Here at MMW we believe that a professional, up-to-date website with crisp, fresh images and relevant content is critical for all small businesses regardless of what you’re selling or what service you provide.
Many people invest a lot of time and money creating a beautiful and engaging website, but then they become so busy with running their business that they often forget about their site and before long it can start to look stale.
It is essential to keep your website up-to-date with new text and images as a tired looking site with inaccurate information isn’t going to impress your customers and it can reflect badly on your business. Ongoing web maintenance is essential if you want to keep your website looking professional.
Why is web maintenance important?
We’ve all visited websites which have obviously out of date information on them. What impression does it create about the business who owns the website?
If you haven’t looked in detail at your own site recently, we recommend you set aside some housekeeping time now to make sure all the information on it is ‘current’ and that you’re still happy it reflects your business in the way you want it to. For example, does it list all the products or services that you sell now and do any need to be deleted? Is your team page up to date? How recent is your ‘latest news’? Do you have newer images that could replace ones that have been there a while?
Once you’ve done this review and updated your website, we suggest that you make this exercise a regular part of your routine.
How important is it to add new content to the website?
Updating your site with new content is an essential part of web maintenance. Not only does it keep it interesting and engaging, it can also boost your search engine rankings. Google and other search engines love websites that are updated frequently; adding fresh content shows them that your website is active and this will help your chances of ranking higher in searches.
What should I be doing to make sure my website always looks fresh?
We’re not suggesting that you change the entire look of your website, but you can make changes, some of which are quite small and easy to do but which can have a dramatic impact. Here are some ideas:
Updating the copy on your site is a great way to keep things interesting, and you can focus on one page at a time . As well as checking for accuracy, if you have sections where the text is too heavy perhaps you can summarise it to make it easier to read.
Crisp, clear, professional looking photographs are an absolute must for all websites. Replacing your current lower quality images with professional photographs will make your website more inviting for your visitors, and it will also show Google that your site it active.
Just remember to make sure that your images are all labelled with alt tags (relevant names for each image) as this is an important SEO tool.
Adding new content to your homepage will refresh it and it will make your website more engaging for repeat visitors.
Top Tip: If you’re running a special offer or competition it is a good idea to add the details to your home page, but just remember to remove the details when the offer has expired or the competition has ended. Or if you’re changing your opening hours for the Christmas and New Year period you could add these to your homepage, but don’t forget to change them back to your normal hours once the festive season is over.
We’ve added a ‘Latest News & Projects’ section to the MMW home page which is a blog feed - this keeps the page fresh and interesting:
You could also feed in your latest Instagram posts and tweets. Adding a Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest feed is a great way to add new content to your home page on a daily/weekly basis (depending on how often you update your social media accounts) and it also helps you to build your social media following.
Google sees all these changes on our homepage and it understands that our site is active which helps with our search engine rankings.
If you don’t already have a blog section on your business website, we strongly recommend that you add one.
Blogs are a great way to provide information to your potential customers. If you write blogs which answer questions your customers may have and if you're consistently creating content that's helpful, it will establish you as an authority in their eyes.
Once you’ve uploaded a new blog you can share a link across your social media channels and this will help to drive traffic to your website.
A blog will make your site more attractive to Google and other search engines because every time you upload a post you add another indexed page to your website, which means you have another opportunity to show up in search engines.
Top Tip: Encourage visitors to leave a ‘comment’ underneath your blog entry as their comments will be seen as ‘updates’ by Google.
If you have a Squarespace website and you’d like to add a blog section, please get in touch – we’d love to help you!
Products & Services:
If you start selling a new product or offering a new service always make sure that you add the details to your website. And if you stop offering a specific product or service, or if your prices change, it is important that you update your website accordingly.
Top Tip: If your business is a cafe or restaurant it is a good idea to regularly update your website with any new additions to your menu or special promotions.
Make sure your contact information, hours and location are correct. It is unbelievable how many businesses move to a new premises or change their phone number without updating their website.
Word of mouth is the best form of advertising so it is a good idea to ask your customers for a review and then add their testimonial to your website. We always add our latest feedback to the MMW website and again it shows Google that our site is active.
How often should I update my website?
Ideally you should be adding a new image, blog post or just making a change on your site three times a week as then Google will consider it a frequently updated site. You’ll have a better chance of Google ranking your site higher with each update you make.
If you really don’t have time to update your site as often as three times a week, you should try to allocate at least an hour a fortnight to add some new content such as a blog post or testimonial.
How do I update my website?
Managing your own website maintenance should be straightforward, depending on which platform your site was built on and whether the person who designed and built your website gave you the login details or showed you the ‘back end’ of your site. If you don’t have the log in details we suggest that you contact your web designer and ask for them.
One of the reasons that Squarespace is our preferred website platform is because it is easy for people to maintain and update their own websites. Squarespace’s content management system is very user-friendly and most people find it easy to make changes, update content, and add new blog posts and images themselves. However, many of our clients with Squarespace websites still choose to use our web maintenance service as it means that they can focus on running their business rather than spending time updating their website.
The cost of this service is £50 or $90 per hour for adhoc requests (Minimum 2 hours. Squarespace websites only). Alternatively we can discuss monthly or annual web maintenance contracts. Please contact us if this is something that you’re interested in – we’d love to help.