Between 70% to 80% of consumers check out a business online before making a purchase. Despite how often consumers rely on the internet for information, only 50% of small businesses have a website!
If your website is old, outdated, or not functioning properly, you’re likely losing customers. Negative user experience can scare off visitors and cost you sales. With regular website maintenance, however, you can ensure your site is communicating with customers.
Here are seven tips for improving website maintenance for your company’s website. By completing these routine checkups, you can strengthen your site.
1. Check Page Speed
Consumers expect pages to load quickly. If they have to wait around for your content to load, they’ll probably leave. They could even visit your competitors’ websites instead.
In fact, a page load speed of 10 seconds could increase your bounce rate by 123%. Your bounce rate indicates how often people leave your site without clicking around. The higher your bounce rate, the lower your ranking on search engines like Google.
The lower your ranking, the less likely people are to find you online.
First, use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to determine your website’s current load times. This tool will also indicate what problems are causing your site to slow down. For example, you might need to update an old plugin or start compressing images.
As you create new pages on your website, make sure to complete regular website tests. Otherwise, you might not realize an element on a certain page is slowing your site down.
Improving page speed will improve the visitor’s user experience. Better user experience will encourage them to click around. As a result, you can improve your clickthrough rate and bounce rate.
Both metrics can help you rank higher on Google.
2. Fix Broken Links
Fixing broken pages and links is another important step when improving website maintenance. Otherwise, customers will fail to find the information they’re looking for.
The internet is constantly changing. If you’re using external links on your website, you might find the reference you’ve linked to has moved the page. As a result, the link on your website will appear broken.
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You can use a plugin to determine which links on your site are broken.
Then, you can update these links to ensure they travel to the correct pages.
Make sure to study your internal links as well. Make sure any broken links redirect to another page. If you don’t have a new link to send visitors to, create a quirky error page that fits your brand.
That way, your visitors can see you’re aware of the problem. Then, prompt them to visit a different page, such as your blog or homepage.
3. Consider Your Content
Twenty-one percent of small businesses plan on using search engine optimization (SEO) this year. SEO is an important marketing strategy that will help you rank for keywords on Google. Ranking for a range of different keywords will help you attract new visitors to your website.
In order for SEO to work, you need a content marketing strategy that includes updating your blog.
An old, outdated blog will make you look stale and irrelevant to customers. Instead, consumers want information that reflects their interests and concerns.
What problems are your customers facing each day? What information or tips can you provide that will help them? Proving readers with regular blog content will bring them back to your website.
Updating your blog with helpful information will also make you look like a credible authority in your industry.
You don’t have to stick with blog posts, either. Try adding fun infographics, quizzes, or videos to keep visitors engaged.
Google’s SEO algorithm changes throughout the year. It’s important to remain up-to-date with the latest trends. Otherwise, your SEO strategy might not generate traffic.
Improving website maintenance involves updating all of your content. If you have a calendar on your blog, make sure it’s up-to-date. If you’ve moved locations or have a new phone number, make sure customers know.
If the information you provide is inaccurate, you might lose brand trust.
4. Theme and Plugin Updates
An outdated theme or broken plugin can break your entire website.
Before updating anything, it’s essential you backup your website. If any update breaks anything on your site, you can always revert back to the saved version.
Next, make sure you’re using the latest version of WordPress (if you’re using the WordPress platform). Once you’ve updated WordPress, check your theme. Make sure you’re running the latest version.
If everything looks okay, backup your site again. Then, start updating plugins. As you update each plugin, check your site.
If anything looks broken, revert back to your last save.
Updating your theme and plugins will make sure everything is functioning as intended on your site.
5. Check Your Forms
How are customers contacting you on your website? Sometimes, the plugin you’re using for your web forms can break. Even updating the plugin can cause errors.
Each time you create a new form, make sure to test it from the frontend of your website. Does it function as intended? Imagine a customer using your form for the first time.
Testing your forms will help improve your conversion rate and reduce mistakes.
6. Update Deals and Promos
Are you offering limited-time offers and exclusives on your website? Make sure those deals are timely and up-to-date. Otherwise, a customer might come to you with a coupon that expired a year ago.
Make sure the items in your e-commerce store are updated, too. You can use this product information management software to keep product information updated and organized.
7. Step Up Security
Check for “HTTPS” in front of your website’s URL. If you don’t have an SSL certificate, nows the time to get one! Most customers only want to shop from companies they know they can trust with their personal information.
In addition to an SSL certificate, you might also want to use a plugin to boost security features on your site.
Improving Website Maintenance for Small Businesses: Tips for a Tune-Up
With these tips for improve website maintenance, you can make sure your website is functioning smoothly.
Give your customers the best possible user experience with these seven tips. Searching for more website tips? Explore the Internet section of the blog today.