If you build it they will come right? Yeah…not so much.
Maybe you’ve been kickin’ back in your office chair refreshing your Google Analytics ever since you launched your brand new site, only to face the disappointment of that flat blue line. You thought, “now that i have a website, i’ll get a steady stream of customers and all my dreams will come true!” If this sounds like you, then you have probably fallen into the “field of dreams” marketing plan: “If you build it they will come”.
Don’t worry – you aren’t alone.
While we whole-heartedly believe that your website is the HUB of your marketing machine, and where all marketing should ultimately lead, without regularly feeding and maintaining that machine it will stagnate, and lose any chance of being that lead generating system you hoped it would be.
Web site maintenance is a crucial part of updating and keeping your site working properly. Many people don’t realize the benefits of site maintenance and improvement, but having a skilled web developer update and maintain your site is something you should not only seriously consider, but actually DO!
Websites are living things and should be treated as such.
What Happens When a Site is Not Properly Maintained
Without regular site updates and maintenance, your content gets old, software goes out of date and could potentially bring your site down completely. Links get broken, images disappear, and your search engine rankings slip into the black void of way-past-page-5’s-ville. And maybe worst of all, your customers have NO REASON TO COME BACK!! No bueno.
These are just a few of many issues that can happen if you don’t have someone keeping an eye on your site each month. It’s like not getting regular oil changes done on your vehicle. Your car wouldn’t run very long if you didn’t look after its maintenance, would it? Well, the same process is true for your web site. Our purpose here is to make sure your site is always live, ready for customers and presenting your business at its finest.
Here are 14 really good reasons to update your WordPress site:
1. WordPress Core Updates
WordPress releases updates all the time in an effort to stay ahead of security threats and to innovate and improve the platform. So it’s critical to your website’s health that you stay on top of these updates to keep it safe from would be intruders.
2. WordPress Plugin updates
The plugins you’re using on your site to enhance the functionality is also software and needs updating on a regular basis. These plugins work together with the WordPress core to make the site work properly and are typically how hackers will breach your website; so keep them updated.
3. Broken links
Pages get changed, removed or outdated. If a page is no longer on your site, and someone clicks a link to it, you’ll get a 404 page and can be a dead end to your potential customers path to purchase from you. Monitoring for broken links, and properly sending them to an existing page is an important step to maintain search engine rankings and improving your customers experience on your site.
4. Aligning with marketing efforts
Does your site work for your business? Does it get your customers the information they are looking for? Does it generate leads for your business on a regular basis? If the answer is no to these questions, it’s time you took a serious look at your content strategy and align your website content with your customer’s buying journey.
5. Changing products or services
Has your company added new services or products recently? Have you stopped carrying certain products? Has anything changed that could affect your customers? Continually updating your sites content keeps your customers informed on what you are currently offering so they know how to buy from you.
6. Keep your customers engaged and informed
When you keep a regular blog on your website, you have the opportunity to keep your customers up to date on what your company is doing to better serve them and solve their problems. Customers want to buy from you so staying top of mind and in the conversation all but guarantees your company’s continued growth.
7. Keep it visually appealing
Every now and then you should update the design and imagery on your website to keep it fresh and modern. Customers get younger every day so staying in tune with what customers expect from the companies they buy from is a critical factor in acquiring new customers year over year.
8. Consistently adding new content
Content is the currency of the internet. Your customers pay you with their attention before they pay with their wallets. By consistently publishing new, relevant content you pay the price of admission into the conversations your customers are already a part of. Content is how you build authority and trust with your potential customers, so do it regularly.
9. Improve search engine rankings
Google and other search engines monitor your site and how people use it. By keeping your site updated, and adding content regularly, you’ll become more relevant to what your customers are looking for, attract more clicks on searches, and search engines will reward you with higher rankings.
10. Optimizing your customer’s experience
Paying attention to how people are using your website with Google analytics and search console will allow you to make better, more informed decisions on what changes to make to your site in order to make it easier for people to find what their looking for; and ultimately buy your stuff.
11. Improve your site traffic and lower bounce rate
This is a follow on to #10…by using analytics to your advantage you’ll be able to identify pages that people are landing on an leaving immediately so that you can figure out why and fix it. Lowering your bounce rate means people stay on your website longer, read more content and that’s really good for your sales.
