June 15, 2009
You’ve probably tried many times in the past to visit a website only to find that it is no longer there, filled with broken links or that the information contained is well out of date. Just like you’d put in the effort to keep your home or your business in good condition, you should practice website maintenance to ensure that your visitors see a working site with updated content.
A website which is neglected will begin to show wear and tear. Visitors will simply go elsewhere if they see your site filled with out of date content and links which no longer work. You’ll need to ensure regular website updates to keep the content fresh and ensure that everything is working properly.
Many businesses fail to place the proper emphasis on website maintenance – which is a big mistake. To many consumers, your website is the point of contact for your business and your products and services. Suppose you had a brick and mortar storefront; you wouldn’t still be advertising a Christmas sale in May in your shop window, would you? Visitors will think your website has been abandoned and they will go to your competitors – hardly the result you want from your site.
Keep your content fresh
You’ll get a higher search engine ranking if you keep your content regularly updated, meaning more visitors will find and visit your site. Google, Yahoo and other search engines keep an eye out for updated content, so the more often you add new and relevant content, the higher your search engine ranking will be and the better you’ll be able to establish a reputation as an authoritative source of information in your field.
When you maintain a website by adding new content regularly, you’ll keep visitors coming back to see what you’ve added. This will build interest in your business and raise your profile online. You can use a blog or a news page to attract and retain the interest of consumers. Whenever you have new information to add that may be of interest to your visitors, get it up there on your site! You can also keep your visitors engaged by offering a newsletter or an RSS feed for updates.
To keep your site fresh:
Maintain up-to-date information on services, products and pricing; add photos, graphics and other multimedia content to the site regularly; feature a blog, articles and other new content regularly; send out announcements via email (or an RSS feed) about any company-related news.
Check all of your links regularly
There are few things which are more annoying than broken links. Broken links are those that point to a website or other resource which is no longer there or has been moved. You can either check your links yourself or hire someone to perform this service for you. Make sure to remove or update any broken links that you find.
If you remove any pages from your site, check if these pages are linked to by other sites and let them know that these links will no longer work (if possible, provide an updated link to these other sites). When you add or remove pages, make sure to update your site map so that the search engines can update this information as quickly as possible.
Your website will grow and change over time as your business grows. Website maintenance is an essential part of this business growth; your website will keep doing its job of attracting customers and driving sales as long as it is properly maintained.
Andrew Plimmer is CEO of Suncoast Internet, Sunshine Coast web design, web development and search engine optimisation specialists. For a free consultation on web design and SEO at Suncoast Internet go to => http://www.suncoastinternet.com.au/