These days, it’s hard to run a successful business without a strong website.
As more customers turn to the online world to learn about their favorite brands, connect with businesses, and even make purchases, a website is how you make sure you get the most attention from your target audience.
The trouble is, a lot of business owners still assume that they can simply set up a website, then forget about it for months, or years at a time. Unfortunately, this can lead to outdated and impractical experiences for your customers, poor security for your files, and a damaged reputation for your organization.
Don’t become a victim of poor website maintenance. Make sure that you’re performing these tasks at least once every month.
1. Check Your Analytics
These days, it’s not enough to simply have a website, you need an active web presence, complete with digital goals to aspire to, and metrics to measure. Using an analytics tool like Google Analytics is a quick way to figure out how people are using your website, and what you can do to turn visitors into paying customers.
Regularly analyzing your website will help you to spot problems with your site’s performance, as well as opportunities for growth. For instance, if you notice that your SEO strategy isn’t having the right impact, you might decide to change the keywords you’re trying to rank for. If you’re building up a social media marketing strategy and one of your profiles is having a bigger impact than another, you can focus more of your budget on the platform with the highest ROI.
Analytical tools give you a behind-the-scenes overview of your digital strategy so that you can make your website work for you.
2. Update your Website and Plugins
The ever-evolving nature of the digital world means that CMS (content management systems) like WordPress are constantly rolling out new updates and patches for their tools. Unfortunately, it’s easy to forget about implementing these plugins, if you have the countless daily tasks of running your business to worry about too.
Updating your CMS, and the plugins that you use to give your customers a better browsing experience not only ensures that you can maintain your strong online reputation. The updates that CMS solutions deliver also fix any issues with your website, including vulnerability problems that could lead to phishing and malware attacks.
You can set your WordPress website to update when new patches arrive automatically, but it’s worth double-checking to make sure that you haven’t missed anything.
3. Check for Broken Links
There’s nothing worse than reading about a product or service, clicking on a link, and discovering that the link doesn’t lead anywhere. Broken links lead to unhappy and frustrated online visitors, but they can also harm your organic SEO ranking too – making it harder for you to find new traffic in the future.
Ultimately, the search engine bots that crawl your website looking for reasons to rank you for certain keywords and phrases see broken links as a sign of reduced value. Google wants to send users to sites that offer the best possible experiences. That’s why smart marketers frequently remove broken links from their sites. Remember, there are plenty of ways that broken links can end up on your pages, for instance, you may have:
- Accidentally made a typo in a link
- Moved a page but forgot to switch the links in old content
- Linked to a website or page that no longer exists.
4. Optimize your WP Database
Another important website care and maintenance task that’s frequently forgotten about is optimizing your database. Your WordPress site isn’t just a bundle of pages on the internet – it’s a database that stores all the information you need to manage and enhance your online presence. As your business continues to grow and thrive, WordPress will constantly add more data to your system, which can eventually lead to congestion and a slower site.
There are plenty of tools and plugins out there that can teach you how to optimize your database within a matter of minutes. Some plugins will even sort through your WP content for you, and all you need to do is click on a “run” button. Optimization will get rid of any spam comments, trash, orphaned metadata, and post revisions that could be holding your website back.
5. Check Page Speed and Functionality
There’s more to running a successful website than simply having an attractive theme and a great selection of products or services for your customers to choose from. Today, people are only interested in doing business with a company that can provide them with consistent, reliable and unforgettable experiences. That means that you’ll need to check your site regularly for any signs that it’s too slow, too difficult to use, or it’s simply not working properly.
You can run your pages through applications like the Google PageSpeed Insight tool to check that your website is operating as quickly as it should be. Remember, even a couple of seconds of lag can be enough to convince someone to click straight back out of your page. Remember to test your blog pages, comment sections, landing pages and checkout pages too!
6. Moderate and Manage Comments
One of the things that make having your own website so great is the fact that it allows you to connect with potential customers and maintain long-lasting relationships with your existing clients. With a comment section on your blog, you can increase engagement in potential leads, and encourage them to make purchases. However, it’s important to make sure that you manage those comments too if you want to ensure that they don’t get out of hand.
Responding to the comments that your customers leave can help you to seem like a more caring and involved company. Showing that you’re willing to go above and beyond for your clients is a great way to get ahead of the competition. Additionally, moderating your comments will allow you to remove anything spammy or dangerous that might bring down the browsing experience for other people on your site.
7. Audit and Promote your Old Content
Finally, as you’re working through your website, making sure that everything operates as it should make sure that you don’t overlook the importance of your online content. Simply by updating, editing, and re-promoting the content you already have on your site, you can gain more traffic and sales. Although a content audit can be a time-consuming task, the rewards are well worth the effort. Go through old posts and ask yourself:
- Does your content need to be updated to reflect new information or facts?
- How is the SEO? Is the post ranking for the keywords and phrases you’ve optimized it for? If not, what you can you change?
- Can you promote the content again? Consider drawing attention back to your post in relation to a trending topic or republish it in a different format. For instance, a blog post can become a podcast and vice versa.
Don’t Forget to Look After your Website
In a perfect world, you would be able to simply set your website running and never think about it again. However, in a digital environment that’s constantly evolving, you simply can’t afford to let your site get old, outdated, or broken. Performing regular maintenance tasks ensures that you maintain a strong reputation online, give your visitors the best experience, and present your company as a professional, focused entity.
About The Author:
Jock Purtle is the Founder of DigitalExits.com, a website, and digital business brokerage.