Spring has sprung, and along with the itchy watery eyes to indicate that allergy season is here, there’s another bittersweet indicator of the seasons arrival: spring cleaning. Time to open up the house, dust the cobwebs off, and get rid of everything we no longer need. While scrubbing our living quarters down to a sparkling glow may be at the bottom of our priorities, it is absolutely necessary to clear out whatever we don’t need anymore.
Same goes with your website.
Regardless of when your website was first set up or when it was last updated, your site needs constant cleaning and polishing to keep the cobwebs away. A website is an extension of your business, or in some cases, your entire business and when it isn’t maintained, it shows.
Does your copyright year have anything other than the current year? Maybe you wrote a blog once and mentioned a date, like say April 5th which also happened to be a Thursday. Problem is that once that year passes, the information is no longer relevant and can deter clients from your business.
The same rules apply to brick-and-mortar businesses. If you were to walk into a supermarket you would expect that all the goods for sale were fresh. Pick up a loaf and bread and notice some mold? Chances are, you may not go back to that store anymore and if you do, anytime you shop there you’re going to proceed with caution.
A website should encourage clients to trust your services, not question them.
“Website maintenance is important to any business, regardless of size. Your website is a worldwide window into your business and it can have a big impact on how the value of your product or service is perceived. A well-maintained website is critical for real-time service industries. All businesses need regular website maintenance to attract and retain customers, maintain search engine rankings and present new information, products and services to the public.”
The behemoth of a company whose name became synonymous to a verb. Need to find a mobile dog groomer? Google it. Don’t remember who the 28th president was? Start a Google search. The search engine giant is now the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. How so? Any business worth its salt knows that landing on the first page of a Google search is the ultimate goal. There are even businesses whose sole purpose is to promise that they will land you on the first page. Why is it so important? Because less than 10% of people will click through to the second page.
So how do you ensure that you show up in a Google search without going bankrupt in advertising and marketing? Title tags, keywords, SEO, content updates, original content, outbound links, site updates…the list goes on and on.
In order to ensure that your site is showing up in search results, it has to be updated constantly. A stagnant site will only hurt its rankings.
Error 404 – Page Not Found
Ah yes, nothing kills a business deal quicker than a dead page and/or website. Issues with plugin or theme updates, servers, hosts, memory limits, and a number of other circumstances can cause your site to become unavailable. What do you do in a situation like that? If no one is in charge of monitoring the site, it could be hours or worse, days, before you realize your site is down. Designating a professional, or at least someone within your business, to oversee your site can speed up the process to get your site back up and running.
“Website maintenance is essential for all businesses, regardless of size or business sector. When you commit to routine website maintenance, you’re investing in the best possible customer experience, while providing a safe and secure environment for business transactions.”
The times they are a changing
Cell phones are getting bigger, tablets are getting smaller, and yet these mobile devices are responsible for close to 60% of online activity. We want information, and we want it now, regardless of where we are. Because of this, most websites have responsive themes so that no matter how someone accesses your website, they will get the same experience and the same information. But what about if your website was built years ago? Before mobile device domination? Or what if your cutting edge design didn’t quite hold up and although it was once ahead of its time, it’s now dating your company?
Businesses get updated constantly, newer SOPs, better technology, so why should your site get the shaft?
“It’s a fast-paced world, and rebranding offline and online happens at a more frenetic pace than in decades prior. Attention spans are shortening and media options fragment each and every year. So it’s often required to retool a site design, even before it’s desired, to keep your customers feeling you’re keeping pace with the industry and your competitors.”
More important than a snazzy new design or sprinkling keywords throughout your site is web security. Hands down, the most important reason why you should maintain your website is to keep it secure. Cleaning it up every so often is great, but none of that will matter if hackers get hold of your site or if clients no longer trust their information on your site.
Strong passwords, two-step authentication, backing your site up, all of these contribute to a stronger site but ultimately there is still some room for error. Dropbox, Wendy’s, and Snapchat were just a few of the major companies that had their security breached in 2016. It can happen to anyone. However, the best defense is a good offense. it is better to be prepared and take preventative measures instead of being attacked and not knowing where to begin.
Ultimately, cleaning up your website shouldn’t be reserved simply for spring. If you have some questions about your site or are looking to give your site a much-needed boost, feel free to contact us directly.