Now that you've put a ton of effort into your website and have it just the way you want it, you might think that it's time to kick back and enjoy the eternal fruits of your (or your developer’s) labor. Right?
A website is never done, not really. The web moves and evolves too quickly, so continuous website improvement is important if you want to remain relevant and continue growing.
Once your site is launched, you should constantly be regularly checking your statistics, checking your site with different browsers, monitoring your conversion rates, and otherwise keeping an eye on your site’s performance. Then you can tweak and improve your site over time, or work with a maintenance professional on an ongoing basis.
Change With The Times
Who would have thought 10 years ago that Myspace would be virtually non-existent now? Who would have thought during the era of keyword stuffing and backlink buying that those practices could completely jeopardize your search engine rankings in the future? And did you ever think that people would start using their phones to access the Internet more than computers?
The point is, things change—and they change fast. Look at some of the websites that were popular in the early 2000s. Could you imagine using frames and animated clipart all over your website now? Probably not, but those things were all the rage in the past.
If you don't constantly keep an eye on your website and make changes as needed, you won't be keeping up with the times and your business could suffer for it. Things won't all go out of date at once, but over time, your site could be seen as very outdated if you aren't careful. By making little changes here and there, however, you can prevent this from happening.
These are a few things that you should ensure don't become outdated on your site:
Google is constantly releasing algorithm changes. With each change, certain SEO strategies become outdated. In some cases, if you're still using old tactics, your search engine rankings can actually plummet. Stay up-to-date on the latest news about Google algorithms and make changes to your website as needed.
New browser updates and devices are coming out all the time, and the rate of adoption can be a lot faster than you’d think. You should be constantly testing your site on various browsers to ensure that everyone who visits your site is able to use it and view it properly.
Web Design Trends
Keep an eye on the sites of your competitors and others in your industry. If you find that your website is starting to look a little sleepy and outdated by comparison, it might be time to make changes so that you can stay modern and relevant.
This also counts for general web design trends outside of your industry. As preferences and aesthetics evolve, so should your site. Prospective customers are more likely to pass over your site if it looks like it was designed 10 years ago, especially if they’re of a younger demographic.
Continue Selling Yourself
You should never stop selling yourself, your website, or your business. If you aren't updating your website with news and important, timely information about what you and your company have to offer, then you aren't doing enough. Eventually, your visitors might just move on to someone who is still working hard to gain their loyalty.
There will always be ways that you can continue selling yourself. Adding new blog posts that talk about your exciting products and services can help. Releasing new products and services periodically can make a difference, too. And tweaking certain elements to optimize both user experience and conversions is an absolute must.
Keep Your Marketing Campaign Relevant
What marketing tactics worked before might not work in the future. More than any other area, marketing evolves at the speed of light and you must keep up to succeed.
Although your visitors might have loved the blog post that you posted a few weeks ago when it was first released, they’re not going to scramble to read it again. The social sharing plug-in that you’ve been using to promote social media sharing might not be functioning correctly anymore, so it might be time to use a different plug-in or move your buttons around so that they are easier to see. And the online advertising campaign that you paid for might not be performing well enough to justify the cost, or it could be exceeding your expectations and could be in need of additional funding.
Small changes like this can only be determined by constant monitoring. If you are always monitoring your traffic, traffic sources, and conversion rates, you can see which marketing strategies are working and which ones aren't. This can help you avoid spending marketing dollars on strategies that don't work, can help you tweak things that are working but that could use a bit of tinkering, and can help you increase funding for ad campaigns that are bringing in traffic.
Ultimately, this can help you boost your traffic, maintain a steady flow of traffic over time and prevent you from wasting money on marketing methods that aren't performing well.
Spot Mistakes That You've Made
Your website is your baby, so you might not be able to see any little mistakes that you've made. Fonts that are hard to read, graphics that look a bit amateurish, or typos that you might have missed when you were proofreading might not stand out to you right now.
If you are constantly looking at your site and critiquing it, however, mistakes that you have made are sure to stand out eventually. This can help you make changes when you need to so that your site will always be at its best.
Take Advantage of New Technology
There is always new technology coming out that can be helpful to you when you're building and maintaining your website, blog, and marketing campaign. There are always new plug-ins that you can add to your blog or tools that you can use to track your marketing campaigns, find keywords to use in your blog posts, or promote your site for social media. By keeping things as they are right now, you can miss out on all of these new tools.
Target New Keyword Options
Just because you've already targeted all of the keywords and key phrases that are big in your industry right now doesn't mean that you're finished. What's popular now might not be tomorrow. Search terms that no one is looking for right now might explode in the coming days, weeks, or months. Your competitors might finally find the keywords that you have been using and might start rising through the search engine rankings.
Doing constant keyword research—both on keywords that are already in use on your site and keywords that you might not have discovered or used yet—can help clue you in to what people are searching for and can help you keep your website relevant.
It's understandable if you're feeling absolutely exhausted after doing so much initial work on your site. It's even understandable that you might want to take a short break on working on your site for a little while. However, it is important not to give up on your site. Instead of looking at your website as a finished project, consider it a constant work in progress. It might seem perfect right now, but there are always tests that you can run and changes that you can make to make it even better.
Luckily, these changes can be—and should be—all done over time.