So, your new site is complete - congratulations! There are a lot of moving parts to a build, from coding to design to content.
However, if you want to attract and retain customers, you can't have a "set it and forget it" mentality once the initial work is finished - marketing your business is not only about creating a web presence.
It's crucial that you make a website maintenance plan a priority for your small business. Here are 4 reasons why:
1. You want to offer a good user experience.
Broken links, 404 pages, half-baked landing pages, slow loading times... your visitors will go elsewhere if they don't find what they're looking for fast. The last thing you want for your business is for customers to experience frustration.
Also, you're not going to build trust among buyers if you don't offer a good user experience - who's going to want to enter their credit card or contact information when your online presence looks neglected?
Your website is the face of your business, so invest the time and energy into keeping it current. Monitor for glitches and focus on adding fresh content like blogs, articles, events and testimonials as often as possible to provide a good user experience and reap the SEO benefits.
2. It's the key to security and safety.
You're not only responsible for protecting your own data, but you're also responsible for your visitors' information. Security requirements are always changing, and nobody is safe - even big brands are targets for cyber attacks and data breaches.
In late 2016, Uber announced the personal information of 57 million Uber users and 600,000 drivers had been exposed by cyber thieves. To make matters worse, the company tried to hide the breach rather than report it.
In November 2018, Marriott International came forward with info that cyber criminals had stolen the data of approximately 500 million customers.
Since hackers get smarter all the time, you need a program you can trust to keep your online assets safe.
Being proactive and protecting your website now is so much easier than dealing with the devastation, disruption and huge costs of a hacked site, lost data and destroyed Google rankings.
The Security & Maintenance Plan includes:
• Continuous state-of-the-art monitoring and "next-generation application firewall" protection against spam, malware and other malicious attempts
• Ongoing automatic backups of your site in case it ever needs to be restored
• Site checks for broken images and links so it runs smooth and fast
• Regular updates of your WordPress site and plugins for optimal performance and security
• And much more...
3. A secure backup is a lifesaver.
A backup is a saved copy of your site, whether it's from a day ago or a month ago. Backups are stored in files or in the cloud and can be restored if needed.
If you don't have a backup and your website is hacked and wiped, you'd need to start over from scratch. You wouldn't want all your hard work to disappear, would you?
A big part of your website maintenance plan is using reliable tools to keep your information safe.
4. Software updates won't wait.
Software is ever-changing, whether it's plugins and themes that need updating or security programs.
Your site isn't going to run smoothly and will also be vulnerable to hackers if you don't stay on top of software updates. The more often you update, the less likely you are to have problems.
Keeping your software updated also ensures your site loads quickly when visitors arrive; speed has an impact on SEO.
Don't miss vital leads or sales by neglecting content, security, backup and regular software updates.
Remember: the cost of repairing online issues will be greater than the affordable maintenance costs you pay now!
Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.
If you are new to Social Media and online marketing or find it overwhelming and confusing, my monthly group coaching program, AMPLIFY! Business Academy http://amplifybusinessacademy.com/ is a perfect way for you to incrementally learn the best strategies and tactics to help you grow your business online.