We hear a lot of excuses for why small business owners avoid maintaining their website. But the reality is that consistent web maintenance is crucial to having a website that effectively drives traffic to your business.
Many times, web maintenance is avoided because a business website isn’t seen as an asset. If your website isn’t converting, why invest time and money into maintaining it?
The answer? When you fail to perform proper maintenance on your website, it’s not just a matter of appearances… it may be a huge factor in why it’s not converting well.
Here are 3 reasons to stay on top of your website maintenance:
Reason #1: Your Brand Image
The most visible reason to stay on top of website maintenance is to keep your website, (and thus, your online image,) from feeling dated or irrelevant.
Imagine if you were looking for a computer, and you came across a website that looked like this:
Now, that site was cutting edge when it launched in 1996. But today, most customers would click away as fast as possible. The impression would be that the business doesn’t care, or maybe even that they aren’t even in business anymore.
Plus, using outdated components in your themes and plugins can impact the functionality of your site, making it harder for visitors to use effectively. Having a difficult-to-use site can have a negative impact on your company’s image as well.
Maintaining your site and making sure that your templates, themes and other design elements are updated can make your image an asset, not a hindrance.
But that’s not the only reason to stay on top of your maintenance! In fact, there are others that may be even more important.
Reason #2: Your Security
We’ve talked about this in our Ultimate Guide To Securing Your Business Website, but making sure that the elements of your website are consistently updated is an important element of a good security plan.
Nobody wants to have a website that compromises their sensitive data, or the data of their customers and clients. But no matter how well you manage the risks, it’s important to keep in mind that the security of your website is only as good as the security of your website components.
Things like themes, templates, plugins can be used by attackers to gain access into your system. And the older your website components are, the longer hackers have had to discover vulnerabilities in them.
So make sure to use verified components and keep them updated. This is an element of regular maintenance that can save huge amounts of time, money, and negative perception that a security breach can bring.
Reason #3: Your Site’s Ranking
Staying on top of regular website maintenance can keep your site from looking and acting dated. And keep it safer from attack. But did you know that it can impact your ranking?
When people think Search Engine Optimization, (or SEO,) their minds usually jump straight to keywords. And yes, that’s a huge part of it! But there are other aspects of your Google ranking that have nothing to do with keywords at all… and they are tied directly to your regular website maintenance plan. What are they?
- Mobile friendliness. With over 60% of mobile searches being performed via mobile device, it’s important to make sure that your themes, templates, and images are easily viewed on a mobile device. Google tests your site’s mobile friendliness, and prioritizes sites that are up-to-date on those platforms. And, while we’re at it, don’t forget about optimizing for smart speakers like Alexa or Google Home.
- Speed. Google prioritizes websites that load fast over sites that load slowly. Which means that your outdated and poorly maintained website elements, (like images,) can be holding you back from a decent ranking.
Algorithms change. Platforms change. Staying on top of these elements of basic maintenance keeps your site changing with them, and can have a positive effect on your site’s Google ranking. And the easier your site is to find, the easier it can be used as an asset to drive real, measurable growth to your business.
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