Did you know that more than one in four small businesses don’t even have a website? In today’s increasingly digital world, having a web presence is all but essential for businesses of all sizes.
While having a basic website to help your customers learn about your company is better than nothing, it’s important to understand that websites are not a one-and-done type situation.
In fact, websites need to be regularly maintained in order to ensure that they are providing the best possible customer experience as well as helping your business grow at your desired speed.
Many business owners don’t realize just how essential website maintenance is to the success of their website and their business. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about maintaining your company website so 2022 can be the best year for your business yet.
What Does Website Maintenance Mean?
When you regularly check your website for errors, mistakes, and issues as well as work to keep it relevant and updated, you are performing website maintenance. It’s important to maintain your website regularly in order to strengthen your Google rankings and SEO, boost your traffic growth, and generally keep your website healthy.
It doesn’t matter how big or small your company is, everyone from the most giant corporations to the tiniest company-of-one should keep their website well maintained. This is essential to gaining, engaging, and retaining customers.
It can be easy to overlook the importance of website maintenance because the individual issues might not seem that pressing. However, the health of your website can spiral downward into a much bigger mess that becomes difficult to deal with. In the same way that it’s best to keep a clean home by performing smaller, regular tasks rather than waiting for it to be a disaster before you get out the trash bag, website maintenance is easiest and best when you do a little bit all the time.
Not convinced that your small business even really needs a website? Learn about why running a website is a worthwhile investment in this article.
What Does a Website Maintenance Plan Entail?
In order to keep your website running smoothly, there are a number of tasks you can regularly run through. These tasks range from being quite time-sensitive to not very time-sensitive, so it’s important to prioritize them accordingly. For example, website security updates and patches are among the most pressing in order to keep your company and your customers safe.
Here is an example of a website maintenance plan to be gone through weekly:
- Ensure that all of your pages load correctly without errors
- Check to make sure that all of your forms load and run properly
- Make sure a previous version of your site is saved and run a backup
- Make sure there aren’t any broken links on your pages
- Get rid of spam comments on your posts or pages
- Make software and plugin updates to your website
- Post at least one blog post as a part of your SEO efforts
- Fix or redirect any 404 errors
Every month, you should:
- Make sure nothing is out of place by reviewing your security scans
- Test your website’s load speed and fix anything that is slowing it down
- Look at the previous month’s website statistics and analyze them
- Check-in with your blog and update your articles when necessary
There are also a number of tasks that should be done about four times a year. On a quarterly basis, you should:
- Consider whether your website structure and design should be improved
- Test and tweak calls to action, forms, and popups
- Review your meta titles, descriptions, and SEO tactics to make sure they are effective
- Check your backup health by restoring a previous version of your site
- Test your website on all of the different browsers and types of devices to make sure there aren’t any display issues
- Check-in to see if anything you’ve been doing manually can be automated
Lastly, there is also a yearly audit you’ll want to do to your website when it comes to maintenance. These tasks include:
- Make sure you renew your website domain for the next year
- Update any of the references to the current year on your site
- Review each page on your site for relevancy, typos, grammar, and content accuracy
- Consider your website structure and design and whether it could be improved
- Take a look at your most popular blog articles to see if you can further improve their rankings with updated content
This general website maintenance plan might sound like a lot, but it’s necessary to stay on top of your website health to ensure peak performance and optimal traffic. If you’re looking to learn more about how to gain more website traffic, check out our guide to digital marketing 101.
Why Is Website Maintenance Important?
When you run your own business, you are already trying to juggle a lot of different balls in the air at once. While building a website is an important first step, leaving a site neglected will have a negative impact on your brand image, SEO, and other aspects of your business.
While your website exists in part to give vital information to your customers, it also has more subtle and psychological purposes. The way that your website functions and looks has a major impact on how your customers view your brand.
This means that a well-maintained website can help customers see your business as the professional, put together, and functional company that you really are. On the other hand, though, a clunky website full of error pages, slow loading times, or other issues, will leave customers to believe that your business is low-effort and they’ll likely go elsewhere for their needs.
