You Probably Need Regular Website Maintenance

When it comes to websites, too many businesses have a build it and leave it approach and only call in a webmaster when something breaks. The problem is that with today’s web, something is always “broken”. It may not mean that you’re site is down but things change too much, too fast now and your website will likely struggle to keep up. While your website may not be broken watching for plug-ins with your marketing automation tools, site health, software updates and repairs or updates will allow for your website to thrive as

 

Monitor, monitor, monitor

We use a whole host of tools on every individual website that we build and manage. We use everything from tools to monitor the site’s health and performance, marketing automation tools, tools to connect other tools to a site, all the way to tools inside other tools. All of these tools are software and all of these softwares require repairs and updates. Sometimes when one tool get’s updated, all of a sudden it might not play nice with other tools. Implement, Test, Repeat.

The Issues

Here’s a good example. We use SEO monitoring tools for all of the websites we manage and one of that tool’s tasks is to alert us to Crawl Issues. These are issues that are either prohibiting search engines from indexing a website’s pages properly or content issues that might be hurting the site’s search engine ranking. We draw this report weekly and it’s always nice to see “Zero New Crawl Issues” and for months, that’s exactly what we were seeing for a particular client. Until the evening when I receive an email reporting “64 NEW CRAWL ISSUES”!

These issues were caused by a number of different problems, not the least being that Google recently updated is ranking algorithm and tracking software builders have been working to get caught up… and they did. Now, certain aspects of this site that were fine before might now be having negative effects on our search rankings.

This happened just two weeks after a WordPress update and several key plugin updates and just one week after a third party tracking tool got an update that didn’t play nice with some of the plugins we were using.

 

Maintenance

We need to stop looking at websites like a brand new decorative item that we can put up on the shelf, leave alone, and everything will be fine. A website is more like a home you’ve built and now it requires regular upkeep and maintenance. The more you neglect it, the worst it will get and the more expensive it will be to repair it when you finally have to. One friend of mine refers to websites as being more like cars and I recall hearing him say, “it’s easier to change the oil regularly than it is to replace the engine.”

Keep maintenance in mind when you’re building out your digital marketing budgets. Plan ahead. And find a partner who understands your tools, goals, and team dynamic.

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