Our Guide to Building & Maintaining Your Website - A Checklist
Websites serve a variety of purposes. Depending on your industry, it might be a newspaper, a magazine, an online store, a gallery, or all of the above. This means that website maintenance can be daunting. Read on for five kinds of tasks you must consider for websites.
Frequent tasks - weekly or monthly
These are things to keep tabs on regularly; every month, or every week if possible. These mostly have to do with your site’s ease of use, and since the website is one of the first points of contact your clients have with you, it’s important to give them the smoothest possible experience. Things to plan for should include the following:
For user experience, the first items to tick off the maintenance checklist are testing contact forms, checking for spam, and checking for broken links. Forms are especially important because you would want visitors to reach you easily. Having broken (or absent!) contact forms might translate into lost revenue, so test these regularly.
Cleaning up spam comments is also essential. When you leave these on, it gives the impression that you don’t monitor your own website. Having spam comments also slows your website down.
Finally, testing your links is a small but pertinent part of UX. Whether these are links across your site, to affiliates, or external stakeholders, updating them assures visitors you are detail-oriented and committed to providing relevant information.
Posting new or updated content
Frequently posting valuable content will always bring visitors to your site, who can quickly turn into clients. Posting at least once a month to your blog is ideal. This does not have to be a long-form piece on a recent industry development (although if you have that, great) but it does have to be of quality.
How-to articles are also a regular draw. It may help to consider what the evergreen topics are in your niche, and write a series of posts on these. If you are stuck brainstorming, look over old posts and see how you can rework these for a new year, or demographic. And since both users and search engines love seeing new content, posting consistently will help your website to rank.
Your website is also affected by how fast it loads. Not only will a fast site make visitors grateful, but it will also boost your search engine rankings. Running performance tests at least once a month will help you with this. Another thing you should take care of behind the scenes is reviewing traffic. Your content management system normally tracks where your visitors come from, the times of the day they visit, and what pages they frequent.
These things might give you insights you can incorporate in your next strategies. Finally, ensure all your content has a backup, or that your CMS is generating this as scheduled. Unexpected disruptions happen all the time, and you don’t want to lose your website and data to a system crash.
Infrequent tasks - yearly or more
Aside from the necessary website maintenance, you must also pencil in the following. These are things you need to look out for in the long term:
Design and navigation
Your brand and its target audience need to always be represented in your website design. Reflecting on this, and making the necessary changes, ensures that you have a virtual presence that is aligned with the direction your business is currently headed. Once a year, or once every few years, consider a website design upgrade, or even a logo update.
Keep in mind, though, that your design (and especially your logo) is your face to the world. Changing it frequently is counterproductive. Aside from web design, you should also test your site on different devices.
New technology will sometimes not support the design you currently use. Sometimes, browsers also change their coding and lose support for older sites. So make sure you have this aspect of UX down.
Review search rankings
If you are on the lookout for new customers, you should always be trying to improve your search engine rankings. Because this takes time, you might as well set a long term plan for it and lay the groundwork with the help of an SEO specialist.
Knowing your company’s common search terms will help you make content, design, and UX that responds to the needs of your possible clients.
Maintaining an online presence is no longer just about building an attractive website and leaving it be. There are plenty of things to cover if you want a reputation for being a relevant provider. A digital marketing agency for website maintenance and ranking helps.
If you’re looking for an Oakville-based SEO agency to help you keep your site active, get in touch with us to see how we can help.