Is Website Maintenance Really Important?

For most people, the internet is the first step on their purchase journey, whether they are purchasing items or services. 

When people want to go to physical stores to pick up anything beyond their usual groceries, they’ll search for what they’re looking for on Google.

When people are buying services, whether that be yoga or a plumber, they’ll often turn to Google to see who has the best reviews, and who is located near them

To get yourself on Google, you need a website. WordPress, Wix and Squarspace make building a website easy But those platforms don’t maintain websites.

You could start a website, hit publish and never touch it again.

But if you don’t update it, and maintain it, Google will recognize that your online presence was a one and done maintenance pictures

Google ranks websites higher if they are maintained. Maintaining a website means:

  • You add new content
  • You update the design to reflect new digital trends and usability
  • You update security software
  • You maintain legal standards that are required occasionally
  • You make sure your mobile site is easy to use and complete

You could do this on your own. But it takes a lot of time and talent to maintain a website, especially if you and your employees don’t have the know-how. That’s why so many companies turn to third party vendors, like us at SEO Design Chicago, to maintain their website. Here, we explain what we do and why it’s so important to do so. 


Security Updates

One of the most critical reasons for website maintenance is maintaining the security of your customer’s information, your own banking and personal information and preventing viruses from messing up your website. Cybersecurity threats, hacks and viruses are ever-evolving, and websites – especially those built with WordPress – are prime targets for hackers seeking to exploit vulnerabilities.

Without regular maintenance, your website becomes more susceptible to security breaches, which can result in data leaks, damaged reputation, and even financial losses. Up-to-date security measures and software patches are essential to protect your website and its users.

Cyber attacks happen every 39 seconds, according to one study. Not only do cyber attacks give business owners headaches, they also result in bad pr. If customer data is stolen, you’ll have to email your customers, informing them of the breach and suggesting they monitor their banking. That erodes trust in your relationship.

A simple website maintenance plan, which we do regularly for many customers, can take this fear off your worry list. Cyber attackers often target small businesses. One study found 43% of attacks happen on small business websites. Why? Hackers suspect small business owners don’t maintain their sites. Little do they know that you may have experts like us on your side. 


Improved User Experience

A user-friendly website is key to attracting and retaining visitors. What may be obvious to you about where to find information on your website, or how to purchase things or inquire about services, may not be apparent to customers. In fact, owners of businesses are often the worst judges of website design. You know too much about your services. New customers know nothing or next to nothing. You must use conversational language in your menu. You must make sure your menu is easy to find. You need links throughout the site that drive users to other pages on your website. Your buttons must be large enough for people to click on with mobile devices. 

Google penalizes websites that don’t provide good usability. They rank sites lower if they have broken links, pictures or videos that cause a site to load slowly, or bad java script. Over time, broken links, outdated content, or slow loading times can frustrate users and drive them away. Regular website maintenance ensures that your site functions smoothly, with up-to-date content, quick loading times, and a responsive design that adapts to different devices, including tablets. A positive user experience not only keeps visitors engaged but also boosts your SEO ranking.improving user experience pictures


Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engines like Google continuously update their algorithms to provide users with the best search engine responses to their queries. Websites that are regularly maintained and optimized according to current SEO best practices are more likely to rank higher in search engine results pages. Unless you have the time to read news about search engine algorithms every day, it’s probably best to leave SEO to professionals. We do read the latest news, opinion pieces and leaks about Google and Bing’s algorithms. We pass all of our knowledge onto our clients. 


Providing New Content

One of the biggest parts of Google’s algorithm to determine where websites should rank is how often websites add new content in the form of blog posts, new pages and more. Even if you don’t sell products, but provide services instead, you should add new content to your site regularly. New content shows that you pay attention to industry trends. You also don’t want customers to keep looking at the same old website.  Outdated or irrelevant content can make your website appear neglected and untrustworthy. Think there’s nothing new about the services you provide? We’ll do the thinking for you and even create the content for you. Here are some examples:

  • Housekeepers can have a blog that features tips about cleaning or product reviews. 
  • Yoga studios can blog about the finer points of maintaining certain postures. 
  • Plumbers can show before and after photos of their latest jobs.

We work with a team of professional writers and visual communicators who can craft unique messages that will keep your site ranking high in SERP. 


Mobile Responsiveness

Google checks to see if your website is responsive and performs well on smartphones and tablets. If it doesn’t, Google dings your site a few points, which means you’ll rank lower in SERP. Even more importantly, poor design on a mobile could alienate a significant portion of your audience. And you want to make sure buttons are large enough so people can buy products on their phones or inquire about services. While designing websites has become easier with WordPress and Wix, mobile sites are still tricky and most people can benefit from professionals. 


Fixing Bugs and Other Tech Issues

Websites can encounter various technical issues, such as broken links, 404 errors or database problems. Neglecting these issues can frustrate users and lead Google to penalize your site. We do weekly audits of our client’s websites to check for broken links. If a link is broken internally, we fix it with a 301 redirect. If the link is to an external site, we remove the link entirely.

We also do backups of your site. Let’s say the worst happens – a worldwide cyberattack, or you forget to pay your bills for website hosting. Having a website backup is essential. We store all of your data, or explain how you can. If you have a WordPress site, we also make sure to update your plugins and themes. This is essential, as WordPress sometimes removes themes. We can also remove or add client accounts, search for bot accounts and more. 


Compliance with Legal Regulations

Depending on your industry and location, your website may be subject to specific legal regulations, such as data protection laws or accessibility standards. Failing to comply with these regulations can result in legal consequences. For example, you want to make sure your cookies policy is up to date, and that users regularly agree to any changes you make to your privacy policies. 


What are the benefits of website maintenance? 

Maintaining a website keeps your brand fresh, and makes sure that Google doesn’t penalize your site. pictures of website maintenance


How much time does it take to maintain a website?

Maintaining a website takes work. And if you already have too much work, let us handle your website maintenance. If your site is simple, maintaining it may only take an hour or two each month. For more complex sites, it can take up to ten hours per month. As a rule of thumb, you should redesign your website every 6 months to two years. 


What does SEO Design Chicago charge? 

We usually do monthly maintenance for our clients. We start by conducting a free SEO audit of your site. Then, we’ll talk about how we can fix issues on a one-time basis, or on an ongoing basis. If your budget is tight, and your site is simple, you may be able to get away with bimonthly maintenance. When it comes to content creation, we suggest posting at least one new blog post per week. 


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