You have your website, so what’s next?

An effective web presence goes beyond the creation of a website. You’ve just created your business’ first page, but do you know what to do next?

Continued support and maintenance are important factors in making sure your site remains an effective tool for driving new business and keeping customers coming back.

The beauty of a website is that it is the most adaptable marketing tool at your disposal. You can add to it, reshape it and even give it a fully automated life of its own. But as you build more and more into the site, things will inevitably go wrong.

So from content to security and maintenance, let’s break down what is needed to keep your website thriving.

Start with security

Once the bones of your website exist, hackers already have their eyes on your pages. Creating security systems is a good place to start so that you can prevent issues before they have a chance to happen.

Spam or dangerous links are sent to users through internal pages.

Let’s say you have a contact form as one of your pages after creating your site, as you should. That page is the portal for users to input their valuable personal info, which then lives on the server that hosts your website. This highly important part of your site is now a danger to your visitors. User data being breached through your website can be devastating to your Google rankings.

You can avoid this by ensuring that your website is locked down with security protocols, which are a standard for large websites everywhere on the internet. You can also set up a regular monitoring service that will notify you of infections and breaches.

Backups can also be a lifesaver for dealing with security breaches on your site. Even if this backup is a month old and is missing tweaks and updates you made recently, it’s still an important fallback to have if things go wrong.

Your hosting platform likely has a built-in backup system, which allows you to restore everything that made your site exist on that platform. FTPs provide a simpler backup, which will store your website files and nothing more. You’ll have to upload this backup to a new hosting account and, in a sense, rebuild the pieces from scratch.

Outside of security issues, backups can also be useful for server crashes when a website isn’t properly maintained.

Add content, and then add some more

Regularity is the goal when creating a content publishing schedule for your website. This will do wonders for your discoverability on search engines. It also keeps existing users engaged and likely to revisit often.

You can never have too much content, as long as your best posts don’t get buried. When it comes to Google rankings, all of your posts will prop up each other. You can take further advantage of this by back-linking to your own posts within new ones.

Blogs or other written content are the best way to keep fresh updates coming to your website. These posts should be relevant to your user without freely giving away too much of what your company might sell.

Use content to build confidence in your readers that you’re an expert within your industry. But at the same time, you want to attract new users that might not be as familiar with the subject matter your content discusses. Avoiding jargon can help your content stay relevant to both new and experienced readers in your industry.

Keep it alive and updated

We started this blog under the assumption that you have just created your first website, but website maintenance is equally important to companies that haven’t touched their website in years.

The internet moves at a breakneck pace and new trends come and go, so a 5 year old website that hasn’t been updated might look archaic today. If you dedicate time to usability testing, you can look at your website from the view of a customer and reevaluate your page’s design and structure.

Test any forms on your website once a month. Ensure that everything works as intended across mobile and desktop versions. You never want to miss leads because you don’t see when they fill out a form.

Always check for broken links, even if your website is still relatively new. Links that lead to a 404 page drive users away and are also horrible for Google rankings. This can happen as websites that you link to close down or change domains.

Whenever you change pages on your own site, you can stay ahead of this by creating 301 redirects. This is primarily so that search results don’t bring people to dead links. But it also means you won’t have to go back into your other pages’ back-links to update those.

Broken links can be tracked down on your site with free tools like Google Search Console. This service also provides many other useful resources for managing your site.

There’s always more

Analytics, loading times, SEO, host software updates, etc. The list of things to do for your website goes on and on. But addressing these first crucial tasks will set you up with the knowledge to upkeep your site and find greater success.

As we focus on website services, we’ll be sharing more tips for maintaining your site. Check back for a deeper dive into 301 redirects and a breakdown of blogging strategies for your website.

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