Online Maintenance for Small Businesses

If you are a business owner, maintaining your website properly is equally as important as maintaining your books. Having a properly responsive website is crucial to elevating the customer experience. It’s not only important to securing new leads, but it’s also important to securing actual new customers for your business. The care of your site ends up serving a variety of different yet crucial purposes for website owners especially doing it yourself without a web developer. For one, it ensures that your site is properly secured and that you aren’t allowing your site to be too vulnerable to any potential breaches or hackers. Along with this, it’s just as important to keep your site operating as effectively as possible. Your site needs to be well maintained if you want it running at optimal speeds and with the right protocols.

A slow and poorly optimised site is going to limit your own website growth potential. Not only does it decrease your organic ranking potential, but it can stunt your growth as a business because of it. After all, your site is effectively an extension of your business and brand. As a result, you need to ensure that you are treating it with such regard. It can take business years to effectively build out a good amount of brand awareness and to gain the trust of the marketplace. Unfortunately, it can be easy to lose the trust of the marketplace when you have a slow, poorly designed, and unoptimised site. That’s why it’s so important to properly maintain your site and try to identify problems before they crop up. It’s equally as important to avoid a lot of the pitfalls that could be holding your business back.

What Is Online Care?

Website maintenance is the process of continually checking your site to ensure that it’s working as it should and that you are doing everything you can to optimise its performance. You need to be checking your site for key things that could be negatively limiting your site’s performance and causing you to provide a bad overall user experience.

Some of the common web upkeep tasks you should be doing include:

– Dealing with broken links

– Fixing any misspellings

– Correcting your site’s readability

– Helping secure your site

– Keeping your content fresh

– Correcting any SEO errors

– Backing up all of your files

– Ensuring you are getting rid of conversion roadblocks

– Updating all of your plugins and third-party software

You need to be doing these things continually. You cannot skip the upkeep of your site. Otherwise, you could find yourself dealing with a lot of preventable issues. You need to schedule routine upkeep for your site that includes all of the above. You want your site to be firing on all cylinders to ensure that you are providing the best possible end-user experience. Not only is it a great way to maximise your traffic with strong Google rankings, but it can help you achieve a better organic ranking and it can boost your conversions.

There are a couple of ways you can perform this type of maintenance on your site including:

– Doing It Manually

You can always go ahead and perform your site’s upkeep manually. You can do this by going through a checklist and checking things off as you go.

– Automatically

You can find a web upkeep service that you can hire and they will handle all of these maintenance tasks for you.

No matter what the scope of your business is or what the size is, you need to be performing critical upkeep on your site. It’s essential because your website is the number one sales tool for your business. It’s your business’s digital face. The majority of your customer’s first point of contact with your brand will occur on your site. Thus, you need to ensure it’s providing a good first impression of your brand and business.

Read more about managing website plugins here.

1. Back It Up

You need to be backing up your site. This is one of the essential maintenance services because you want your site to be ready to redeploy if something were to happen to it. You want to back it up in its current state because something could happen to it or you could make a critical error that you need to reverse. This is something that far too many business owners overlook. You want to back up your site so it’s always ready to go if you need it. This can be essential when you are performing critical updates and routine upkeep because not everything goes perfectly all of the time. You cannot afford to have your site go down even for a minute. Because of this, it’s essential to have things properly backed up so you have a backup plan if things do get messy. In general, you want to keep a minimum of three good backups of your site in different places. Having them stored in different places is a good way to ensure that you have redundancy and that you will be covered if something were to happen to one of them.

There’s no need to type in the search engines, “how do I backup my website?” You can easily do this built-in with whatever Content Management System (CMS) that you are using. Thus, you can do it very easily with minimal tech knowledge.

2. Check Your Site’s Loading Speed

Having a website that loads quickly is essential. You want your site to load very quickly for a variety of reasons. For one, it’s going to help you provide a good end-user experience. Having a site speed slow is an easy way to have them bounce off your site when you want them to stay. The majority of people will leave or bounce from a website that loads too slowly. As many as 52% of users will abandon a website when it loads too slowly. Your site should not take longer than 3 minutes to load. If your loading speed is unoptimised, you need to fix it. There are tools out there like GTmetrix that can help you correct your site’s loading speed.

