Last week, we explored how to self-audit your company website. If you haven’t read the guide yet, it offers a helpful roadmap for assessing the health of your website or crafting a brand new one. However, we felt that the subject missed a crucial aspect of long-term SEO performance: ongoing website maintenance. Today, we’ll dive into how your business can build its own self-sustaining plan for maintaining those leads you’ve worked so hard to earn! Be sure to read closely if you recently noticed declining traffic to your website.
An Introduction to Website Maintenance
As any successful plumber will tell you, SEO for plumbing requires weeks (sometimes months) of careful design, keyword research, content creation, and faithful work in listing completion. If you’ve recently completed your own site development, you probably feel like kicking your digital shoes off for a while. After all, you can just sit back and let your website do all the heavy lifting now, right?
For plumbers (and other diligent contractors), website creation is just the starting point in a long journey of competing for online recognition. There are many paths towards ranking #1 on Google, but all of them require continued effort from your company. At the center of all these tactics is your company website, boldly vying for the attention of Google’s search engine.
Why Website Maintenance Matters
There are many benefits to touching up your website (and other elements of your SEO strategy) on a regular basis. Most boil down into three categories:
- It makes your site look more attractive to Google Search.
- It creates new opportunities to interact with potential customers.
- It allows your web team to discover new areas for improvement.
We’ll explore each one of these motivating factors. Then we’ll provide a variety of ways you can create your own ongoing website maintenance plan.
Motivation #1: Looking Good for Google
If regular maintenance allows your business to maintain your premium rankings or earn even better listings, what better reason do you need?
As you’ve probably noticed from years of interaction with the Google Search bar, listings change pretty frequently. As a matter of fact, the search engine continually reevaluates commercial sites to discover new content, coding changes, etc. While only Google insiders know the exact frequency, this seems to happen in two week to one month intervals. That means your website gets graded for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (the E-A-T factors) once or twice a month.
Website maintenance proves that a company is still active and still eager to engage customers. When a plumbing contractor continues to upload new content, re-optimize existing pages, and eliminate page errors, Google naturally rates their site as more trustworthy and authoritative. The opposite is true: static websites convey less activity for the business in question, thus prompting progressively lower ranks.
Motivation #2: Finding New Leads
Part of maintaining a website is steadily releasing (and in some cases, re-releasing) content. As Google discovers the new content and lists it for consumption, more eyes find their way onto the site. This explains the allure of company blogging: drawing in fresh potential customers for conversion down the line. With proper optimization, the content may even earn a featured snippet listing on Google Search, creating even more potent opportunities for lead development.
Motivation #3: Finding Ways to Improve
There’s always room for improvement. Even our experienced and careful web designers at Plumbing Webmasters admit there’s no such thing as a perfect site. Page errors, keyword-changes, and image snafus pop up from time to time, which is why continued checkups are so important.
But website maintenance provides more than a way to avoid potential embarrassment. Maintenance sometimes reveals opportunities to better optimize your coding, content, and other on-site assets. Perhaps the Search Engine Journal, Moz, or another prestigious organization unveils a brand new way to rank up your service pages. Why let the opportunity slide, when you can easily go back into your website and make the enhancements?
Streamlined Website Maintenance
Before launching your own plan for continued website maintenance, take stock of your team’s capabilities and your own availability to make chances. Do you have the right talent for mastering these activities? Can you perform the updates yourself, or will you need to hire a professional to do the work for you?
Now consider the type of work your website needs to grow with your business. Potential activities include:
- Content Production: blogging, video, infographics, and photography
- Coding & Design Updates: navigation, service page hierarchy, and styling
- Content Re-Optimization: keyword changes, image updates, and relevance updates
- Functional Enhancements: reviews system upgrades, conversion tools, etc.
Right off the bat, you can probably tell that some of these are long-term activities, while others might need regular attention each month. Some require technical SEO expertise, while others demand competent writing skills. Again, having the right talent for the job makes the process so much easier!
A Simple Website Maintenance Plan
We know that Google typically re-crawls (reexamines) a website approximate every two weeks to a month. That means you have a regular opportunity to make strides in your plumbing SEO. Blogging and other forms of shareable content make for perfect short-term activities!
Next, we come to mid-term level maintenance. You don’t need to perform these activities every month, but you should perform them more than once a year. Such activities may include content re-optimization and service page hierarchy adjustments. Lastly comes long-term website maintenance. These changes need only be made once a year (or even less frequently).
Now take the template below and make your own plan based on your market and talent pool.
Your Website Maintenance Template
- Short-Term (Every 2 Weeks – 1 Month): post blogs, videos, photos; check Analytics
- Mid-Term (Every 3 – 6 Months): re-examine content for accuracy; keyword re-optimization
- Long-Term (Every 1 – 2 Years): test new website functions; try new styling
When it comes to safeguarding your website against page errors or poor optimization, be sure to utilize Google Analytics and Search Console. These are specifically tailored to your site, providing invaluable data for optimizing content and spotting coding errors. If you haven’t already set up your free profiles, do so as quickly as possible so you can start utilizing their reports!
Professional Website Maintenance – The Webmasters
For those plumbing contractors who don’t have the time to perform their own website maintenance, our team at the Plumbing Webmasters would be happy to do it for you! We support hundreds of contractors in the industry (and fields), delivering higher rankings, better traffic, and more exciting lead development. Our clients rock their local search rankings; you could too!
Call us at (877) 388-9884 for a free consultation with a seasoned plumbing SEO professional.