Do I Have To Update My Website? – Website Maintenance Schedule

A conversation with a client brought us this important question. The client was feeling overwhelmed by the amount of homework coming their way. The Cybervise team was doing their job. Alerting the client about problems with the website. But things were falling behind and the question was asked, do I really need to do this every month? I could answer that question yes and it would be true. But instead, I will explain why regular updates to your website are so important.

Why are website updates important?

  • You are interacting with your web visitors. Giving visitors updates and new stuff to read gives them a reason to come back to your website. Don’t post something for the sake of posting. But focus on having a conversation with your potential new clients.
  • Feedback from Google is not instant. Every month we work to clear errors from Search Console reports. Or get Google to add your web content to search results. Once you make corrections to your pages, it can take 30-60 days for Google to recognize your work.
  • But the clock is ticking to fix errors. We are checking website reports every month is to make sure websites don’t lose search traffic. When a webpage shows up on a Search Console report with a problem, the clock is ticking. This is a sign that the content is in trouble and will drop from search. While you still see pages listed on the reports, you have time to act. But once they drop off its much harder to get Google to visit them again.
  • It’s a trust issue. Especially since COVID and since a lot more business is happening online. It’s similar to the feeling you get when you see an empty house. Have you ever looked at the windows of a house and you know no one lives there any more? There is no movement or light. But an empty feeling. Visitors can telling when a website is being ignored. And now it’s also a sign of whether or not the business is still a viable business.

Many things in marketing are about momentum. When you get on a roll making updates, good things start to happen. It will be easier to see better traffic numbers, better rankings and more inquiries. And once you start cleaning up the backlog of issues, each month the list gets smaller.

Do you need to do a full blown article every month? No! You could set a schedule to review content already posted and update time sensitive info. Or just add a new question to your FAQ page.

Sample Website Maintenance Schedule

How often you update depends on what kind of website your are running. Your marketing strategies and your business. If you have a large website, you may need to do maintenance more often to keep up with all the content. Here is a sample schedule to get you started.

Weekly Updates:

  • Software and Security updates
  • Clean out spam
  • Product availability – can everything be shipped?
  • Update order statuses (e-commerce)
  • Time changes
  • Put up/Take down emergency alerts
  • Run a backup

Every Month:

  • Fix Broken Links.
  • Clear Error Messages.
  • Speed Tests – make adjustments based on results.
  • Take down or update Events or dated content.
  • Test forms to make sure you receive inquiries.
  • Test Checkout to make sure transactions can be completed.
  • Try to post one new piece of content.
  • Add to existing content. Even a paragraph here or there is good.

Tackle One Per Month- Schedule Website Maintenance Projects:

  • Review a Service or Product page for updates.
  • Check pricing displayed on website. Is it current?
  • Review blog post or articles to make sure info is current.
  • Technical SEO Upgrades.
  • Optimize Images and downloads.
  • Review Core Vitals Scores. What changes are needed?
  • Review Staff and contacts listed on the site. Are they current?
  • Review projects and case studies listed on the site. Are they current?

Yearly Website Maintenance:

  • Checking hosting server for software updates.
  • Cleanup files on hosting server.
  • Update Copyright dates and anniversary dates mentioned on the site.
  • Clean-up form submissions. Download to a spreadsheet and clean out records stored on the site.
  • Check backup settings. Make sure they are working. Delete any extra backups that are too old to be useful.

What about SEO?

If you business relies on organic search traffic, ramp up your maintenance schedule. Plan on posting content updates and additions at least one per month. Make sure error messages and broken things, like links, get fixed before Google finds them. We always run and SEO scan each month for our website clients who rely on search traffic. We try to find any missing information or missing code that Google could use to better rank the web pages. Everything done for website maintenance only helps SEO.

How often do I need to add content or new webpages?

We often tell clients even if they can only add a paragraph once per month to a page on their site, that’s fresh content. Your marketing strategy will drive how often you need updates. But we have found that updating content at least every 30 days keeps the interest of the search engines. It also gives visitors something to come back for.