Launching a new website is the start of your online journey, not the end. This is because without regular maintenance website performance can decline significantly. Preventing that decline should be your minimum goal, as the hidden cost of lost opportunity can be huge! Website maintenance really matters as this is what slows the rate of decline.
To improve website performance requires a different approach that we term website advancement, and that’s where the real magic happens!
Initial gains after a new website launch can lull you into a false sense of security
A new, functional and well optimised website will often bring quick results. This is because Google’s algorithm identifies the new content, and providing it meets a variety of compliance and rating criteria, it will prioritise fresh content over ageing content.
However, in most cases these initial gains will start to plateau after a time, and without regular maintenance or advancement work, you’ll see a gradual decline. This is because the site is no longer new in Google’s eyes. Unless there is substantial and sustained interest in the ageing content from visitors, the algorithm downgrades the rating and the ranking position falls too.
Competitors are at this point still producing new, optimised content which search engines like to see, whereas your site isn’t updated as regularly with fresh content. Simply put, it isn’t the new and intriguing kid on the block anymore, and the interest level of the search engines starts to fade.
Google’s algorithm updates change the weighting and priorities of the website signals it uses to decide rankings on almost daily, so what once ranked well might not continue to do so.
If you don’t keep your underlying website technology, functionality and plugins updated with the latest code, the site runs the risk of loading more slowly, or indeed some of the functionality not working at all. This will provide a poorer user experience, which then sends signals to Google that your site isn’t as good for users as it used to be.
These are just some of the things that can happen within a relatively short space of time after launch. The result is that you start to see a gradual decline in position and visitors. The knock-on effect has consequences for your business results.
How a lack of website maintenance will show up in your business
You receive 12 orders through the website each month at the start. Each of these orders has an average value of £250, which means £3,000 in turnover each month.
As the website is being rather neglected, the performance now starts to decline at a rate of just 1 LESS ORDER per month.
The impact of this quickly becomes obvious. In fact, over the course of a year this steady decline means the company loses out on £16,500 in missed orders…PAINFUL!
This is why website maintenance is so important.
What makes it a little scary is that this is an invisible erosion of business performance. You only see the orders that you get, not the opportunities that are being missed.
The advancement of your business through website maintenance
Advancement work is also important, as website performance can also improve over time with the right attention, and the results of that are equally interesting.
In this graph, 1 EXTRA ORDER is now being added to the business each month through the website advancement efforts. The impact is now an additional £16,500 in turnover for the company over the course of a year…A MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE OUTCOME!
That’s now a combined £33,000 difference between adding or losing just 1 relatively modest order each month over a year… enough to warrant serious consideration!
Website maintenance for the avoidance of pain or for gain?
Your decision is whether to allow decline (now that you recognise the unseen cost of underperformance is high), or to maintain or even to advance your website.
Which one are you most keen on now?