by Gissimee Doe
Website maintenance is important to any business, regardless of size. Your website is a worldwide window into your business and it can have a big impact on how the value of your product or service is perceived. A well-maintained website is critical for real-time service industries. All businesses need regular website maintenance to attract and retain customers, maintain search engine rankings and present new information, products and services to the public. Website maintenance is also required to maintain the value of the website over time.
A well-maintained website attracts new customers and maintains the interest levels of existing customers. Your website should be customer centered and kept relevant by routinely refreshing the content and ensuring that customer contact points are in good working order. Routinely check that contact forms work, address and phone number listings are updated and products, services and price lists are current and correct.
Website maintenance is critical to search-engine rankings. Websites with old content rank lower in search engine listings. Some search engines, including Google, check your page’s “if-modified-since” HTTP header to determine whether it is worth crawling. Failing to make frequent modifications could cause you to be pushed below active competitors in the listings and cost you business over time.
Your website is a public reflection of your corporate image. A poorly maintained website with lots of errors, broken links, dead pages and outdated information projects a sloppy corporate image and can cause business to decline over time. Routinely examine the look and feel of your website and update it to match your corporate image. Check and fix broken links, poor grammar and spelling mistakes as quickly as possible — preferably before a customer brings them to your attention.
Your website-maintenance activities need to cover some business-critical key areas. These include copy production, quality control, publishing, feedback monitoring, performance monitoring, infrastructure maintenance, routine maintenance, change control and risk control. For risk management, you need to have a business-continuity plan in place for your website and ensure that your hosting service provider has a backup and maintenance plan that is in line with your own business service levels, especially if you have a real-time or mission-critical website.