Why software updates should take priority
I have been very lax about blogging recently. Like all small business owners, earning money and doing paid work takes priority over my own business marketing. However, what I haven’t compromised on, and it doesn’t matter how busy I am, is maintaining my site. If only for the security of the site it is vital to carry out basic maintenance tasks on a website weekly or monthly. These basic tasks are things like installing relevant software updates and checking for broken links.
Installing software updates
WordPress has just released an update to its software (version 4.6.1) as discussed in an article by www.komando.com. The update has been released to patch “two security flaws that put thousands of websites at risk.” Whether you choose to allow your website to update automatically or whether you choose to manually do it, it is vital that patches such as this are installed to protect your site.
Either way, before you update make sure you back up your site. As with any computer system, backups are also fundamental and yet it’s surprising how many people don’t back up their sites regularly. Most seem to be under the impression that because the information is stored somewhere in cyberspace on a machine by hosts, that their sites are protected. However, anybody who has ever lost data would tell you to never presume and always take your own backup and preferably store it somewhere off-site.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Not a week goes by without an article about SEO and how to make your website the site of search engines’ dreams. The last couple of weeks have been no exception. www.searchenginejournal.com focusses on organic SEO, where fundamentally your website offers something for users to come back to, whether it is authoritative comment on relevant issues to teaming up with other influencers. http://smallbiztrends.com discusses the SEO mistakes that many businesses make such as no internal linking and poor, duplicate content. Both articles though mention (as do I in previous blogs SEO rankings and broken links) the broken link issue. It doesn’t matter how well designed and written your website and blogs are, if you have broken links, you not only frustrate the user, but get penalised by search engines.
http://www.business2community.com/ has also published an article about SEO. Any small business should read this as it gives really helpful pointers to improve your website’s ranking. It can be a little daunting at first, but once you’ve gone through the process a few times (and it is a continual process, not a one off job), then it will become much easier.
A really good way to keep your website fresh and to encourage users is to blog http://www.theglobeandmail.com/. However, it is a difficult task, not only do you have to keep finding something of interest to your potential clients to write about, but also you have to be able to write well. A bad blog is almost as bad as having no blog at all. The article suggests that you may want to employ ghost writers, which is a very good way to do it. Pay someone else to write your blogs and keep your site up to date. It’s a win win situation.
Why your website should be mobile responsive
Most articles on this subject focus on the penalisation from search engines (more specifically Google) if a website is not mobile friendly, however, this report from http://www.dailyherald.com/ focusses on the user. Although this is the reason that Google negatively ranks a site, it is quite refreshing to read a write-up that reminds us that it is all about the user. Most people use their tablets or phones to search for things on the web. If your site doesn’t make that easy for the potential client or even makes it hard for them to read your site, then they will go to a competitor.
Website design is important
As always there are many articles on how to and how not to build a site and the common mistakes that site builders make. www.bizcommunity.com highlights some of the common mistakes that are made that will not only adversely affect your site in terms of SEO, but also user experience. Leaving potential clients’ with a good impression and experience of your website should be your ultimate goal.
www.promotionworld.com lists four basic wordpress design tips to enhance the user experience. An even more detailed article, that takes it one step further, is one published in http://www.business2community.com which discusses how to improve the usability of your website in order to increase sales.
How to build an awful WordPress site
And finally a very tongue in cheek article that made me smile www.allbusiness.com – I challenge anyone to honestly say that they have never made any of these mistakes…..especially those who are just starting out in building their own websites.