So you’ve got a great looking website. You hired a professional, or took countless hours of your own time to perfect the site. Now that it looks okay, you can just let it set there and create business, right? Wrong.
Websites, like any car, home, or storefront, need to be updated and maintained to continue being valuable. They require updates to stay current, new content/growth to deliver information, and activity for search engines to see that the site is providing current value for web users. The days of sliding in some keywords and leaving your site dormant for years are long gone; even a month or two of inactivity should be reason to worry.
Technology moves fast. Neglecting to perform your website’s updates, such as its core, plugins, themes, and other parts, for any extended period of time will put you behind in a hurry. You could be using an old version of a plugin or CMS that doesn’t comply with newer SEO practices, or isn’t compatible with newer versions/browsers. And much like the Windows XP End of Life, versions of CMSs like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla have an end of life. If your site is running on an old, no-longer-supported version of any of these, you may be sacrificing some of your site’s security, compatibility, and functionality. Not to mention, web developers are working on themes and plugins for the new versions, not the old ones.
If you neglect your site’s CMS core or key plugins for too long, upgrading can become a nightmare. Delayed upgrades may require migrations, third party tools, and many hours of manual fixes and modifications to get things up to date. Regular maintenance helps prevent these kind of troubles, avoids extended downtime, and offers additional benefits as well.
Some business owners/managers may not see the need to put work into a website once it has been built, others may not have the time or resources to maintain it. The fact is, the more time a website sits without making new posts, pages, or updates – the more search engines will downgrade its rank; especially since other websites are doing those things. Google and other search engines are crawling your site constantly. The more they see a static site, the less they think you have to offer users who are searching for information on the web. It also doesn’t hurt to show Google that you are at least trying to keep up with its recommended best SEO practices.
Any web developer will tell you there are countless benefits to proactively managing your website from a digital marketing and SEO standpoint. Proactive maintenance will improve and protect your search rank. New posts/pages give you more opportunities to speak about the subject matter you want to rank highly for; regularly using content and keywords for your business field will increase your company’s relevance and authority for those search terms.
However, it isn’t just about SEO. Site updates will engage your visitors, too. If you visit a website fairly regularly, you may remember the last time you visited and noticed something looked different. That change probably caused you to stick around a little longer and explore the site. Updates (like blog posts) increase site visit duration for many of the site’s visitors. This gives you much more time to engage with your visitors, and show them current deals/promotions , new products , or new ways to use or interact with the brand or product. All of these present opportunities to drive sales, increase awareness, and reinforce the relationship between you and the user.
Website maintenance and regular SEO management are a must for site performance in the internet of today. There’s no easy one-and-done trick to Search Engine Optimization, and there’s no way around managing your site’s software and content updates. You need to spend time every week (or at least a few times a month) maintaining your website and monitoring its performance. If you don’t feel you have the time or the know-how to handle this yourself, web development companies like Cii can take care of website maintenance for you. Read about some of our SEO and site management services, or contact us to get started down the path to a better-performing website.