Where Am I?

So, you may ask yourself, why is it important to maintain my website? and how important is SEO? Well, anyone running a website will want to know – “Am I on the first page of Google?”. SEO is an important part of ensuring that the answer is “yes!”. You can only make money from your website if you have visitors – or traffic. Your website will see several types of traffic.

Referral Traffic

The most obvious for business owners is marketing. Spread the word, get your friends, family, neighbours, and their dog to spread the word. So, that should get your website further up the ranks, shouldn’t it? In a way, you’re right because the more traffic that comes to your site the more popular it will be. But what happens when you’ve run out of friends, family, neighbours, and co to visit the website. If they’ve been there, they may not want to revisit it if there’s been no new content put on there. This type of traffic to your website is called referral traffic. Where it’s come from sharing your heart out on social media and everyone comes, has a look around, then leaves.

Paid Traffic

As part of your marketing project, you may decide to send some money Google’s way. Again, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this, if it gets those well-awaited visitors through your virtual doors. This is called paid referrals and happens because you’ve paid to have your business advertised. However, make sure you’re careful that your ads don’t eat into all your money. For example, if you set it at the lowest available budget of £1 a day, that’s £31 a month? Following setup, you may receive an email explaining that you have a threshold of £200 a month. This is because you are paying for people to click onto your website. So, each click is costing you money! If you get all your clicks in before the month is out, you will have to pay immediately.

Organic Traffic

Therefore, I would usually say try word of mouth and organic traffic before using the ads as a last resort. If you do resort to ads, make sure to keep an eye on your money! But how about that precious organic traffic? The kind where they slip into your online store ‘by accident’ and keep coming back for more. The type that becomes a regular, and they leave that all-important positive review! Bliss.

But Why SEO?

First, you need to sort out your SEO or even pay for someone to do it for you. A thing about Google is they like to know everything, inside and out. So, the images that you have on your site? they want to be able to read what the images are. This is for people who find it difficult to see properly, therefore their computer reads it out for them. This also helps with your ranking with Google, as your company obviously empathizes with others! Excerpts for your pages and posts are also extremely important for SEO. Try and make them eye-catching and informative as that’s the bit that they’ll see on Google! Google needs to see that the website is up to date as that shows that it’s active.

Why Maintain

Old content and no updates equal an old website. This unfortunately results in your website getting pushed to the bottom of the pile to make way for new content. Not maintaining your website is more likely to be a security risk due to (but not limited to) old software. Software is updated all the time by its developers to help prevent vulnerabilities. Therefore, if you do not update your software regularly, your website is vulnerable for hackers to do as they please. The scenario’s easy to see, the software company notices vulnerabilities in the software, so they fix it. The only job you need to do is to update it. If you do not update it, you will get hacked! It is a very scary prospect, but very real. You may need to update your software every couple of weeks or every 6 months.

Update As Soon As They Become Available

It all depends on vulnerabilities in their software. With this in mind, it is especially important to update your software as soon as it becomes available. Why can’t I just enable the auto-updates you ask? You could, but what if a load of software was due to update around the same time? What if one of those updates broke your site? Could you figure out which one broke the site so you could remove it? Or would you need to remove all the software at the same time? Of course not, you would need to have a crystal ball to be able to do it. So, I believe the best thing to do is to back up the site and update them individually. This will enable you to see if there are any issues in between updates and be able to fix them.

Staging Site

Another way is to test the updates on the staging version of your site. By doing this, you can avoid having to fix any issues that may try to break the site. There is no quick fix for SEO I am afraid. SEO is something that does not end, it is always a work in progress as your site should always be. So many sites are built and just left to rot, their owners treating them like lost causes. If you bought a new car, you’d look after it well to make sure it keeps its performance. Instead, what may start off as a ‘Boycie E-Type Jaguar’ turns into a ‘Del Boy’s Trotters Independent Traders reliant robin’! So, the best thing to do is to always have some new content going up. Keep tweaking your SEO and make sure it meets all the standards by being relevant, clear, and accessible.

New Content

Make sure you add new content to your website as often as possible. This will give your reader fresh material to read and will keep google happy. The title of your page should be somewhere in your introduction, so your customers know what it’s about at once. Your sentences should be 20 words or less, along with transition words for ease of reading. The structuring of your paragraph is extremely important and should be separated with subheadings. Also, always make sure your paragraphs are around 150 words or less.  Next, try and make sure you focus on your keyword every so often on your page, try spacing them out. This is called keyword density. If all of this seems daunting, take a look at our next article where we’ll be focussing on Yoast SEO.