Website Maintenance 101: Why it’s Important and How to Do it

website maintenance

Congratulations on launching your first website. Closing on your first piece of digital real estate can be a major triumph.

But, much like owning your first home, website maintenance is the key to keeping your online presence valuable. Set up a strategy to ensure you get the most out of your website investment.

Here is an overview of why website maintenance is crucial to maintaining brand credibility. 

What is Website Maintenance?

Website maintenance includes any and all changes made to your website after it’s launched. Fixing typos, adding photos, or updating your business phone number all count as website maintenance.

In a perfect world, all your website would ever need to remain fresh and up to date would be your most current contact information. And, in theory, you could manage this all on your own.

But website maintenance plans include far more than just adding new product photos from time to time. Website maintenance plans include strategies for optimizing everything from your website’s e-commerce tools to search engine ranking.

Benefits of a Website Maintenance Plan

As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. When it comes to website maintenance, few business owners have the time or capacity to handle ongoing security, storage, or server updates.

Your expectation is that when you visit your website it loads quickly and looks professional. There are lots of details that go into your site loading without errors. 

Here’s how website maintenance services help your brand remain credible online.

Protection from Hackers

Small sites are just as vulnerable to hackers are large corporate websites. If your website is left unattended for years, you’re more likely to suffer from a cyber-attack because no one is around to pay attention. 

Hackers can use small business websites for everything from blackhat SEO campaigns to bandwidth theft. Some hacking jobs have very little purpose at all.

The key is to protect your business website by putting a security watchdog on alert for potential threats. Website maintenance plans track security updates so that your site has the latest available protection from hackers.

If you have an e-commerce site, this is especially important since security updates also protect customer data. Protect your brand image and online reputation by making sure your website has an ongoing maintenance plan.  

Decreased Bounce Rates

You have only a few seconds to capture the attention of website visitors before losing them to competitors. Optimizing your web pages to improve visitor experience is one way to keep visitors from clicking away.

When users click away from your site after visiting only one page, it’s called a bounce. High bounce rates alert your website maintenance team that there’s something going on that needs updating or fixing. 

Bounce rates aren’t always cut and dry. There may be times where visitors only need to spend a short amount of time on your site because it’s a landing page where they enter an email address.

Having an experienced website maintenance team monitor your bounce rates helps you to differentiate between which bounces are good and which are harmful. 

Load Times

One common reason for high bounce rates is slow loading times. If a visitor has to wait for a graphics-heavy page to load, the chance of them clicking away increases.

Website maintenance services are about optimizing your web pages so that you have the best content to improve user experience. If you need an explainer video, but not 20 images, your team can make the needed adjustments.

But your website maintenance team’s plan isn’t to strip each page down to its bare-bones minimum. Sometimes a new design or updated layout ideas are enough to help optimize a page.

For example, your team can integrate the best video player to help pages load faster without taking users away from your site. Finding solutions involves a little creativity and a lot of website maintenance experience. 

Website Maintenance & SEO

Google is the number one search engine in the world. Though users have other options when searching content, you can use Google’s SEO best practices as a guide to optimizing your site.

One thing that can easily set you back in search engine rankings is an irrelevant website. Google’s main product is search results.

By offering users top-notch websites in their search results, they improve the user experience. This means that websites with pages that have no visitor engagement and high bounce rates are bad for business. 

Improve your website relevance to improve your search engine ranking. Be a resource to visitors instead of a brochure for your company’s services.

Here are the top five ways Google judges your website’s content.

1. Search Meaning

Search terms can have a variety of meanings. For example, ‘how to get change from an ATM’ and ‘how to change an oil filter’ use the word ‘change’ in opposite ways.  

Your website’s page content should have words that make sense for visitors. Think like the customer to come up with website copy that search engines can find. 

2. Relevance

Your competitors are looking for new ways to wow customers. If they’ve started a blog that gets dozens of comments per day, you’ll need to find your own strategy for staying relevant.

Website maintenance helps you regularly present fresh ideas to engage your page visitors. 

3. Quality of Website

Bad website design is one way to keep your website out of top search results. As best practices in web design change, rest assured that your website maintenance team can make the necessary updates to keep your content fresh.

4. Context

Context speaks to where a user is located and past search queries. You can optimize your pages for Google’s local search algorithm to take advantage of this traffic.  

5. Usability 

Does your website show up correctly in different browsers? Is it mobile friendly?

These are important usability factors Google uses to rank your website. Computer and phone technology is constantly changing which brings the need to consistently audit how your website appears to visitors. 

Website Maintenance Cost

Not having a website maintenance plan is expensive. It costs you visitors, search engine rankings, and security.

Unless you can afford to have customer data breaches or an undiscoverable website, it’s important to enlist the help of professionals to create a strategy for maintenance.

You’ll maintain the credibility your brand deserves helping you stand out from your competitors. For more information or to schedule a strategy call, contact us today.