Keeping your website up to date
Gone are the days where you could just build a website, leave it online and it magically brought visitors and interest to your business and services. There is so much competition online for businesses nowadays that a website has to be used as a tool to help promote your business rather than an automatic lead generator or product seller. If you let your website just sit online, with no updates and no maintenance it will slowly fall to the bottom of the search results and then you are paying for hosting fees for nothing as it is unlikely to be seen by your potential customers. You cannot have a website that you do nothing with and expect it to bring you results. It won’t by itself, think of it as a tool rather than a finished product.
Using your website as a marketing tool
Think of your website as a tool to promote your website. Ask yourself what aspects of your business can you promote regularly on your website and use it to enhance your other advertising channels.
In the physical world, things about your business are changing all the time. New products come in, you might expand into new services, fees may go up or down, new members of staff may bring different services, and you may have special offers. All these things can be reflected as news in a blog, or general updates to your website to keep it current and give it new content for the search engines. If google see’s that your website is regularly changing, it knows it is being used and will keep it higher in the search rankings.
Linking your website pages to print advertising campaigns, or social media campaigns will bring new traffic to your website, and in turn make it more popular in the search engine rankings. Creating special landing pages for specific advertising campaigns will help keep the content updated and fresh.
Keeping on top of SEO
It is also good to check the SEO for your website on a regular basis. If you have google analytics integrated with your website it can give you an idea of what your visitors are searching for before they land on your website and you can modify your SEO to try to rank for different keywords. Google’s algorithm for ranking pages also changes frequently so what worked one month, may not work the next and it is good to check your rankings and modify your SEO if it needs it. There are plenty of online resources that explain any recent updates to how google indexes and ranks website pages, so a quick read through will tell you if there’s anything you need to do for your website. These updates also show google that your website is being used and it will help to keep it up in the rankings.
Behind the scenes of your website if you are using a CMS (content management system, for example WordPress) you need to keep the system and plugins up to date as otherwise it becomes a security risk and could be hacked. A hacked website means you could unknowingly be displaying content that isn’t yours, or the website could be broken or hijacked to use your search ranking. All of these things are detected by google and so your website will fall in the search rankings. Most CMS systems regularly roll out general updates and security updates and it is important to stay on top of these.
Static websites, those that don’t use a CMS system also benefit from updates. Even if you can’t think of ways to use your website as a marketing tool, there is bound to be some content that you can change and update to keep it fresh. Perhaps a more recent picture of staff members, or the outside of the office, different product pictures, new paragraphs in your content pages. All of these enhancements add value to your website and keep it fresh for google.
Help with CMS maintenance
When you are running a business it can be quite time consuming to update your website and keep on top of the security updates for a CMS. It is possible that web designers will offer a maintenance service or virtual assistant service to help you manage these updates. Indeed, here at cannedSunlight we are happy to help our clients keep their websites up to date and can add content, update images, add blog posts (text must be supplied) and manage the security and maintenance updates of CMS systems. It is recommended to run updates on a CMS once a month, and we can keep these up to date for you and alert you to any problems there might be that require extra work. See our consultation services page for more information about these services.