A Modern Article

8 Reasons Why Maintaining Your Website in 2014 is More Important Than Ever

8 Reasons Why Maintaining Your Website in 2014 is More Important Than Ever

[Above: Gardens in the château de Villandry. Photo by Jean Aernoudts.]

Quick: What is the most recent page or article you added to your website? How long ago was that? (Ideally it was today, yesterday, or maybe last week.) Here are some reasons why it’s important to pay attention to your own website—and not just social media—in 2014.

Google is watching to see if you’re updating your website.
Google software engineer and search expert Matt Cutts emphasizes that it’s crucial to keep your website updated frequently. “I wouldn’t just coast on your laurels,” Matt said in a video on the subject. Newer sites by your competitors “can eclipse you if you don’t continue to adapt.” He’s talking about your search result ranking and your website experience. Both of those are factors in determining whether customers ever see your stuff.

More content on your website means more visitors will come your way.
Experts keep telling us that that websites with more information have a better chance of ranking in search results. Using your website like you would use a brochure or business card is a huge mistake. Tell people what you’re up to, show them how you work, and give them your opinions on things. The experts say that people want to know!

Social media should bring people to your website, not vice-versa.
Your website is your own unique digital real estate. If you are posting important information on your Facebook page and not on your website, you are losing customers.

Keep in mind that Facebook doesn’t show your messages to everyone who “likes” you. 80% of the people who follow me on Facebook will never see this article, even though I posted it there. That’s an intentional business move by Facebook. I’m glad I don’t rely on Facebook alone to publicize my work!

People are looking beyond Facebook and Twitter.
The number of online communities and social channels grows every day. It is important to evaluate your results when you share information with social media. Use your web statistics software. Keep referring people to the content on your own website. See which communities are working out best for you. This is why I make sure my clients and their staff can easily build new sections and pages on their websites.

You should be making sure your website is still speedy.
Over time, websites can get slower as additional imagery and software is tacked on. But Google has been recommending since 2011 that you optimize your website response time. Make your website faster!

I got so sick of my clients using slow web hosts that I started my own web hosting service. My main priority is keeping things very fast. You can check your own website’s speed. How did it do?

Your competitors are already enjoying the benefits.
Chances are, if you are competing against some other business, they’re already thinking about these things. I know this because I talk to competitive business owners all the time. However, I don’t think this means you should give up. I believe every business has a unique place that will attract a specific audience. The key question is, are you doing your best to reach that audience?

You need to respond to changing legal obligations.
California recently passed new privacy policy legislation in CalOPPA. Is your privacy policy up to date?

All of this goes hand in hand with the rest of your marketing work.
Do you refer customers to your website to continue the conversation? If not, you may be missing the functional half of your sales funnel. Oops!

For this purpose, I provide helpful articles on a frequent basis, information about my current services, and a website planner. When I’m away from my office and I talk to someone who might be interested in my services, I encourage them to fill out my website planner and send it to me. That way, I’m not playing phone tag or trying to remember everything a potential client was interested in. They can get started as soon as they’re ready.

Part of this complete breakfast

In my experience, keeping your website up to date is an absolute no-brainer when it comes to the online marketing and sales process. What’s your plan for marketing yourself online in 2014?

Photo of Marc Carson