeal. The first aspect is a manual backup which should be done a regular schedule. The second part is to schedule automatic backups and ensure they are working properly between each manual backup.
Perhaps it goes without saying, but backups are crucial for all websites. The backup files are what will be used to restore your website in the event it crashed or had other problems that caused you to lose parts or all of your site.
While updates help prevent potential security threats, it’s also a good idea to monitor any threats or attacks your site may have experienced. If you find any threats, you can then evaluate them and set up security fixes to prevent them from becoming problems.
And, not to sound like a broken record, but security is vital. In fact, we describe why it’s the number one reason to have a website maintenance plan in this blog post: Why You Need a Web Support Maintenance Plan for WordPress.
From time to time websites have minor problems that can easily go unnoticed if they are not specifically sought out. These can be a number of website updates and maintenance tasks, but some of the more prevalent issues are:
- 404 errors
- Bad/broken links
- Poor page loading times
- Missing images or graphics
This typically happens over time as you produce more and more content for your site—eventually, other stuff becomes outdated.
Check On Your Website’s Analytics
Paying attention to your website analytics using tools such as Google Analytics makes it easy to spot potential problems like slow-loading pages and poorly performing content and pages. It’s also a great place to monitor any A/B tests you are currently running on your website.
One Google algorithm change or a new social media platform can mean it’s time to shift your digital marketing plan. As such, our experts always dedicate a portion of time to keeping tabs on our client’s website traffic, inbound leads, and even social media.
Being proactive and using all the data Google Analytics provides, we are able to make changes to marketing strategies in a timely fashion before a website suffers any penalties.
Digital & Content Marketing Improvements
When we are working with a client to execute website updates and maintenance, we offer assistance with digital marketing advice when we find an area which could use some improvements. We even help implement it to make it easier for the client.
Included in this is time spent evaluating existing content to where improvements can be made. Part of your ongoing maintenance should be spent updating older blog posts and website pages that Google may see as “stale”.
Updating stale content shaves time and resources off of your content creation timeline while helping to keep your website looking fresh and relevant to Google’s search algorithm.
Not only do Google and other search engines prefer that you have updated content on your page, but you also increase your chances of getting links back to your site. These backlinks help your SEO, especially if they’re from leading sites in your industry or niche.
A good rule of thumb to go by when updating content like blog posts is to add value to it. Rather than just fixing a typo here and there or swapping out an image, you also have an opportunity to improve your content in some way.
Depending on the type of content, you can add useful quotes, verified statistics, or simply make it easier for customers to contact you by updating and expanding your contact options.
Get Help From The Experts At 3 Media Web
In some situations, you may be perfectly fine handling most of your website maintenance needs in house. However, we find many businesses appreciate having the support of their web design and development team weigh in with their expert advice and take action as needed.
As important as a properly performing website is for businesses, we think that’s a smart move.
When you chose 3 Media Web as your trusted website maintenance partner, you can expect us to check on all the vital items required to keep your website operational and running at peak performance. As such, we offer customizable support packages based on the needs of each of our clients.
We find this approach allows us to provide thorough maintenance for everyone regardless of how complex or fundamental their needs are. do a thorough job at At 3 Media Web, we offer custom support packages that match the level of service you need.
12 Routine Website Checks:
- Plugin updates
- User training
- Text changes
- Site auditing
- Web development
- Marketing support
- CRM troubleshooting
- WordPress updates
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Web integrations
3 Media Web is here to help with your website updates and maintenance. If you’d like to learn more about how 3 Media Web can help with your website maintenance needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.