I was reading an article about early-spring gardening tasks, and they were suggesting that March was a great time for maintenance. The types of things recommended, such as cleaning and sharpening tools, checking bulbs and seeds for moisture or mold, mulching existing flower beds, and planning for new ones, all made sense and almost inspired me enough to get off the warm couch and go out to my shed to investigate. But, because I’m a nerd, my mind immediately followed the theme to a digital correlation.
Websites are a virtual “garden.” Their goal is to appeal to customers, draw them in and create an inviting setting so they may stay awhile. We design new sections within them, like adding blogs or recipes, we plant new products and SKUs and prune old ones no longer available. Sometimes we get tired of the entire thing and change the color scheme and layout with new pictures or templates. Like a garden, we should tend to our websites because if we let them sit over time, their ability to function and attract customers dissipate. However, regular website maintenance is something that many don’t realize is necessary. So, for this week’s blog, here is a list of periodic maintenance tasks to help you keep your website in full bloom.
We didn’t just start with this because it fits alphabetically – but you can remember it that way. It’s crucial to ensure that your website abides by ADA Compliance guidelines because of possible hefty fines, potential lawsuits, and these accessibility enhancements open your website to more potential consumers.
Things to ensure to check each month to remain ADA Compliant are:
In this example, even though the picture is called "mondavi-family-04.jpg", the website developer has given the picture an alt name of "Cesare and Rosa standing picture" to go along with the text.
You might think that most website building systems handle this for you automatically, but the sad truth is they don’t. You should already have a Google Analytics tracking code on your site, and ideally, you should also have a Facebook Pixel set up to track activity. If you don’t, you’re just paddling around without a plan. From a monthly maintenance perspective, the critical things for this category are:
In 2020 we saw the introduction of two privacy policies that impact each of us: CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act), obviously for California residents, and LGPD (General Data Protection Law) for Brazil. (In 2018, the GDPR for the EU was put into effect for anyone who displays their website to anyone in the EU.) These laws are worth reviewing to ensure any new forms you’ve created on your site and your cookie policies follow them. There are plugins for WordPress that can handle the necessary popups and wording, and you can read more about specifics in this great GoDaddy post.
You should monitor and “prune” your social media posts as well. Technically these aren’t part of your website but play a vital role in bringing people to your website. When sensitive issues are coming up in the world scene (as we saw many examples of last year), many leave their ads in place without adapting them to show empathy for those suffering or to bring awareness appropriately. Meanwhile, some go entirely the other way and turn off their ads or halt their social media presence altogether, effectively shutting the door on potential sales by showing the outreach of an emotional connection with the consumer rather than plugging a promotion.
For instance, leaving your ads as they stand – which usually contain a call-to-action, can seem tone-deaf. You’ve heard the term “read the room”; we need to “read the news” in this case. For example, adapt your posts showing an empathetic thought regarding the displacement of families who have lost homes in wildfires. Being relevant helps prospects and consumers appreciate the heart behind your brand, build a connection with your team members, and feel motivated to keep connected with your company.
March Suggested Website Maintenance List:
Image Alternative Text
Text easily legible
Links are friendly and easy to read.
Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions follow best practices.
Google My Business Up to Date
Check for Broken Links
Check your forms that they are compliant with privacy policies.
Check your Social Media Ads and posts to make sure they are relevant.
Now you have a spring maintenance list to ensure more significant traffic to your site, correct hours, better ADA compliance, and SEO practices. We hope that with these tips, your 2021 season will bloom with well-functioning websites attracting flocks of customers that enjoy your online garden.
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