By Angela Ruland, Design Engineer
Your website is a lot like your car.
Sure, it’s your car. But let’s face it; one of the reasons you bought it, is for what it says to other people about you.
»A website is very often your first chance to tell someone who your company is, and it should always be geared towards them and their experience.
And sure, you can buy a car from your sister’s brother-in-law’s cousin. But if you want one that’s reliable, safe and not going to break down on you in the middle of a long trip, it’s best to buy from a reputable place.
»When you go to build a new website, ALWAYS use a professional web designer, but make sure they fundamentally understand your business and customers.
Of course, you can (and should) do some of the regular maintenance yourself, but for the major tune-ups and preventative stuff, it’s best to find a mechanic that knows what they’re doing and how you use the car.
»And that’s what we’d like to examine today.
Your website should never be something that you set up and take for granted until someone decides it’s time for a revamp. Just like your car, your website is being used daily, for short trips, long trips and in all kinds of traffic. Occasionally it may wind up in a sketchy neighborhood, or have someone try and break in. So, just like you work on your car, or have someone do maintenance, you need to check on your website regularly. Here are a few ways to accomplish that:
- Is it getting noticed in the parking lot? Are the keywords that are important to your industry showing up enough in product or service descriptions, content and other places on your website to organically grow your SEO? Check and find out. If you’re low, fill up on keyword-heavy content in the form of case studies, blog posts and video.
- Is all the wiring connected? Just like a turn signal that won’t work if the wire isn’t connected, content that isn’t tied into the rest of your website isn’t helping your SEO. If there’s a product mentioned in a blog post, (like Sonnhalter’s great Insider Guides), link it in the blog. And have a link to the content on the product page. A website full of interconnected pages not only increases your SEO, but keeps customers on your website learning, instead of going back to a broader search.
- Be ready for any type of passenger. Just like you have to have a car seat for your kids, you need to make sure your website accommodates everyone. Make sure it’s mobile friendly. Make sure it’s responsive. Make sure there are no broken parts and that it can at least drive the speed limit.
- Know what that light on the dashboard means. Always be monitoring your website analytics. They can provide you with real evidence as to customers’ use and experience instead of anecdotal comments trickling in from users.
- Make sure you’re not overloaded for a trip. Are your images compressed? As you add content, are you making sure to not bog down the system? Make sure, and design as needed to accommodate.
- Lock the doors, and make sure you set the alarm. Have a WordPress site? Make sure all your plug-ins are kept up-to-date. Who has the admin passwords and how often are they changed? There are loads of security monitoring sites; make sure you have one, and that it’s compatible, reliable and easy to work with.
Treat your website right, with regular maintenance and updates, and it will give you miles of performance and become the envy of the neighborhood.