As a small to medium sized business, it’s pretty common that your or someone on your staff has the responsibility of managing your website in addition to many other tasks. It can often fall to the bottom of your to-do list as seemingly more important things come along.
However, as you invest more and more in online marketing channels like local SEO, paid search or others, many of your potential customers’ first interaction with you will be your website. Think of it as your digital storefront. Just like you tidy your office, decorate your store or other ways to impress new customers, your website requires regular upkeep to impress your site visitors to take the action you want them to.
While the list could go on and on and may vary by industry, here are 5 quick website maintenance tips to put on your monthly website maintenance checklist:
1. Contact Information and Forms
There are actually many surprising stats about how many small business websites don’t have their contact information or contact forms on their website. If you don’t, stop right now and go slap your phone number in your header at the least.
If you do, you should make it a point each month to make sure your information is accurate and that your contact forms work. Whether it’s a technical glitch, a bad email address or some other unknown, it’s possibly you may not be getting those valuable contact form requests.
If you use a call tracking number, dial it from a separate phone to make sure you calls are still being passed through. You can also review your call tracking analytics to make sure you see activity on your number.
2. Update Promotions and Deals
If you offer coupons, special promotions or other similar ideas, make sure they are regularly updated and relevant. Let’s say you run an accounting firm and offer a 25% off coupon for personal tax preparation. This is great content and incentive during January-April but can make your site feel dated and unkempt the rest of the year. Also, if you have an expiration date on your coupons, that’s an obvious sign of a neglected website.
By regularly updating and rotating your promotions and coupons, your site will be more alive and give your fans a reason to keep coming back to get the latest information.
3. Broken Links and Images
The web is constantly changing and evolving which means URL’s change, images change and nothing stays the same. If you link to other people throughout your site which is generally a good practice, you’ll want to verify each month that all of your external and internal links are working correctly. It’s also common that you may link to or display an image from a different website so make sure those are displaying correctly as well. We recommend using some free tools to verify your links like Xenu Link Sleuth.
If you think about your own online shopping habits, how much confidence or trust would you have in a site if you could tell the site wasn’t being maintained and you constantly came across broken images and links? Search engines also take this into account as one of their many ranking factors.
4. Site Speed
The speed of your website isn’t something that most small business owners consider. However, it is becoming an increasingly more important factor in search engine rankings and more importantly, conversion rates.
Consider these statistics (sources listed here):
- Customers expect your site to load in 2 seconds or less
- 40% of customers will leave your site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load
- For every 1 second of load time, conversion drops by 7%
- For every 1 second of load time, user satisfaction drops by 16%
This is definitely something to consider when building a new site but your site can slow down over time as you add and remove pages, images, badges, social buttons, etc. Check your page load times regularly to ensure you aren’t losing business due to slow load times.
5. Your Blog
Everyone thinks they need a blog and a blog is definitely important if you’re serious about online marketing. In a survey of 1531 small to medium sized businesses, the 795 businesses that blogged received 55% more website visitors and 97% more inbound links.
However, the key to this isn’t just having a blog; it’s about having an active blog and promoting your content. If you’ve set up a blog in the past but can’t keep it updated, it’s a very quick indication to your visitors that you’ve abandoned your site.
These 5 important areas to check each month will keep your site fresh, search engine friendly and provide a good experience for your website visitors.
Do you have any more tips to add? If so, please do in the comments below.