By far the most important reason to keep your website well maintained is security. This is particularly true if your website stores any personal information about customers. It’s vital to install regular security patches and software updates, otherwise, the information of both you and your customers are at risk.
People have pretty short attention spans these days. That means that you have to do everything you can to capture their interest and keep them on your site. If there is anything about your site that doesn’t function properly, you are increasing the risk that they will bounce off your site and go elsewhere.
Your site should have relevant content and current information, otherwise, your audience will quickly leave your site to find a better resource for what they’re looking for. It’s also essential that there aren’t any typos or grammar issues, as this is a sure-fire way of making your customers think you’re brand isn’t legitimate or worth doing business with.
SEO is another compelling reason to perform regular website maintenance. You will need to keep your site regularly updated in order to drive as much traffic to your site. As you know, the more traffic you have the better chance you will increase your sales.
The Google algorithm is designed to rank websites that have the most up-to-date and relevant information on the top of their search engine results. If your website hasn’t been recently updated and appears to be possibly infected by malware, Google might even de-index your website.
There are a number of different factors that impact your overall online visibility. SEO is a vital tool in how you can increase the number of visitors that reach your site.
How Much Does Website Maintenance Cost?
Depending on the size of your website, audience, and how much content you are hosting, the cost of website maintenance can vary greatly. We’ll break it down into different categories to help you get a ballpark figure of what this type of service might cost your business.
A Small Personal Blog
If you are running a small personal blog that doesn’t have a huge audience, your maintenance needs will be few. Whether you choose to do the maintenance tasks on your own or hire out the process, the costs for hiring website maintenance services will be relatively affordable. That being said, you might decide that it is easy enough to maintain on your own that it’s not worth the price.
A Well-Trafficked Medium to Large Blog
Are you running an affiliate marketing or personal blog that is bringing in quite a bit of traffic? If this is the case, there’s a good chance you want your site to be self-hosted. This means that updates, maintenance, backups, and marketing will need more frequent attention and involve a larger investment of money.
Marketing Website for a Company
This type of website is fairly low-maintenance, similar to a medium to large blog. This type of site will likely need to be self-hosted and will require minimal upkeep in the form of marketing, backups, and regular updates.
Did you know that e-commerce sales were expected to account for more than 18% of retail sales around the world? In our increasingly digital world, all signs point to e-commerce being the future of retail.
If you are running a large eCommerce website, website maintenance will be a larger financial investment. You’re dealing with a lot of customer data, code customization, and content at this scale. If you don’t have an IT team, hiring a web maintenance company is liking going to be necessary in order to keep your website relevant, safe, and in tip-top shape.
Custom Web Apps
If you built a custom web app from the ground up with a particular purpose in mind, it will require the largest financial investment.
Is It Worth Hiring Website Maintenance Services?
There are a number of advantages to hiring website maintenance services. For one, you will be hiring people who maintain websites as their full-time job, meaning that they know the best tactics and are incredibly efficient. Secondly, it frees up your time to focus on running the parts of your business that only you can handle.
Lastly, this is a cost-effective approach that can grow with your company. While it might be possible for you to maintain your own blog when it’s small, once you transform it into an eCommerce store where you sell branded products you might find the maintenance tasks are too time-consuming and out of your wheelhouse. Starting off with web-maintenance services can mean that the package you purchase can scale with your company.
Is It Time for You to Enlist Help With Website Maintenance?
As you can see, website maintenance is pretty much essential to running a business in the current year. Not only does maintenance ensure that both you and your customers are protected, but it also can help your business succeed and grow. The front page of Google is an incredibly competitive space, and it’s vital that your website is in tip-top shape in order to stand a chance.
While you might be able to manage to maintain your website on your own, it’s important to remember there’s an opportunity cost to doing so. Hiring a maintenance service can ensure that you are able to point your attention to the aspects of your business that only you can take care of.
At Iconic Web, we have more than ten years of experience managing hundreds of both national and local websites. With our web maintenance services, you can rest assured that your site is always fast, up-to-date, functional, and available.
When you hire an experienced website maintenance company, you can focus on what you do best, running your business.
If you’d like to learn more about how Iconic Web can help your business succeed, book a free maintenance call with us today!