When was the last time you updated your website?
Many of us commit much of our time, energy and resources to having the perfect website for our business, one we’re proud to unveil to the world and see how it brings in new clients and opportunities.
But websites have to be consistently updated to ensure they keep performing well. I’m not just talking about ensuring your business details are correct and adding a blog once a month but keeping on top of your SEO, maintenance tasks and making sure the functionality is working as it should.
Here’s what you need to know to make sure your website stays up to date and relevant.
Is your marketing copy still accurate?
Good copywriting focuses on bridging the gap between your target audience and what you have to offer. This is great when your business remains the same year after year, but if you’ve evolved as a business owner and are now offering different services, or you’ve identified a different niche you want to target or maybe, your target audience has completely changed – you need to update your copy.
Go through each page putting yourself in the shoes of your potential customer – is the copy getting across what you want them to understand from it? Can they get all the information they need to make an informed decision? Have you had any questions asked that you could put the answers to into your copy?
Reviewing your copy and keeping it fresh will ensure your target audience are always getting the most accurate and up to date information, and you’ll be helping to boost your SEO too.
Keep on top of Google algorithm changes
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is always a tricky beast to master, primarily because Google is constantly introducing and tweaking its algorithms! But one thing is for sure if you had an SEO campaign 18 months ago or longer, it’s already out of date.
Google is much more focused on accurate and relevant content these days, and if you work in the health and wellness industries, they want to ensure you’re not giving fake medical advice too as per their Google Medic update (so always reference research studies, NHS website, professional body information etc to support what you’re saying with evidence).
Your rankings can naturally slip over time as your competitors may have just completed their own SEO campaign to climb higher in search results.
Keep a lookout for the major algorithm changes and heed the suggestions from SEO experts about what you need to do to keep in Google’s good books. Routine SEO you should be doing is blogging regularly, adding alt text to your images, keeping content up to date and relevant, and keeping an eye on your search rankings to spot any issues.
Maintaining your website’s functionality
The absolutely essential task you need to be doing for your website is to check it’s still working properly!
Always backup your website regularly, and definitely before you update any plugins, add new content/pages, or make any big changes to your website. Some web hosting providers will do daily backups for you and there are various WordPress plugins that you can use to download and restore a backup at the click of your mouse.
When you update your theme, plugins and WordPress itself, always go through each and every page of your website afterwards to make sure nothing has been broken. It’s not unheard of for a plugin update to cause a conflict with another plugin and break functionality. Common issues to look out for are:
- Contact form no longer working
- Broken links
- Images no longer showing on pages
- The design has completely changed
- Slow to load
If any of these occur, restore the backup you made before you updated. You can then update each plugin one at a time to establish which one is to blame and roll it back to a safer version. Waiting for a week or so after an update is a good approach to take in ensuring any potential conflicts are ironed out by the publishers before you update your website.
If your website isn’t built with WordPress, make sure you know how to keep it backed up. Speak to your web developer or hosting company for their guidance on this if you’re not sure.
Having a website is essential for any business but ensuring it’s kept up to date and working as it should is absolutely vital. If you need assistance with any of these website-related tasks, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to help (and if we’re unable to assist you, we’ll point you in the direction of those that can).