What Is Website Hygiene And Why Is It Important?

Your website is the hub of your entire digital strategy. It’s your WELCOME sign to new visitors and a place where they can learn about you and your business to decide if they’ll become your customer. Your website serves so many critical functions – to educate, inform, sell and support your customers – which ultimately keep your business moving forward. Yet so few companies regularly review their website to ensure that their content is accurate, up to date and performing its intended function.

What Is Website Hygiene And Why Is It Important?

Website hygiene is the practice of regularly reviewing and updating your website content to ensure it is the best information, presented in the most effective manner possible. 

It’s essential to keep your website up to date for many reasons. Some are obvious and some that may be lesser known.

  1. Customer Satisfaction – When a customer comes to your website, they are expecting to get the most accurate information available. If your site hasn’t been updated as you have made changes to your hours, offers, policies and more, they will get information that will conflict with what they find when they visit your location or interact directly with you. When there is a divergence between the information on your site and what you tell a customer directly, you damage their trust in your company. This can cost you customers, referrals and positive word of mouth, and even earn you negative reviews. Ensuring your site is as accurate as possible is one of the best ways to build trust with your customers and ensure they are satisfied with their experience. 

  2. Employee Support – Your team is the frontline that deals with customers. Having your site be accurate and up to date helps them to do their jobs more easily because customers are more likely to be properly informed, causing them to be better qualified once they connect with your team and allowing them to avoid potential conflicts. Your website can also be used to house important educational information and reference materials that your team can use for sales, support and upselling.

  3. Search Engine Optimization – Keeping the information on your site accurate ensures that search engines rank your website positively. When customers come to your site and stay to read the information, Google considers that a positive sign. When you get positive reviews (and fewer negative ones), that is also a sign of authority which will help you to rank higher. Your site being accurate helps to build trust with search engines as well.

Accuracy and up to date information is critical to maintaining good relationships with customers, your team and search engines. It is also important that you’re regularly checking over your site to ensure your content and optimization are effective. This type of website hygiene is more about ensuring that you’re checking in on the metrics to determine how your pages are performing, where they can be tweaked or further optimized and how to improve low performing content. It’s also a chance to take feedback into account and make edits to information that might be commonly misinterpreted or to add more information to resolve common questions or objections before customers connect with you directly. To help you keep on top of all of these checkpoints, we’ve put together a checklist for you. 

Website Hygiene Checklist

  1. Review every page on your site to ensure the information is up to date and accurate. Pay special attention to hours, contact information, team pages, events, special offers and policy updates. Remove outdated promotions and information and replace them with your current offering. 

  2. Check over your blogs and videos to see if any updates are necessary. If you have new information to add to any of them, this is a great chance to edit and re-publish high performing content to have it indexed again and served to more potential customers. Remove any content that is irrelevant now or cannot be kept with minor edits made. 

  3. Look at your Google Analytics information to check how your various pages are performing. Consider improvements for pages that are low performing but should be serving a critical function. 

  4. Check to ensure your keywords are appearing enough times on each page you are wanting to rank for them and to see if any keywords could use a tweak depending on current trends or changes to your industry or business. 

  5. Ensure all of the images on your site are accurate and up to date. As time goes by, it’s great to update your imagery to keep your site looking fresh and current as well. When reviewing your site, it’s also important to make sure that your images have been optimized to your current SEO strategy. 

  6. Click every link on your site to make sure that there are no broken links or links to content that no longer exists. This is a great task to delegate to someone on your team as well, as it can be a bit time consuming but can make a big difference in the experience customers have on your site. 

  7. Check your site speed to see if there are any changes in how your site is loading. Use the Google speed tester for this because even though some web developers may recommend that other speed tests are more accurate, the only thing a search engine like Google uses to evaluate your site speed is its own measurement tool. 

  8. Be sure to check your site on a desktop and mobile device. When making changes to your site, chances are that it will be on a desktop or laptop computer, but you want to ensure your changes also translate properly for mobile optimization. 

We recommend checking your site at a frequency that matches the type of business you have. If your offering changes frequently, you’ll want to audit many of these things monthly. In some cases every 2-3 months is sufficient. At a minimum, we recommend giving your website, both client-facing and the back end data, a thorough review 2-3 times per year. 

To make this simpler, it’s also helpful to create a map of your site. If there is particular information that changes frequently, keep track of the various places it is found on the site so you can easily catch each spot it needs to be updated without needing to wait for your regular reviews. It’s also helpful to keep track of where specific content is linked to on your site so that if you remove or replace content, or URL’s change, you can quickly update the links so there are no interruptions or confusion created. 

If managing your site is something you don’t have the time or knowledge to take care of, we offer SEO services and web maintenance packages for small and medium businesses. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you maximize one of your greatest business assets!

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