Your website works for you 24/7, which means it has the potential to bring you a lot of traffic and a lot more business! However, if you're not keeping your site fresh and up-to-date, or formatting and optimizing your photos and copy correctly for SEO, you may not be seeing the kind of results you were hoping for.
Search engines, like Google, are focused on the user and so they reward websites that are updated regularly and continuously produce fresh, new content. They also love to see websites grow over time, as that indicates the business cares enough about their website visitors to make sure they have both relevant and valuable content.
Do You Nurture or Neglect Your Website?
Don't spend money building a beautiful website, only to set it and forget it. If you want your site to really shine, you need to nurture it by giving it some love and attention! When you give your website love, it will love you back!
If you want to maximize your return on investment and get the most out of your website you need to implement a website maintenance plan.
Here’s a checklist to get you started!
6 Things You Should be Doing on a Consistent Basis to Maintain Your Website
1. Backup your website
What would you do if one day, you signed into your account only to find your website and all your files completely erased? All of the money, time and effort you spent building a beautiful site with lots of valuable content, and now it's all gone. Forever. Think about how this would you feel and how much work you'd have to do to create all of that again from scratch. Things would surely never be the same.
This is why it's worth it to invest in a backup plan... by backing up your website.
There are plenty of plugins that can help automate backups for you, but the one I personally use and recommend for all of my sites is a plugin called BackupBuddy. This is a solid, must-have plugin that is worth every penny.
You can schedule BackupBuddy to backup your entire site (your database, all files in the WordPress Media library, your WordPress themes, WordPress plugins and more) automatically for you, therefore allowing you to rest easy knowing if anything ever happens, you can easily restore everything. 🙂
2. Keep your WordPress core files, plugins and themes up-to-date
This keeps your site running smoothly while also reducing the chance of getting your site hacked. Hackers get into your site through outdated software and they actively seek out sites that haven't upgraded to the most recent software. Don't let yourself be an easy target for them and lose your site! You work too damn hard for that.
There's an easy fix to this: you can install a free WordPress plugin like Easy Updates Manager, which will automatically update all of these things for you, or you can select which ones you want to automatically update and which ones you want to manually update.
Additional tips for maintaining your plugins:
- Keep your plugins up-to-date once you’ve installed them
- Delete any plugins that you’re not currently using
Additional tips for maintaining your theme:
- Make sure you backup your site first before you update your theme
- If you’ve customized your theme make sure you’re not overwriting those changes with a new version
3. Update and add new content
Build trust and strengthen relationships with your customers or clients by providing the latest and most up-to-date information on your website. Creating new blog posts can really help with this, especially since search engines love fresh content.
In addition, changing the content on each page a little bit every couple of months shows Google that the website is still active and is being paid attention to. The more often you update your site, the more often the search engines will visit your site, therefore boosting your rankings and helping you get found organically in search results!
4. Optimize your images
If you're creating new blog posts, you're going to want to include images in them, but are you optimizing your images in the best way?
You don't want to use huge images, as these can slow down the loading time of your site. Google wants to rank websites that provide a better user experience higher than others and the loading time of each of your pages plays an important factor in this. You don't want to keep your visitors waiting.
A page should ideally take one second to load; if it takes longer than 3 seconds, you're most likely going to lose that visitor. Resizing your images to smaller sizes can really help with this!
Tip: Try imageresize.org for easy image resizing! (I recommend keeping file sizes under 1MB)
You also want to give your image a proper file name and provide descriptive Alt. text, as this helps Google recognize any graphical content on your site, which will help bring you additional visitors coming from Google image searches and also improve your ranking.
So for example, instead of naming an image of a girl sitting at a computer "025846920.jpg" name it something like "female_entrepreneur_working_on_laptop.jpg"
Then once you upload your photo to your media file, add that same descriptive text to the Alt. text field.
To summarize, make sure you are:
- Properly sizing your images for the web
- Properly naming your images files and providing descriptive Alt. text.
5. Optimize every page and blog post for SEO
Search Engine Optimization is a technique used to help potential customers find your services, products, blog posts or business information online. Optimizing your content is an ongoing and sometimes complicated process, but it's also a very powerful method for attracting leads and more business!
For example, if you and your competitor have very similar information on each of your websites, but your website is fully configured with SEO and theirs is not, your site is much more likely to show up at the top of Google while theirs may not show up at all.
You get the business leads and they don't. Simple as that.
Related: What is SEO and Why is it Important?
6. Review your website's functionality
To provide a good user experience that keeps people coming back to your site, you want to make sure you're continuously checking on and maintaining your website's functionality.
A good user experience basically means:
- It's easy to use
- It's easy to find things on it
- It provides value and serves a need
- People feel happy using it and not frustrated
- It feels trustworthy
Some things you should be checking on regularly:
- Making sure your site not only looks good but also testing it to make sure it works properly on different browsers and devices
- Testing your forms to make sure they are functioning the way they should be
- Checking your navigation to make sure your links are all going to where they are supposed to be going. Also, check your mobile responsive navigation to make sure it's working properly.
- Check for broken links as these can negatively affect your SEO and cause readers to leave your site and never return. I recommend using the free Broken Link Checker plugin for WordPress.
Now Onto You
Did you know how important it was to maintain your website or did this post enlighten you with a whole bunch of new ideas? Have you implemented any of these things?
Comment below and let us know!