The Importance of Regular Website Maintenance

Lindsey Weedston Online Marketing, website design, Website SEO

A lot of people seem to think that you can pay a person to make you a website and then just have it sit on the Internet for the foreseeable future and wait for the customers to roll in. In reality, no. A website is like any physical storefront. Sale signs need to be changed. Floors need to be swept. Inventory needs to be managed. Leaky roofs need to be fixed. Burglar alarms need to be maintained. And so on.

If you want to be serious about your online presence, either you or someone else is going to need to perform regular maintenance. This takes several different forms, each with its own purpose. A good digital marketing company will perform all of these for you:

 

Regular Content Output

This comes in the form of some type of blogging (text, photo, video) and social media maintenance. If you want to rank well on the SERPs (search engine results pages) and get any kind of traffic to your site, you need to prove that your website is providing something unique and useful to people. There are hundreds of millions of websites that are currently active on the Internet. Why would Google want to rank yours above all the similar websites that are producing content?
Wordpress Post

To spread that content around, you need social media pages. Actually, the real reason you need social media pages is because they’ve become so standard that it looks weird if you don’t have any. People will assume you’re outdated and out of touch. But if you have social media accounts that never update, it looks like you don’t care. You don’t absolutely have to be updating all of them all the time, but you should focus on regularly posting on at least two.

 

Tweaking Web Page Content

This is different than posting on a blog. Web page content is all the text you have to describe your business, your services or products, and any other content that generally remains static. You’ll want to change the content on each page a little bit every couple of months in order to show Google that the website is still active and is being paid attention to. Neglected pages lose rank.

 

Error Log Maintenance

500 Kitty Error
Every website produces little errors that are stored in an error log. The vast majority of errors themselves are nothing to worry about – the problem is that since every single one needs to be recorded and there are so many of them. If someone isn’t clearing out the log on a regular basis, it will begin to slow down your website. This will not only affect your traffic, since Internet users are so impatient, but even a slight delay in loading time can negatively affect your search engine rankings.

Error log maintenance is kind of like clearing your cache or defragging your computer. The difference is that with website errors, you’ll want someone with the expertise to be able to spot real problems.

 

Reputation Management

You might have noticed how on the Internet, word gets around fast. And then it stays there forever. The bigger social media gets, the more important reputation management becomes. You need to be checking regularly for mentions on social media networks and blogs about your company so that if anything negative comes up, you can get a handle on it as soon as possible. It is possible to do this yourself quickly and easily with free online tools, starting with Google Alerts.

 

Updates

Chances are your website will be using WordPress or something similar, and all the plugins that come with it. These plugins, as well as WordPress itself, come out with new updates often. Failure to regularly run these updates can result in the malfunction of parts of your site, or complete breakage. Worse, the use of old software and scripts can leave you more vulnerable to hackers. Don’t let that happen.
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Fixing Broken Links

Links break sometimes, and if they’re left like that, you’re going to look unprofessional. Links that no longer go anywhere or are redirected to a different page than originally intended need to be updated or removed.

 

Data Collection

Someone needs to be recording all the data that comes from your various analytics tools. Without that data, you won’t really know which of your social media and blog posts are doing well. This, of course, makes it impossible to adjust your methods and figure out the best content practices for your audience. And that’s just a waste. You don’t have to be an expert to use tools like Google Analytics, but if you need it, there are plenty of services out there that will both record and analyze your data for you.