In many ways, a corporate website is just like a copier, a delivery truck, machinery or any other corporate asset.
A major difference, however, is that those physical assets often are on a regular maintenance schedule, while companies rarely think about routine maintenance for their websites. Unfortunately, these often overlooked tasks can be crucial to a site owner’s corporate reputation and lead generation.
Good website maintenance doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. In fact, you can begin with a simple check of your site to make sure these key areas are still accurate:
- Your corporate address, email address and phone number
- Your product information and list of services
- Any references to staff members or email addresses
- Facilities and equipment lists
- Images – look for old facilities, discontinued products and former employees
- Tagline or motto
- Maps/directions to your facility
- Your contact form – are the qualifying questions still pertinent?
- Submit the form. Does it go to the right person?
- Search terms – is your site targeting the right keywords?
Especially if it’s been years since your last reviewed your search terms, keyword research can be useful to discover whether search engine users are still searching for the terms your site was originally optimized for. Using the wrong terms for search engine optimization is essentially the same as throwing a blanket over your website: Qualified prospects aren’t going to be able to find it.
Another issue that requires serious consideration: Is your website mobile-friendly? With Google's announcement that it will begin giving priority to pages that display well on cell phones and tablets, this has become a major concern for any company that wants its website found in Google search results.
The final question can be the most interesting: What’s missing from your site?
Search engines and site visitors have become more sophisticated over time and often expect more than just the brochure-style website that once was the industry standard.
Something as simple as a site map or as useful as a resource section providing tips, documentation and pertinent information can make a big difference in how your site is ranked on the search engines – and how your company is perceived by potential customers.
An annual site review is sufficient – and the end of the year is a great time for a review. Anything that’s inaccurate should be easily fixed by a qualified website developer, who also should be able to help add new sections to your website.
Once you’ve completed this internal clean-up, take the opportunity to turn your attention to the external elements that can affect your website’s search engine positioning and overall availability to prospective clients.
Press releases, social media posts and links from reputable websites within your market are other great ways to gain favorable attention from the search engines and from qualified site visitors. These often can be relatively low-effort and low-cost methods of increasing links and interest in your site.
A reputable optimization companycan help lay out the best plan to keep your company’s external web marketing efforts in tune with your needs and the needs of Internet users.
In the end, the same basic tenet covers websites that covers your company’s other important assets: Be kind to your website, and it will be kind to you.