Just like updating your haircut and wardrobe, your website is another good place to do some regular updates. We all know of businesses that never do any updates, some that rarely do them, and then the small percentage who update on a regular basis. Since your website is essentially the first impression many people will have of your business, do you want them to arrive and think that it is still 2001 on your site? Or worse, find broken links and incomplete work? It’s not a great impression, and even worse, it could drive traffic away from your site.
Erica Charney was talking about just this issue in her article “5 Website Tips To Keep Your Brand Image Fresh”. Her main five tips boil down to the following:
1. Fix broken links.
2. Do regular traffic analysis.
3. Do your own site crawl.
4. Keep your keyword list up to date.
5. Continually freshen your web copy.
Some of these tips seem fairly obvious to me, like making sure to fix links, but I know that I find broken links on my own daily run through the internet, so it is not obvious enough to everyone. But a frustrated customer is not a returning customer, so it bears repeating.
Doing regular traffic analysis is another tip that seems obvious to me, but some businesses may need the reminder. The more you know about where your traffic is coming from, the better you can understand what is and is not working in your online approach.
A site crawl can prevent issues from cropping up. Pulling old pages and getting visibility for the newer pages is important. Visibility on the internet is key, so updating your sitemap file and submitting the XML version are important too.
Keeping your keyword list current and freshening your web copy are pivotal activities in SEO. These are the haircuts and new clothes of the web world. Fresh copy gives your clients something new to look at (think about that haircut), but also a good way to get search engines to recognize your site, if done properly. While the keyword list is a bit like your clothing pile: it’s okay to keep some of your favourites, if they still work for you, but new content on your site will need new keywords. Plus, there are tools that show which keywords are being used frequently, so you can align your site’s keywords with popular thinking, allowing better access by the average person using search tools.
Really, search engine optimization boils down to maintaining your image on the internet. You wouldn’t go to an interview in ratty old jeans and a ripped t-shirt, so letting your website’s “clothing” wear out won’t help your business either.