How often should your review your website?
At the heart of your business’s online presence is your website. This may be a single page or ‘brochure’ style of site, or a comprehensive multi page or ecommerce site. But, no matter the format, for your website to stay a relevant part of your marketing and sales process and reflect your brand fully, it must be reviewed periodically. Here, we look at the main elements that need to be kept on top of on your website and how often you should review them.
Maintenance of your website
The maintenance of your website covers anything that controls its day to day function. Regular maintenance of your site will make sure it is working well.
Plugins and applications – some website platforms (most notably WordPress) use plugins to enable developers to create a broad range of functions and styles on a site. These plugins are integral to the day to day running of the site and can require updating to newer versions often. To make sure your site stays up and running, your website plugins should be checked and updated monthly. Without regular maintenance, aspects of your site may not work effectively or stop working entirely.
Reviewing the SEO on your website
Good SEO is how your website gets found on search engines and is integral to your business marketing. Because SEO is governed by the demands of search engine algorithms, the optimisation of your website requires periodic review. This is particularly true if any changes or new features are introduced by Google, which will need to be reflected on your website to keep your ranking consistent.
SEO tends to be an ongoing task on a website, either because of external changes or to maintain SEO rankings on new pages and posts. A plugin such as Yoast can help in optimising your site through SEO suggestions. But it’s worth remembering this type of tool can be a blunt instrument. Filling a page with keywords may up your SEO score, but it will also be off putting to your visitors.
Reviewing user experience on your website
User experience (UX) is about how to design your website so that visitors have the best and easiest interaction with it. Poor UX can lead to potential customers leaving your site early because they could not get the information they needed, find their way through the site, or complete a function or purchase easily.
Creating a great user experience should be at the forefront of any new website, but it is also an ongoing task that needs regular reviewing. These reasons include:
- Changes to the loading speed of the website as it grows or becomes outdated
- Changes to expectations in style and functionality
- More service or product lines being added to a busines that complicate the site’s structure
- Greater options in design becoming available
- Changes in cross compatibility of a website, such as how it functions on mobiles or tablets
Reviewing for redundancy – spring cleaning your site
Your website will naturally adapt with your business as it grows and changes, which is why it’s important to review for redundancy. Carrying lots of redundant pages and media on a site can slow it down, affecting the UX and presenting outdated information to your customers.
If you have a site that includes external links, then ‘dead links’ can also become a problem. Visitors clicking through to a page with a 404 error is not a good look, so it’s important to keep these links updated, or remove them if they no longer exist. A free tool such as Dead Link Checker can be great for finding any problematic links on a site quickly.
Website and company policies for privacy, cookies and compliance specific information also need to be kept on top of and can cause legal difficulties if not.
Brand changes and your website
It is often the case that a growing business’s brand will change over time. This may require a full rebranding to better represent the business, or adjustments to the brand to keep it fresh and relevant. Whatever the case, these changes also need to be represented on your website through its style, colour scheme, voice, representation and size. For this reason, whenever your brand changes, your website should also be thoroughly reviewed.
Time for a new site?
Regularly reviewing different parts of your website will help keep it relevant and usable for your customers. But there will be a time where a new website is required as a business grows and its needs change. It’s always best to approach this early so it can be properly planned for and handled professionally. The last thing any business wants is for their website to be down for an extended period, losing them revenue.
If you would like a website review or find out about a redesign, please do get in touch.
You can find out more about our team and their experience, here.