Outside of promoting your website, maintaining it is the most critical thing to do if you want to achieve your online business goals. The most critical visitor to your site will be your potential customer. Does your website reflect your business as it is today or has it been a while and it’s the same information and graphical content as when you first launched it? Your website is your representative on the internet; it is a reflection of your image. Your website is what your online visitors have to judge you by. If your website content is stale and out of date, your visitor will vote with their mouse by going to the next site on the list in the Search Results.
If you are like most, your time is better spent managing your business. That’s where professional design firms come in. Not all Internet Presence or Web Design firms provide website maintenance, so hopefully you are lucky enough to have a maintenance relationship with your web designer. If not, you should make it a priority to get a design firm on retainer. Don’t wait until your content is out dated and your website isn’t producing the results you expect. Choose a reliable company to maintain your site using the following guidelines. To avoid wasting time or money, ensure that:
1) You understand the website maintenance pricing.
2) You are clear on exactly what services they will provide.
3) They help you develop a clear and straightforward website maintenance plan that YOU understand.
4) The Firm has years of experience providing timely and regular expert maintenance for business websites.
5) The staff performing the web maintenance are seasoned professionals.
6) The company reputation is sound. They should offer references for you to look into before making your decision.
Ensuring your website content is current and relative is a big part of maintaining your website. Another is keeping your website coding up to date. Search Engines, especially GOOGLE, update their search algorithms frequently. They are always improving the way they determine ‘relevance’. In 2012 alone, GOOGLE released 23 updates to their Search Engine Algorithm. This is the ‘engine’ that determines where your website ranks within any given Key Word or Key Phase search. Generally speaking, even if your website was developed by a professional design firm who was proficient in optimizing your site to be Search Engine friendly, your website is no longer performing to its potential as a result of this past years changes to GOOGLE search algorithm. If your website was developed 2 yrs ago, you’ve missed 3 major updates in how GOOGLE ranks pages. Just in the last major update which came out in April 2012, GOOGLE made over 50 changes.
If you are serious about online marketing, your website should be receiving ongoing review and maintenance. Your website content should be fresh and current. Its back-end should be tested against current Search Engine guidelines and web design standards. Just as you take your car in for routine checkups and maintenance, your website should be monitored and maintained by a professional firm; one who continuously upgrades their tools and methodologies to remain current with today’s evolving technologies.