There are endless articles and blog posts covering the importance of marketing your business through your website, blog posts, and social media. Although those are important pieces, they are part of a bigger picture. Your online presence and the platforms that carry it must be maintained.
A lot of business owners, especially small business owners, get involved in the construction of their own website. They may build a beautiful site using tools like WordPress or Squarespace, but people often stop there, sometimes leaving the site as is for years. Or, they don’t realize that it needs to be done.
Your website has a lot of moving parts behind the scenes, as well as the parts you do see on the surface. The entire site could be divided into three components for the sake of this discussion. The hosting and registration, the code and platform, and the content.
All three of these parts need to be updated and maintained in order to keep your site in good working order and to keep your customers coming back after their initial visit. The site also needs to be kept relevant and useful.
For simplicity’s sake, let’s keep the conversation focused on WordPress.
Host with the Most
Of the three parts, the site’s hosting and registration platform, such as GoDaddy or BlueHost, will usually take the least amount of maintenance. Your domain name must be kept current through yearly renewals, and your hosting platform itself may need occasional adjustments, but most (if not all) of those are generally done by your hosting company itself.
The website code and platform need regular TLC to stay in good working order. WordPress releases updates to their framework regularly, which is often installed automatically, However, whenever they release a major upgrade, other pieces often need to be updated as well or they eventually develop problems. After a while, they may stop working altogether.
Plugins are the little “apps” that allow WordPress to play nice with other software, or add in a feature such as photo galleries, contact forms, or shopping carts. WordPress may come with a built-in contact form plugin, but many people choose other options for ease of use, additional features, or other reasons.
The themes installed into WordPress also receive regular updates to install new features, improve performance, and patch security issues. Most people have more than one theme installed since setting up a site almost always involves a little trial and error. Keep all of the themes and plugins updated to ensure your website protects your visitors.
The third component must also be maintained to ensure your visitors have a good experience and want to come back in the future. Your website content, such as the information, images, navigation, and overall experience needs to be kept current and also in good working order to make sure your visitors can easily navigate the pages, find working links and features, and also receive current information about your products and services.
And hopefully, sharp, clear images that show interesting and relevant subject matter.
The website’s content must also be kept up to date and relevant. The text and info it contains should provide your visitors with clear, concise information that’s helpful and easy to understand.
Nice and Content
Content issues come in a variety of packages. Problems on the site itself, such as theme or plugin updates, can create issues with alignment on the website’s pages, shifting things around and occasionally making it hard to understand what’s being stated. Adjustments to the theme could also align important info with the wrong image.
Other problems can include missing images or photos disconnected from their associated subject matter which can transmit misinformation regarding a product or service.
The biggest content issue is the content itself. Whether discussing the info on the pages or the site’s blog, that content must be kept current, and especially in the case of the site’s blog, constantly refreshed.
Your site has one major job to do, and that’s to pass information about your business and its products or services to your current or potential clients. You would like your potential clients to purchase something, and you would like your current clients to purchase something new. If the information on your website is not up to date, your pricing may not be accurate or what your client expects to receive may be less than realistic.
Site content should be well written and clearly presented. If your website is full of typos and grammar issues, it has the potential to affect visitors by making your business look unprofessional. Poor quality photos can have the same effect; if your visitors need to squint at your photos they will quickly get frustrated. Especially if those photos have anything to do with product information.
Blog Rolling For Fun and Profit
Publish new blog posts regularly to keep your client’s attention. The old sales tactics which involved beating someone over the head with your info until they purchased in self-defense no longer work. Your best marketing strategy now is to present good, usable knowledge and information to your clients regularly so they have reason to visit your site again and again. But to catch people’s attention you need to post new information regularly.
As with many other parts of a small business, there is more to your website than is obvious at first. However, the importance of regular, proper maintenance cannot be over-stressed. Keeping your site properly functioning and looking it’s best is critical to your visitor’s experience, and the upkeep of the content can make or break your yearly sales projections.
Most people don’t have time for or want to undertake the maintenance and other tasks associated with a business website. In those cases, a good website design, creation, and maintenance team can provide the services necessary to keep your site and related processes up and running. And, looking its very best.
If you would like help with any part of your online presence, contact the team at GreenCup today and see how we can help keep your website, blog, and social media looking and performing at it’s best, and delivering the content that best serves your business.