You have invested a lot of time, effort and money into your website and like many business expenses, it will naturally depreciate over time. How quickly it depreciates is largely determined by the decisions you make. Updates and changes should make your website better but care must be taken to ensure they do just that and not undermine what you currently have. Here are eight ways to preserve and increase the value of your website as it evolves:
1. Use Consistent Tone
Ensure that any edits or additions to your website’s content are written in the same tone as the rest of the site. A page of content written with humour will seem confusing or unprofessional if the rest are written in a straight-forward, no-nonsense tone.
2. Don’t Let Your Website Become Obviously Dated
If you are unable to edit your site frequently, make sure edits you do make don’t draw attention to this. Advertising events that have long since past or references to holidays six months past will give your site an abandoned, derelict feel. If you don’t plan on editing the site often, remove any references that will date the site.
3. Maintain the Overall Design Integrity
Ensure that the overall look and feel of the site continues to look as it did on the day of its launch. As tempting as it can be to use bold, red fonts to grab attention, that is not the attention you seek. Stick to the colour and font scheme laid out in the beginning. Watch your spacing – big gaps in text or text too close to other elements are elementary mistakes.
4. Double-Check Your Links
If you’re adding a link to your page, test it to ensure it works. In addition, if you’re linking to a PDF or any other type of document, make sure the document is professional and presentable and not unreasonably large.
5. Don’t Rely on Spelling and Grammar Checkers
Spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors will cheapen the quality of your site fast. One online study estimated that one spelling error can cut online sales in half. Spell checkers are great but they don’t catch everything. Double check your edits.
6. Cheaper Hosting Isn’t Always Better
Fight the urge to change hosting companies because you found something cheaper. Moving a website can be complicated and it not only can it render your website non-functional, it generally involves moving other related aspects like your domain and email. The price you pay to move your site, plus the interruptions and downtime to your website to accommodate this upheaval may eliminate any savings you would have enjoyed with the new host.
7. Review your SEO strategy
Review and assess your SEO, or search engine optimization strategy every three or six months if not more frequently. If a high page rank in search engines is something you strive for, make sure that any new content is updated in your SEO strategy. New pages may require some behind the scenes coding to add proper descriptions, titles and keywords. In addition, your sitemap.xml and robots.txt may need to be updated as more content is added.
8. Keep Your Site Relevant and On-Message
If it’s not a part of your business or organization, don’t put it on your site. As tempting as it may be to add a page to your company website about your part-time dog breeding business, don’t. Not only does it make your business appear unfocused but the unrelated topic can also lower your rank in search engines page results. Keep your business site professional and launch an additional site for separate content.
Your website is part of your overall marketing strategy and it pays to keep this top of mind whenever you make modifications. Remember who you built the site for and everything you add or change needs to be meaningful to your users. Your website is likely one of your biggest marketing investments its value can diminish quickly if changes are improperly planned or made with haste. Protect your investment and plan with care.