The care and feeding of your new business home on the Web is as important as any of the steps that got you there.
Whether tweaking SEO, reviewing your analytics, adding new products and services, updating your site map, launching promotions and other marketing campaigns, keeping your site well-tuned and effective is a task that never ends.
Although the hard part is indeed over, the key to long-term business success on the Internet is maintaining your Web site.
In this, the last step, we tell you how to keep on top of it in 6 parts:
- Keep Things Secure
- Manage Existing Content
- Tend Your Analytics and SEO
- Add New Content and Links
- Constantly Promote Your Web Site
- Reconsider Ads
Keep Things Secure
Top of the list: Be vigilant about the security of your Web site and content, your network and your customers’ private information.
This includes all of your company’s firewalls, anti-virus scanning, adware protection and Web hosting services.
A wide range of online services and software can handle this crucial task for you or help do it yourself. Some are free, some charge.
This is a good starter’s list:
Manage Existing Content
Even the most basic business Web site should be regularly refreshed with new information, images, promotions and services. If you have an e-commerce site, it’s obvious that your offerings will – or should – constantly change.
You’ve seen “stale” sites – never-changing, never improving, blah. That’s not what your new business Web site was so carefully nurtured to project.
Whether you hire out the work or do it yourself, keep these tips in mind:
- Some Web developers are willing to negotiate a fee for maintaining your site. If you hired one, ask.
- Include easy-to-use feedback forms on your site and monitor replies every day.
- React quickly to critical comments and suggestions from your customers and employees, fixing any problems and making necessary upgrades or improvements. Give priority to any trouble with usability.
- Don’t let old topical material stay online. Event dates and calendars, promotional deadlines, seasonal specials and products – anything with an expiration date should be archived and immediately replaced.
- When you update your Web site, check for “orphaned” pages – a result of breaking the links to them when you make changes. Your analytics software can help you spot these floaters. If an orphaned page is no longer needed, delete it from your host server.