If you have a website, you already received emails from Google to let you know Universal Analytics is being replaced by a new product next year. While this may not represent an urgent need, it highlights the importance of periodic website maintenance. Maintaining your website assures it continues to rank in search engines results, displays current and relevant information, hasn’t been hacked, and includes recent technology updates.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s a set of practices that improve positioning of web pages in organic, unpaid, search results. Search engines (e.g., Bing & Google) use computer programs called crawlers to review and index content on web pages. Crawlers, also called spiders or bots, start from known pages, like a website’s home page and follow links from that page to other pages. These can be internal to pages of the same website or external to pages on other websites. The crawler reviews content and links on web pages to understand what each page is about. From there the crawler categorizes the page in the search engines index. That index is used to return that web page during searches.
Each search engine has its own algorithm, or process, for SEO. Web page content is just one, important component of that process. For example, search engines also factor in age of web page. If a page hasn’t been updated in five years, it may be viewed as less important to the crawlers. Search engine algorithms continuously change, therefore websites need updating from time-to-time to maintain good SEO results.
Most websites are created using a Content Management System (CMS). CMSs, like WordPress, are powerful tools that make it easy to create and update a website. Many websites have the capability to extend CMS functionality with components available from both the CMS and other parties. In WordPress, these components are called Plugins. Since the CMS and Plugins are software, they, like all software require updates to add enhancements, fix bugs, and address cybersecurity issues. Failing to maintain the technology supporting your website can have a significant negative impact to your online presence.
Hackers can exploit problems with a website’s supporting technology and may add their content and links to your website. They could also upload malware, making your site a distribution center for software that will infect others. In addition, content on your site can be used by hackers to obtain information that can be used for email phishing attacks.
A website can be viewed as an online billboard for your company. The content on your website should be updated frequently to communicate new information. Otherwise, your website will look like a faded billboard; advertising products and services that look like they are no longer available. Billboards are erected along high traffic stretches of road. With a website, traffic isn’t based on location. It is in part driven by organic search results created by SEO. Periodic content updates are important for both human website visitors and for the search engine crawlers.
VISTECH designs & builds effective corporate presence/informational websites and has maintenance programs to assure websites are secure and updated. Give us a call today at 860.251.8003 to have a conversation about how to build and maintain your website.