Maintaining the Optimal Website
Your Edge Digital Raleigh Web Design can provide as much or as little web maintenance as you may need. We can and do maintain a number of different websites, on different hosting and using different systems overall. Using CMS systems – WordPress is our favorite, straight HTML websites, PHP websites, or ASP websites – we can also work with these and help you out with whatever you may need.
In the end, the maintenance that you want for your site is up to you. Some customers like for us to go in constantly and check things out, especially those with online stores, etc. When we do go in we will be adding things like new content, examining web statistics, optimizing keywords, modifying content, and much more. Some business owners like to just leave things as they are and they reach out to us when they need content added or something changed, and this works perfectly fine too.
Something to keep in mind, there’s the general website maintenance like doing backups, updating plugins (when needed), and things of that nature. However, most people want website maintenance less for technical reasons and more to keep their website current and ranking well in the search engines.
The Goals of Website Maintenance
Website Security and Technical Operation
- It’s critical to keep your website secure and updated. Make sure no new exploits can be used to attack or take over your site – things like updating plugins and themes when updates become available is critical. Be aware that this DOES happen even to the most protected – all it takes is some new exploit and an unprotected file or two to allow hacker access. We’re careful to stay on top of regular updates to keep your site at as low of a risk as possible.
- Make sure that there is a recovery path in case of physical server failure, virus attack, or some other unforeseen issue. Keeping backups of all important files so that even in a catastrophic failure, the content and site can be deployed elsewhere quickly and with a minimum of fuss. There’s nothing worse than having a host disk failure or someone with bad intentions tank your site, and possibly hundreds of hours of work, and then have to try to create your several hundred-page websites all over again. NOT fun, and a huge waste of resources. We are careful to get backups running on a site as soon as we put it up, in the case that something does go wrong and we need to restore it to a version that we are sure works.
The SEO side of Website Maintenance
- Keep new content in front of your visitors. NO ONE wants to see the same content over and over again in most cases. If you want return visitors, then you should keep your web content fresh. This ALSO keeps the search engines interested and coming back to your site.
- Improve the content that you have to increase your search engine ranking. Unless you rank #1 for every keyword you want, then you will only benefit from examining your web content and improving it as you gather more and more data. We would rather be doing too much and have too much good content to choose from rather than doing not enough and hardly have any content for the search engines to pick up on.
As far as SEO, here’s our take on website maintenance!
Keep your content fresh. Sites will get spidered more consistently and regularly when the content gets changed more frequently. Now we don’t want to go into every single site we have and change things just for the sake of changing it because in doing that we could be losing optimization, but we always keep an open mind for new content ideas, keywords, etc.
We normally rely on Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools for monitoring all aspects of our websites. It’s important for us to know who is coming to your website, how they’re getting there, and what they’re doing when there. Having this kind of information is so valuable and in terms of growing your site in the future, is the best tool you can have. At the end of the day, our goal is to get conversions on your site, whatever may be the best way to do so.
We check your site rankings consistently. We have software that allows us to track a huge number of the most important rankings for your critical keywords. One thing with search engines is that on any given day or week a site can drop in the rankings for no good reason, and then pop back mere days later. This allows us to track progress over time and know when we are just having a “blip” or when we need to really start focusing on a site and boosting the SEO.
Backlinks – Get out and promote your site and include your website domain URL. Find relevant newsgroups, forums, and any other places that allow you to add content. Interact as appropriate. If it’s a related forum, then post relevant opinions or information to the group. Include your web site URL. When the forum gets spidered, voila! You have a new link to your site in the search engines. This is what people refer to when they speak of “backlinks” – backlinks are good. Spam or low-quality backlinks on the other hand are horrible and will cause serious damage to your site over time.
Warning: DO NOT get into one of these forums and just start spamming your URL. Not only will you upset the regular forum people, but it may actually turn people away from visiting and purchasing your product. Be a good citizen and linker.
You may also write articles on your topic of knowledge and submit them for publishing on community sites or other web sites. The more times your URL gets into the search engines (read “more backlinks”), the higher the website will rank as time goes along.
There really is NO silver bullet for getting to the top of the heap without effort. Nobody can truly guarantee certain rankings for you, everything is just too volatile for that. You can seriously rank in the top 3 organically one day for a number of keywords, then a week later not be near the top 5 for any of them, whatever the reason may be.
Hunter writes content for websites and can write great content like nobody’s business. Once he gets started writing, it is hard to stop him and he has been duly crowned “The Content King.” He also does light web design work and ultimately, just about anything that is asked of him in the website world.