Keeping your website in tip-top condition will ensure that it remains relevant, performs well and ranks highly with Google.
The investment you’ve made in building your website will provide a better return by keeping it in good shape. Search results will improve and it will save the panic of urgently bringing someone in to fix it if something goes wrong.
Let’s face it, we live in a digital world like we have never done before so your business needs to have a sharp, significant and suitable presence for people looking to engage your services or buy your products. After all, you only get one shot at a first impression. A good website designer will make sure there are a few key building blocks which will make sure your site performs optimally 24/7 and a great website designer will help you maintain it and manage updates to keep the software behind your website running like clockwork.
Just like Microsoft, developers updated the software that your website is built with so keeping it up to date ensures that it continues to run smoothly to provide a great experience when clients and prospects visit your site.
But where do you start? Let’s start at the very beginning.
This should be your highest priority. A security breach will lose the trust of your customers and may send them looking elsewhere to do business.
A security breach involving credit card and other personal details could significantly impact your ability to do business with your existing customer base as well as cost you to manage and repair the damage. A good web designer will make sure security is in place from day 1, even before your site goes live. And they can help you keep it up to date for the life of the website.
Most designers and web-builders will provide regular site maintenance services to supplement the build and it is worth investing in their services unless you want to take this on yourself.
The software, or Content Management System used to create your website will have substantial impact on your site’s ability to remain secure. Make sure your web designer is using a system which is regularly updated and your hosting provider has backups in place as extra insurance.
Old software can leave your site vulnerable to attacks as hackers have had time to work out a way in and can cause havoc with your site. Your web hosting provider should be prepared for any possible security breaches, provide you access to their security policies, be able to tell you how often they backup your website and have a plan ready to protect your site against attacks.
If you’re not sure, ask your web designer – they should only be recommending anything for you that will keep your site secure.
Keeping your content fresh is a great way to rank well with Google. It’s also a great way to make sure your customers have the latest information about your business. If you provide relevant, useful information through blogs or other updates, customers will keep coming back to you and rely on you for your knowledge and expertise.
Old outdated content will make your website seem irrelevant – and let’s face it – there is so much information out there why would anyone waste their time with irrelevant data – before you know it they will be clicking on the big X in the corner and they will be somewhere else more relevant. And you will have lost your credibility as well as a potential or current customer.
Domain authority is another reason to keep your content flowing. Domain authority is a measure used by search engines to work out how useful your site is in your field of expertise. Content which provides good value to the reader and is will researched will give your site a better ranking as a domain authority and help you rank higher in search engine results.
If you are not already doing it, then consider adding a blog to your website – it is a great way to continuously add new content, show that you are an expert in your area of specialty and keep your rankings high!
Search Engine Optimisation is the creation of keywords that Google and other search engines use to find your website. Making sure your SEO is relevant and up to date will help the search engines to find you.
If your business changes, moves, provides new services or products, creates new content then you need to update your SEO keywords to make sure you can be found for those new attributes. Make it easy for people looking for you to find you by keeping your keywords up to date.
5. Update your website’s design
A key component of the marketing for your business should be the branding and end user experience of your website. It is your opportunity to make a great first impression, especially if you are pushing traffic to your website through online marketing like Facebook ads or partner banners. Websites that are difficult to navigate and not intuitive will be a roadblock to potential customers spending time on your website and getting to know you.
The look and feel of your website also conveys to people if your website is up to date. 15 years ago a website was pretty much text on a white background, then came the side bar and text boxes and multiple areas of information on one screen. These days it’s about simplicity. It’s important to align to current design trends to make it as simple as possible for consumers to find the information they need and show them that you are relevant for today.
This also means your site needs to look fantastic and function perfectly on mobile devices. Over 60% of consumers only ever look at websites on their phones and tablets, so if your website doesn’t’ automatically respond to these size environments by resizing and re-ordering data to suit the user’s device then the consumer that you are targeting will not only have a bad experience when they visit your website, they will perceive you as out of date and potentially irrelevant.
Think about the websites you have enjoyed visiting recently – what was it about them that made it a good experience for you? Likely it is the same attributes that your customer will be looking for when they are seeking information from you
6. Know your Target Market
When building your website it’s absolutely critical to know who your target audience is. By identifying the needs of your customers, you can write the copy to speak directly to them and highlight the parts of your business which will meet their needs. If you have products or services that won’t suit your target market, don’t include them – you can always cross sell them once you have started a relationship with them. They will then see that as a value-added services, rather than getting lost in the mire and overwhelm of too many product or service offerings.
Your target market may change over time and you may decide to pivot the focus of your business to meet new markets. What ever you do, remember to update the design and wording of your website to reflect your new target market and their wants and needs.
Don’t let your website become irrelevant. These 6 actions will make sure your website continues to provide relevant information and a great online experience to both lookers and buyers. Like any good relationship worth keeping, it takes regular maintenance and attention to keep Google in love with your website.
Found a spelling or grammatical error in this post? Then contact me as soon as possible and let me know and I will offer you a free 30-minute review of your digital presence and some fresh ideas you can try out for free.
Get in Touch
If you’d like a website ‘health check’ then simply book a free strategy call and I can help you through the process by checking:
1. Your Google website rating – find out how Google ranks your site and how you can improve your ranking.
2. Your internet profile – the good, the bad and the ugly and make recommendations to resolve any bad reviews.
3. Your website speed – I will make recommendations on how to improve loading times – no-one likes to wait these days.
4. Device compatibility – by making sure your website works across a range of phones, tablets, screens and laptops.
5. Usability – by undertaking a series of user tests we will provide feedback on the layout and navigation and recommendations for improvement.
In around an hour we’ll develop a plan to take your website to the next level.