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Did you know that according to research, the average lifespan of a website is 2 years, 7 months? We bet that half of the one billion websites on the internet aren’t updated in that time span. But even if you do have it on your calendar to review your website every couple of years – and if you do, well done! – it doesn’t always mean you need a complete website rebuild. 
Whilst it’s great to have a new website that you can promote for marketing and brand awareness that is completely up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies, you actually don’t always need to go to that level of expense. We’ve got our top 6 maintenance tips that will give your website that summer refresh you are looking for on a much friendlier budget. 

Why should I maintain my website? 

We hear the question, “Why do I need to maintain my website? It’s still doing the job I need it to do.” Yes, we get that but wouldn’t it be even better if your website’s performance was at its best? Let’s give you some good reasons why you should be maintaining your website: 
94% of people don’t trust a website that is outdated. 
75% of people base a company’s credibility on its website, i.e. how it looks, website speed and the user experience. 
59% of people want a website that’s pleasing to the eye as well as being nimble to their fingertips, and it takes a visitor just 0.5 seconds to form an opinion. 
Google’s algorithm updates can often change search engine ranking criteria. 
Search engine bots are crawling websites for new content as part of their searches; the less activity on your website, the greater the likelihood the bots will overlook your website (but when you do update content, keep it relevant to your target market). 
Google has started showing older, unsecure websites as unsafe, and dropping them down search listings. If your website shows the exclamation mark and the words 'Not secure' in your browser next to your website address, then you definitely need to look into upgrading your website. Check to see if your site is secured with an SSL certificate - you should have the padlock icon, and your website address starting with https and not http. 
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Taking a bit of time for website maintenance to give it a summer refresh could be the answer to boosting user engagement and improving conversion rates. 

Top 6 website maintenance tips 

Of course, there is plenty you can do to improve your website, but we’re looking at quick and easy tips that will make a refreshing difference in boosting website performance. 

1. Review your keywords 

You may think you have all the right keywords covered but do they match user search terms? If you don’t have the latest keywords and phrases being used by your target audience, the search engine bots aren’t going to find your website or landing pages to rank them in the search results. Carrying out a review of your business’s keywords will not only clarify the search terms being entered into search engines it will also highlight any keywords and phrases that are no longer relevant or performing poorly. 

2. Consider your internal links 

There’s so much focus on backlinks (authoritative quality links to external sites back to your website) that we forget about the internal links, i.e. linking to other pages on your website. Not only does this help with user engagement – for example, linking a blog to the relevant product or service page – but it also helps the search engines understand your site navigation and structure, therefore ranking your website higher. 

3. Resize your images 

Images that are too large on your website, particularly if you use them for blog posts, will not only load slowly but can often load incorrectly, particularly on mobile devices. Ensure your images are optimised to the right size for your website to embed them more easily into your pages and posts, improving load times and mobile visibility. 

4. Backlinks are important 

Now we come to the backlinks and they are still one of the most important criteria for search engine ranking. Also known as inbound links, they are links back to your website that show search engines your content is good quality and relevant. But one thing to remember, you can’t buy backlinks; they are considered spam, so make sure you regularly check for bad backlinks and remove them before Google spots them! 

5. Website speed 

This is crucial to your website performance. Consumers can be impatient; you have just 2 seconds for your web page to load before your visitor starts to think of going elsewhere – 5 seconds and 40% of consumers will have gone. Let’s give you an example of the difference it can make – Yahoo! improved its website speed by 0.4 seconds, which increased traffic by 9%. It is also one of the quickest and easiest ways to refresh your website and will probably have the most significant impact. 

6. Content is king! 

We know it’s a cliché, but content really does matter. In fact, it’s one of the critical areas that can make your website appear outdated fast. Products and services change, your message changes, your customer needs change, and your keywords and phrases change; therefore, your content needs to change to keep up. But we don’t mean just the text on each page of your website; we also mean your image ALT tags, social proof (tweets/social posts/testimonials), videos and images, landing pages, and even your contact form. So many forms today on websites are generic; think outside the box by embedding specific landing page contact forms with an extra field or two that asks a visitor questions related to the page they are viewing. Look at your blogs, and instead of having a specific date or ‘posted on’ date, try a ‘last updated’ date. This demonstrates to visitors (and Google) that you are regularly reviewing and updating your website. Oh, and the other significant benefit? Google loves new, updated, fresh content! 

Where to start... 

Before you start making any changes to your website, it’s a good idea to get a website audit carried out. This will identify the areas of concern as well as pick up any bad coding, where there is an excess of plugins that are not needed, any glaring errors in the content, broken links, missing metadata and any other issues on your website that could do with being resolved. 
At the It’seeze Wimbledon web design company, we provide affordable, professional web design and ongoing expert support. We ensure that every custom-designed website we build is WCAG compliant and meets web accessibility regulations. Not sure if your website is working for you? We offer a free Website Health Check that will decipher the areas where improvements can be made. Call us today to create the website of your dreams and turn your business into a success. Contact us for more details. 
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