I was chatting with Dad a little while ago, and asked him why, after growing up on the farm, and spending so much time with him working hard with the animals and machinery, did I have such a limited knowledge of mechanics…. Dad started giggling… until he realised I was serious! “Oh! You’re serious?” he asked. “Ah…. you can’t learn much about diesel and oil when all you ever did was sit in the paddock and make daisy chains!!”
Your website is usually the biggest asset in your business’ marketing toolkit. Like all the other assets that your business owns, your business’ website needs maintenance. There are three main areas that need attention:
The Chassis – Content Management System (CMS)
Being technology based, there are constant advances in the CMS on which your website is built. On your phone or your computer, software updates are generally universal and pushed to your device. A website does not always do this, and therefore updates are generally offered, rather than pushed. What each website administrator should know and do:
Keep an eye on updates. In our preferred CMS – WordPress – updates can now be automated but that is an optional setting. With each new update, read through and decide what the update is about.
If it’s a ‘required’ or ‘recommended’ update, then install immediately. Remember to always ensure you have a backup of your site before doing a big update.
If you skip updates, especially to your CMS, you need to be aware that some existing functions may not continue to work as expected. This can flow on to any area of your website. Over time the updates can get patchy, and your website may lose functionality.
Sometimes you just have to take your website in for a service!
The Engine Lubricant – Your Content
Your business will continue to evolve over time. New people, new products, projects and events. It is good business to ensure that the content in your website is continually updated to stay relevant and current. Think about the last time you visited a website and noticed dated content. Nothing sends customers to your competitor faster than projects completed 2008, or “New” products that they’ve known about or used for years! Fresh images and content give your customers confidence that your business is active, responsive and ready to meet their needs.
The Spark Plugs – SEO and Googleability
Google is a big corporate beast. It does nothing for nothing. In order for it to view your website favourably and list your website as high as it wants, it needs something. There are two things Google values. 1/ Money. 2/ Content. You can pay your way to the top of the front page of a Google search, through paid AdWords campaigns or you can feed the Google beast highly relevant and desired content. Just to clarity – that actually means new and unique content. Blogs and News articles are a great way to feed the Google Beast… just make sure you’re saying something relevant and interesting for your customer!
Expected Life of your Asset
Like all your assets, a website has a usable lifespan. If you begin with a great asset and give it regular check-ups, you will get more life out of it. If you abuse it and run it in to the ground; or worse, neglect to give it the tender loving care that it deserves and cherishes, it will begin to fail you.
With advances in technology, rapidly changing trends and consumer habits, you should make sure that you are servicing your website every 1-3 months and conduct a system overhaul every 3 years or so.
So, time to book my website in for a service then?
So, back to my original story… Later that night Dad was cursing his tablet for being slow. I grabbed it off him, closed the zillions of apps and updated the operating system. On handing it back he admitted that his issues were fixed. “Dad, this needs maintenance, too you know.” “Yeah… well, there’s no dipstick or timing belt.” he muttered.
To learn more, speak with the Simplifi team.