As a small business owner, you have a lot going on. You wear many hats. Maybe you’ve created your own site, or at least paid a developer to get a basic site created and live on the internet.
It’s simple to have your website and leave it be. Maybe things don’t change often in your business, so you tend to just “set it and forget it.” Thing is, if you don’t update your website often, it could be detrimental for your site and your business.
Even if you don’t feel like there’s much to update the world about as far as what is going on with your company, you should still make an effort to make changes on your site often. New edits not only ensure that your site stays current, but helps with SEO (search engine optimization) as well. Search engines like Google take into account “freshness” when determining rankings — how current a website is.
We’ve compiled a shortlist of important updates to make to your site monthly. Set aside a few hours to make these changes so that your website remains optimized, generating leads for your business, and protected.
Add a new webpage or blog post
As mentioned earlier, search engines like it when websites feel “fresh” or recently updated. A good way to do that is to add a new page to your website. It can be a page featuring a new product or service from your business, a testimonials page, or even a new blog post — one of the easiest ways to add a new page.
Even revamping an existing page can seem like a fresh, new page to search engines. You can switch out the featured promo on your homepage with a new graphic, or all-new copy that feels more exciting and current.
Edit your lowest performing page
Using whatever tool you have for measuring traffic for your website (e.g. Google Analytics), find the page or pages that few people visit or engage with. Then, assess with yourself, your team and your developers as to why it might have few visits.
Maybe the page isn’t easily linked from the navigation menu, or maybe it needs to be linked internally from another high-traffic page (internal linking helps SEO as well). Or maybe the page just needs to be revamped with new images and new copy to give it a new lease in search rankings.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to delete a page, unless it’s featuring content that’s no longer relevant, like a product that has been discontinued. And not all low-performing pages need to be revamped — sometimes the page with the least amount of traffic could also have the highest conversion. Now it’s just a matter of finding new ways to bring traffic TO that page, rather than editing the page itself. Consider starting a paid social media or search campaign to attract more visitors.
Change your promo/events calendar
One of the most popular ways businesses refresh their site is to change out featured promotions. Even if you don’t have a new promo and you’re keeping the one from before, it doesn’t hurt to maybe rearrange the copy, update the photo or graphic, or maybe add some testimonials too.
If you host events often, this is something you should also add to your website. There are many calendar and event plugins for CMS sites like WordPress that make featuring and adding new events easy. If you prefer using a favorite tool like Eventbrite or Facebook Events, you can simply feature the event on your site and then link out to them.
If events aren’t a strategy your business employs, you should consider it. People are always looking for things to do in their area, whether they live there or are visiting. The events can be really simple too. If you own a clothing boutique, you can create an event for your weekend sale. If you run a dental office, consider hosting a 50% teeth whitening event on a day you’re normally closed. Run a pet store? Host an animal shelter or rescue group for an adoption event.
Update CMS and plugins
Just like any good piece of technology that you own, you should make sure that it’s up-to-date. When the CMS or the plugins you use on your site notify you that it needs to be updated, it’s not only because they’re introducing a new feature. Sometimes, it’s to update its security to prevent your site from being vulnerable to a cyber attack.
If you don’t already, you should also consider backing up your website. Though it isn’t common, a malicious attack on your small business site could cost you dearly. Not only could you lose your website for days or even weeks, but you’ll lose new leads and new traffic. New sites may also not carry over the same “SEO juice” that you’ve worked hard to build.
Even if you don’t think your small business website is worth anything to hackers, you should still protect yourself. In 2016, almost 14 million U.S. small business websites were breached by hackers, leaving them vulnerable to a major cyber attack. The reason for an attack can vary. If you run an ecommerce site, transaction data is valuable to hackers. Many smaller sites may also be used as a pawn for a larger attack (think of the server your site is hosted on that could link to other, larger sites). Some sites may be held for ransom, forcing the owner to pay the hackers some amount of money to regain ownership of their sites.
As you can see, monthly updates to your site not only boost your bottom line, but could also protect it. Make an effort today to ensure that these updates happen every month, and your business will reap the rewards.
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