12. Build a bigger email marketing list
The more value you can offer your website visitors, the more likely they will be to give you their email address. By adding new and interesting content your visitors can engage with, and then offering downloadable resources, you’ll increase your opportunities for conversions and ultimately a bigger marketing list.
13. Reduce your risk of getting hacked
Save yourself $1000 or more by not paying to repair a hacked website. A side effect of keeping your website software (WordPress core and plugins) up to date with the latest releases is that hackers, and would be intruders, will have less opportunities to use known vulnerabilities in older versions of software. This proactive step greatly reduces your chances of having your website hacked with malware, or used to send those Nigerian prince scam emails.
14. Stomping your competition into the ground (nicely of course)
We’re all adults here – but the kids inside us are competitive; and as business owners and entrepreneurs, we all wanna kick as much ass as we can in our own industries. Staying ahead of your competition requires that you continually increase your education, stay on top of market trends and always give your customers what they want when they need it.
Most of your customers will likely learn about you online LONG before you ever hear from them in the real world. With the vast majority of purchases now beginning with an online search, customers control the sales conversation and to be in it you have to get your digital marketing right.
We are now all publishers, and media companies, and in order to get our messages heard in this noisy digital world you have to be consistent, transparent and genuinely provide value to people on a regular basis to win their attention.
How to keep your site updated and avoid the pain
Basic WordPress Website Maintenance
At MediaCrazed, we have a proven process for monitoring and keeping websites humming along and online 99.96% of the time. We always back up your website first, review the site, make the updates, then check the website again for any changes or issues. This way we can revert back or perform any troubleshooting before it causes down time.
Can You Save Money By Doing It Yourself?
Short answer? Sure. In order to save a little money, some people choose to spend their time to update and maintain their own website.
Will it always save you money? Nope. Maintaining your site yourself could end up costing you more than you think. If you (the client) just updates from your WordPress admin, MediaCrazed wouldn’t have that record. We update our client’s sites once a month so we can take the time to check their website thoroughly. Also included in our monthly website maintenance plans are performance and security scans. If in the event we ever catch a plugin issue, we address it before you ever know there is a problem. We also single out complex plugins that have large updates (like Woo Commerce) as its own task for additional quality control.
If you don’t have a Website Care Plan in place, you may actually be throwing money out the window by not proactively maintaining your site. When you visit a website that’s not working or broken do you stick around? I don’t. I hit the back button. If your site is the one I just left, because it wasn’t working right, you’ve just lost a potential customer.
How many times do you figure that happens in a given week?
It Usually Costs More to Fix Than to Maintain
Neglect, or just plain inexperience, can damage your web site or take it offline altogether. When that happens, you have a choice to make: Either you just leave it broken and deal with it, try and fix it yourself, which could do further damage. Or … you can pay the typically hefty price for an experienced web developer to fix it.
I guess you could always drop a grenade on it and start over, but that seems extreme.
Just like your car, it costs more to fix it after a problem happens, than it does to maintain it properly. Regular oil changes help keep your car running properly, regular site maintenance helps keeps your web site purring like a kitten too.
Our Experience Can Save You Money
You know your business better than anyone, and you ultimately get to decide what’s best for it. One of our jobs is to advise, and guide you on what’s best for your website, which reflects the quality and reputation of your business. We’re in this all day, everyday, and know what to look out for, what works and what doesn’t.
You know your business and we know ours.
Why not deal with what you know best and let us deal with what we know best? You wouldn’t try to beat a bogus legal rap without a lawyer would you? Try to fix your broken leg or heal your sick child without the benefit of medical professionals? Then why try to maintain your own web site if you’re not a web professional?
By retaining MediaCrazed to update and maintain your site the right way, you are actually saving money by gaining those potential lost sales and visitors. Since your website is the first, and sometimes the only experience a customer has with your company, it makes sense to invest in keeping it performing.
Your in the drivers seat
If you’re interested in a Website Care Plan for your website, get in touch with us to learn how you can have a professional web developer keep your site in proper working order so you can convert new leads on autopilot.
It’s really not as expensive as you think!