Do you think web development is a one-time process, a “once-and-done” sort of thing? Not even close!
You invest in web development, hire search engine optimization or SEO internet marketing services, and do everything to get a near-perfect and profitable website. And eventually, your website goes live.
But is the job done once your website is online?
Your website may have launched, fully optimized, healthy, and ready to win you the world. But just like your own health, your website’s health deteriorates over time. And if it does not receive regular health checks, it may fail to serve its purpose.
In a nutshell, we can define a website’s health by how well it serves its visitors and contributes to the business it represents. Having said that, a healthy website offers an excellent user experience and works to bring your business closer to its online goals.
But if you leave your healthy website to fend for itself and neglect critical health checks, it can soon accumulate multiple problems, which can turn into continuity-threatening disasters.
When you build a website, you optimize it using SEO online marketing techniques like backlinking. This is great. But do you know, if your website does not get regular health checks, these backlinks that once contributed to its growth could become a reason for its demise?
You read that right! The pages you have linked to may become inaccessible for some reason.
In this case, your web page will be left with a broken link. Such links are not only a major inconvenience for web visitors but are also a sign of an abandoned website for search engines.
And would the search engine ever rank a website it thinks is abandoned? Of course not!
But broken links are not the only website health indicators that demand immediate attention. There are toxic links too.
Once your website goes out on the internet, anyone, including low-authority and shady website owners, can link to your website, giving it what is aptly called a toxic backlink.
If left uncared for, these toxic backlinks could destroy not only your backlink profile but your entire SEO journey.
How? Google is unlikely to rank a website with too many links from unreliable websites and is more likely to penalize it for illegitimate link acquisition strategies.
Additionally, if you have added new pages to your site, they may not be mobile-optimized. With irregular or neglected health checks, these pages, with their inability to load properly on mobile devices, may lead to your website suffering in search engine rankings.
These new pages may have missing metadata that helps search engines and users understand what your website is about.
And how will a website rank in the search results and attract visitors if neither the search engine bots nor human users can properly grasp the site’s context?
Website load speed is another critical health concern that can appear if you don’t stay ahead and have a regular website load speed optimization routine. And given that web visitors are becoming increasingly impatient, a slow-loading website may prove to be the final push towards a neglect-orchestrated web failure. Sometimes the hosting service is the cause of a slow-loading website. If the site loaded fast at the beginning but now loads slowly, it might be time to find another host for your website.
If you think these are the only website health concerns you need to stay on top of, well, you are in for another surprise.
Your website is a combination of plain text and HTML code. The HTML code works behind the scenes while the text comes to the front. And the text-to-HTML ratio represents the amount of visible text against non-visible website elements such as the website’s code (programming), images, etc.
An unhealthy website, or one which hasn’t been maintained for a very long time, may have a low text-to-HTML ratio. That means your website does not have enough content.
And with Google giving importance to content-driven websites, a low text-to-HTML ratio can seriously affect your SEO ranking or progress.
Your website health is maintained by every feature that shapes the user experience. Since content is a huge part of customers’ interaction with your business, it also influences the website’s health.
Low word count, outdated and thin content, or content that offers no value to the readers, are all the issues that can pop up over time and leave a ghastly dent in your website’s overall health.
Think about it, in a world where most people find businesses online, an unhealthy website will only chip away at your business’s reputation.
And with customers having more options than ever, an unhealthy website is likely to repel your business prospects, compelling them to shop from the competitors instead.
If your website is laden with broken links, features thin content, and outdated, sloppy design, do you think anyone will ever stay on it?
People will back out as soon as they click through, given that they do get to the website somehow.
And with Google closely tracking critical user engagement metrics such as dwell time (or time spent on each page), it knows when your website fails on the user experience front.
More importantly, when your poorly maintained website fails to retain customers, it inevitably fails to convert them, meaning it won’t be contributing much, if at all, to your business revenue.
But most importantly, you may never be able to have an appreciable search engine rank with an unhealthy website, regardless of how exceptional your SEO online marketing strategy is.
Without a proper health-check routine, it will gradually accumulate all the features that can de-rank a once high-ranking website.
So, keeping tabs on your website’s health status is not just a best practice. To sustain a profitable online presence, website health checks and regular maintenance plans must be an integral part of your online marketing strategy.
A healthy website is built and, most importantly, maintained for the users. It has valuable content, clean HTML code, and is easier for both the users and the search engines to scan and read.
A comprehensive website health-check is a multi-part process. It takes into account the functionality, accessibility, design, and overall optimality of your website and performs a complete diagnosis of it to uncover everything that needs attention.
This process is just like running multiple blood tests to find out what diseases your immune system is battling. And once you get the blood test reports, what’s the next step? Do you take them home, look at them nice and long, and then put them away, thinking the job is done? No. You go to a physician to treat the diseases diagnosed in the blood test!
Similarly, once you have your website diagnosis reports, you are required to act!
But before you put on your web dev hat and get to the technical stuff yourself, know that web maintenance does not only require dedicated web development skills. It also requires time, dedication, and effort.
Once you are through web development, you are left with website health checks and regular maintenance, which is a full-time job.
And if you think you can wing it and do the maintenance yourself, you may be in for a third and rather unpleasant surprise.
From hunting down and removing broken and toxic links to checking the functionality of your web elements, from cleaning your HTML code to optimizing visible content, maintaining your website’s health demands a diverse portfolio of skills.
And unless you are okay with risking your business for the sake of your DIY web maintenance venture and then also getting less-than-satisfactory results, it is always better to leave the difficult task to the professionals.
Landau Consulting, a NJ small business web design and SEO company, offers complete website health diagnostic and maintenance. Offering web design in NJ and beyond, Landau Consulting has a team of professional web designers, developers, writers, and of course, SEO experts.
Eliminate unpleasant surprises, let professional website health maintenance services ensure that your website is healthy and optimized to contribute to your business.
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