Websites are kind of like a car – they require regular servicing and maintenance to ensure that they remain efficient and run smoothly.
A quarterly ‘spring clean’ of your website where you audit your content, the health of your site and current SEO strategy can help you ensure that your site is in tip-top health and is also playing the role that you want it to be playing in your overall digital marketing strategy. In this article we’re going to discuss the importance of doing a regular ‘website service’ as well as provide you with a checklist of things you should be looking for when you pop the hood on your website.
Some of the top reasons for servicing your website every 3-6 months include:
- Google’s Algorithm Updates
Google is constantly moving their goal posts! As technology and the way that we access data and websites constantly changes, Google adapts what they consider ‘best practices’ to suit. If you want to ensure that you maintain your website rankings in their search engine, you will need to stay on top of all of their major algorithm updates.
- Toxic Links, Spam Attacks and Security Threats
Websites accumulate ‘junk’ – spammy websites that link to your site resulting in a lower domain authority score; rubbish comments left on your blog articles containing links back to Viagra and gambling websites and constant bot attacks trying to find vulnerabilities in your code.A spring clean to clear out all of the spam junk along with a security sweep of your site (and review of all security settings) once every quarter is recommended to ensure you have a well-maintained site.
- Content Refresh and Updates
It is a good idea to review your website content – especially your top ranking pages – to ensure that your information and content is kept up-to-date. If the information in your blog articles and content pages becomes outdated or incorrect then you risk slipping down the search engine ranking pages, in favour of a competitor who has more current info.Google’s algorithm also favours ‘fresh’ content, so if you notice that your blog or news section hasn’t been updated in a few months then you could consider adding in some new posts.
- Stuff Breaks
Back to the car analogy – sometimes, stuff just breaks. There are so many different things going on in the background that determine how your website renders and functions on different devices, browsers and screens, so what worked when you first built the website might not work any more. Throw in constant updates to plugins and your CMS software, and you could have a completely different user experience for someone accessing your site via desktop on Google Chrome versus an Apple iPhone using Safari!
Website Servicing Checklist:
We’ve put this handy checklist together for you to help get you started. Follow this check list once a quarter and your site will be in much better health as a result!
- Check Google’s blog to see if there have been any major algorithm updates in the past three months.
- Log into your Google Search Console account and check for any errors, broken links or other issues.
- Re-submit your sitemap to you Google Search Console account.
- Use a tool like Google Search Console or SEMRush to check your backlink profile – make sure you add any toxic link farm entries to your disavow file.
- Check your website’s site speed using Pingdom here.
- Run your site through SEMRush’s free tool to identify any potential health risks.
- Run your site through Sucuri SiteCheck to check for any spam or security breaches.
- Do a visual check of your website on multiple devices and screen sizes – include at least one desktop, laptop, tablet and smart phone where possible. Ensure that your site is easy to navigate and that your content resizes correctly for the different screen types.
- Review all your content – including old blog posts – and update any outdated content or information.
- Test all of your contact and subscribe buttons/forms – review any automated response emails that users receive.
All of the tools and techniques we’ve listed in our Website Servicing list above are free to use – but if you run into any major issues or problems, you might need to get some professional help from a developer or digital marketer to fix the problem. If you’re uncertain what any of the results you receive mean, or if you want recommendations on what to get fixed first, we advise jumping into TheDigitalCrowd Facebook Group where you can discuss your results with peers and get a second opinion.
Tell Us What You Think:
Share your experienced spring cleaning your website in the comments. How did you go with the checklist? Did you identify any big problems you weren’t aware of? Or do you think we’ve left an important item off the list? Tell us!