Using a tool like GTmetrix can help in many ways. It provides a dashboard that can be used to see what your site’s overall score is rated at. This will give you a score on how long it takes for your business’ site to load. Having a faster loading time is always going to yield a better score and a better overall end-user experience. You want your site’s speed to be quick. You will likely experience high bounce rates on your site the slower it loads. Read here to learn more about website speed optimisation.

3. Always Update It

You need to be checking for updates frequently. When it comes to keeping your site up and running, you need to be on top of updates. Updates are essential because they can do many things for your site. Not only can they keep your site up and running, but they can help secure your site by patching security vulnerabilities. Thus, you don’t want to skip any site updates. Try to install them as soon as you spot them. Having auto-update on is always recommended so you don’t fall behind.

Your web hosting provider updates can also impact your site performance and your customers. If you operate a specific kind of site like an eCommerce site, you need to see whether or not the update is going to disrupt your business. If so, you’ll want to schedule the update to when you experience the least amount of traffic and potentially inform your customers beforehand.

4. Update The Content

You need to regularly post new content to your site. You want to update the content as much as possible. Having fresh content is always going to positively contribute to your site and its performance. You want to update content and publish new content to attract and retain more visitors. Some of the content you’ll want to keep regularly updated includes:

– Blog posts

– Newsletters

– Images

– Contact information

– Address information

– Legal information

Having fresh and regularly updated content published on your site is only going to attract more traffic to your site. It’s going to help your site rank better within the search engines on the search engine results pages and it’s going to drive more people to your content. Try to update all of the information on your site relevant to your business including your contact information, terms and conditions, and disclaimers.

You also want to add more visual content to your site. This is only going to help boost your web traffic and convert more traffic into paying customers for website owners.

5. Look At The Analytics

Your website could be one of the best looking out there. It’s not going to matter much if your site isn’t performing well. If your site is poorly optimised even the best content isn’t going to perform. You need to look at your core KPIs and figure out what your analytics say about your website and how it’s performing. There are generally a lot of patterns you can see when you are looking at the analytics of your site that can tell you where you can make improvements. If you are noticing a lot of bouncing from your site, it could indicate something is wrong with a specific area of your site or even with the site’s performance. You might find that a certain page is causing a lot of bounces from your site. You could find that the site has broken links or that it doesn’t load properly. Fixing these issues can help you improve the overall performance of your site.

You can track things with Google Analytics and you can even customize your reports so they are giving you all of the relevant information you need in an easily digestible manner.

It’s imperative to look at how your site is performing using data. Data tells the story of how someone is using your site and what they are getting out of it. You need to put yourself in a user’s shoes. You need to think like a user and figure out what kind of experience they are having with your site.

Always test the various areas of your site. Test the forms you have on your site, test the links, and ensure there is nothing broken. Conduct audits of your site so you know that everything is working as it should. Go through the lead funnel. Is everything optimised? Could you make improvements in a specific area? If you were a user, did you get all of the information you need to make a well-informed decision? Think about it from a user’s perspective and you can fine-tune your site to perform as well as possible.

6. Perform Formal Testing

You need to look to perform some formal testing when you are trying to optimise your site. This isn’t something that has to be done every time you maintain your site, but it does need to be something you conduct once in a while. You want people that aren’t biased to be performing these usability tests. This can ensure that you have someone that isn’t affiliated checking things and giving you an unbiased point of view.

You can also perform some tests on accessibility. There are plenty of people out there with disabilities. You need your site to be equally as usable and as accessible for them as for someone that doesn’t have a disability.

The fact is, maintaining a website takes a lot of work. You need to conduct a lot of trial and error and you need to stay on top of things if you want your website to look and perform well at all times. Try to prioritise web upkeep services and you can have a site that is going to perform well for a long time.

It’s Imperative For Better Engagement

Conducting routine web upkeep services are essential to improving your website and its performance. It can help you take your business to new heights. You need your website to be fast, secure, and free of errors. It needs to be easily accessible at all times. This is the best way to maximise your engagement and conversions