Monthly Routine Maintenance for a Well-Groomed Site & Better SEO
Much like the Rolling Stones in 1965, a dormant website can’t get no satisfaction. Broken links, faulty contact forms, stale content and images that look like they haven’t been changed since the days of grunge rock are all factors that could deter users from engaging with the site and becoming quality conversions. Not only does a dusty website scare away visitors, but it also damages your search engine optimization and Google rankings.
Take a look at the top 5 things you can do, each month, to keep your website looking fresh for search engines and performing well for users!
Publish At Least One Blog Post a Month
The term “blog” shouldn’t strike fear (or apathy) into your heart. In fact, it should entice you! By maintaining a healthy blog, you offer users something more to look at – an opportunity to stay “in the know” with your organization. Whether it be in-house news or insider industry information, you’re doing your due diligence by keeping your readers informed. Google likes this. Google likes this a lot. Fresh, relevant blog content tells the search engine giant that you’re moving forward and doing everything you can to answer all the questions your readers may have. That’s the overall goal for search engines – to answer the questions asked by the people through website crowdsourcing.
At the end of the day, not only have you further proven your worth to Google, but you’ve also given website visitors more resources to use and created new social media fodder to be shared. Yum, yum! Prepare the trough.
Fix Broken Links Through the Use of 301 Redirects
Nothing deters users from engaging further with your website than clicking a link and being led to an ugly 404 “Page Not Found” page. The link is broken and so is a little bit of the user’s heart. But how do you know what links are broken? Unless you’re clicking every link on every page or you have someone phoning in a complaint, you’re going to need to recruit the help of Google Search Console – previously named Webmaster Tools. If you haven’t logged in or set up Search Console yet, we highly suggest you do. It provides amazing insights regarding your analytics, organic search traffic and inbound links.
How to Use Search Console to Identify Broken Links
- Log into the Gmail account that’s hooked up to your Google Analytics and Search Console
- Click the applicable web property (you will likely only have one property in there)
- Click “Crawl”
- Click “Crawl” errors
Boom! From here, you can find all broken links and their response codes. Integrate 301 redirect codes to help Google direct folks who were coming to the old link get to the new link. Not only will this keep people on your site, but it will also show Google that you’re covering all of your tracks. Search engines will then disseminate the appropriate SEO juice to these new pages. But act quick! SEO juice begins to diminish after 1 month of receiving a 404 error and could be completely gone by month 3.
Switch Up On-Site Images
If your site is less than 2 years old and isn’t an out-of-the-box template design build, you probably don’t need a complete website redesign just yet. But a face lift couldn’t hurt, right? Break out the Botox because we’re going to make these pages look young again!
Don’t fear change. Change is good! That header image of your child playing in the grass in front of the office? Sure, it’s cute, but it does it really say “Financial Planning Experts?” Reevaluate your imagery. What makes cognitive sense and what was put up originally just to fill space? How can you use new images to solidify your brand’s message and elicit the feelings that you want your users to experience? Take some professional photos around the office and keep the entire portfolio on standby. Use these as “B roll” imagery throughout the site. See how users engage differently by comparing month-to-month Google Analytics results (A-B testing).
This strategy also gives you a chance to try out some new image alt tags for SEO purposes and, once again, shows Google that you’re still making moves.
Minor Text Changes, Evergreen Content Revamps & Copyright Date
Following the trend of keeping things newborn fresh, make regular content changes to your homepage, marketing pages and About Us section. These can be simple things – adding a new accolade or achievement, experimenting with a new end-of-paragraph tag line, updating that little copyright date in the footer, working in some new keywords/phrases and integrating more internal links. Or you can unroll a completely new brand message, like our friends at Holbrook & Manter have done! The financial services company regularly changes up its headers to address users in a different way, while also implementing in-paragraph content modifications to create new SEO opportunities. They’re not afraid to try new things and it keeps paying off!
Contact Us Page Statistics Review
What’s the point of a website if it doesn’t convert? Heck, what’s the point of a conversion-driven website if the contact page scares people away? By taking a deeper look at your Contact Us page statistics, you can get a better grasp on how successful your website is. Are a lot of users exiting from this page? Are they moving forward to a “Thank You” page or are they bouncing back to the homepage before leaving? Make some user experience-driven changes to promote conversion and then track those statistics through Google Analytics. Remember, when comparing, make sure you look at both month-to-month stats and year-to-year, if available, as some traffic could be seasonally volatile.
What Factors Promote Contact Form Abandonment?
- Too many required text fields in the form
- Too many words surrounding the form (Keep it simple, don’t add doubt – they’re ready to convert!)
- No alternative communication options, such as direct email or phone number
- No “trust badges” or confirmation of information security
- A form that simply doesn’t work (Perform a regular monthly test to prevent this.)
Looking for more information regarding the monthly maintenance of your website? Contact ForeFront Web today and we’ll help you out!