Headalight Pro Tips • Sep 25, 2018
Having a website is now an imperative for most companies large and small. The landscape of customer acquisition is changing, as is the way business owners communicate with them.
As I talk to small business owners, there seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding exactly what they should and shouldn’t be doing with their website. To be fair, if you’re not a designer or a developer, it can be intimidating to take this on yourself.
That’s why I’m here to give you some advice on the basics of website maintenance. I’ll give you a few useful tips that you can do yourself to stay relevant and visible on the world wide web.
A website comes with responsibility. Like a physical shopfront, It’s NOT a “build it and forget it” aspect of your business. If you want to be successful you should be focusing on these four things:
1. Keep your site secure.
Because websites get hacked, and hacked sites lose visitors and traffic. Data protection laws now penalise a website that isn’t defended and secured against threats like hacking and ransomware.
Hackers don’t usually announce themselves on the front page of your website. You might be infected without even knowing that your site is being used to send spam emails or links to nefarious parts of the web. Setting up a regular monitoring service will ensure that if you do get infected or have site errors, you can fix them fast.
Investing in an SSL certificate is HIGHLY suggested. Starting this year, Google will be marking all sites that don’t have SSL security as “unsecured”. This will warn users before they enter your site and greatly impact your search relevancy.
2. Always backup your data.
An up-to-date backup schedule can prevent you from losing everything in the case of a disaster.
Backing up your site should happen regularly, especially for those who update their site often. Things happen. Don’t expect your web host to be keeping a scheduled backup for you. While they may be, it could be old, and not on track with your latest site updates. If the server crashes, or your site gets hacked, or you make some major mistake, your edits could be gone.
3. Prevent un-engaged users.
Most website first impressions are made in under a second. If your load time is long, something doesn’t work, or you provide a broken link you’ll greatly impact your potential customers’ experience.
Most websites get built on a content management system. Which means the software can potentially be exploited. We use WordPress, because it’s constantly being updated, improved and made more secure. When WordPress releases a new version, it’s a must to update your site. Failing to do this leaves you vulnerable. you should treat plugin updates in the same way – all software updates are a form of protection.
4. Stay relevant and keep people coming back.
It’s important to provide fresh, relevant information and content related to your market. This also helps search engines rank you higher in search results.
A regular blogging schedule will keep your returning visitors happy and engaged. The search engines will like you a whole lot more too. If there’s one piece of SEO advice we have to give it’s this: Publish relevant content, and publish it often.
This also applies to your site’s page content. Give it a quarterly read through and edit portions that become outdated as your company evolves. It’s a big turn off to listen to an amazing business proposal and see an outdated message when you visit the company website. Especially if it looks like it hasn’t changed since 1992. Need help with your maintenance? Click on the banner below to contact us.