If we’re honest, we all make a few resolutions at the beginning of a brand new year. Even those of us who publically claim that New Year’s resolutions are hokey tend to make some silent pledges as the clock strikes twelve that we’ll exercise more, keep in better touch with friends and family, or learn a new skill. When it comes to New Year’s resolutions for home care companies, we think the decision to run a smarter website is one of the best that agency owners can make.
The website is an incredibly vital and increasingly important part of any home care business. Yet, we are often surprised by how few home care agencies keep up with regular website maintenance. Often we find that clients who have hired us to provide SEO services are not maintaining their websites by installing new updates to the WordPress core or plugins on the site when they are released. We also run into agency owners who are not backing up their sites on a weekly basis.
Just like your smartphone and the apps on it, which receive updates every now and again that need to be installed, throughout the year updates are also released for your website and the plugins used on your site. Installing these updates, and then checking the site to make sure that changes in format and function have not occurred, is an important step in keeping your website safe, running smoothly, and helping you garner better rank. Avoid these mistakes to ensure your website is running smoothly in 2017:
The site is a bit slow, but that’s OK, right?
No, it’s actually not OK. When websites are not running optimally due to slow speed, outdated software, malware, or other issues, search engines take note and dock sites for mechanical deficiencies. What’s worse is that sites that don’t install the regularly released updates are more prone to malware, viruses and hacking attempts, which can also work against SEO and potentially get your site blacklisted.
No one wants to hack my little old home care website.
Many small business think they are safe because who would want to hack a small home care website? However, small business websites are exactly the type of sites that hackers are targeting. Why? Smaller sites are typically easy to get into because they aren't up to date on security. Hackers know that many small business owners don’t take the necessary steps to ensure that their sites are updated and secure, and will take advantage of the security gaps in order to install malware that can ruin a website. Also, it’s important to understand that hackers aren’t sitting around hacking into websites manually. Sophisticated hackers send armies of trolling bots out onto the web to find small business sites that don’t have the latest software updates installed.
We’ll just clean off viruses/malware if we get them.
Oftentimes, companies take the wait and see approach to web maintenance, assuming that if they get hacked, they’ll just deal with it then. The problem is that, these days, it’s not a matter of IF your page will be hacked; it’s WHEN. When a site is hacked and malware is uploaded, it’s often unnoticeable from the outside. In fact, an infected website may function normally while spreading that infection to unaware users and possibly even other servers without anyone ever knowing until site speed starts to slow or Google itself tags your site as harmful. Once they are discovered, these infections can take quite a long time to clear up, and in the meantime you risk being blacklisted by Google, which will cause your site’s rank to plummet. In fact, due to the close relationship between web maintenance and SEO, we always encourage anyone who is a corecubed SEO client to sign up to be a web maintenance client with us as well, and vice versa, to make sure we can help your website function and rank at the highest level.
The solution to running a smarter website is simple – regular maintenance and an SEO strategy from professionals. corecubed’s web maintenance team proactively blocks countries that are known for malicious hacks, runs regular updates to your content management system (CMS), makes sure all plugins are updated and functioning properly, and more to ensure your website is highly functional and virus-free. Contact us today to learn more about our website maintenance and SEO services and how we can help your website have its best year yet!
Author: Leigh-Ann Heuer
Lead Content Architect
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