So you have just set up your website with WordPress, it looks fantastic and you love it, but now what? It is easy to think that once the design is implemented and the content entered that you are done and dusted and can just leave the site to work for itself. Think again! Website maintenance is critical to the longevity of any website, even more so with WordPress which is constantly updating. We have created this list of 5 things to do after launch to ensure that your website is an ongoing success.
Install the All in One SEO Plugin
SEO is crucial. If your website does not index well on search engines such as Google, then you may as well not have a website! We love the All in One SEO plugin by Michael Torbert. It has all the functionality you could need to ensure your website is a SEO success. The two core pieces of information your website will need is a title tag and meta description tag. Your title and meta tags need to be kept to certain character counts. These tags must be keyword rich. The key to SEO is not to list your services, but to list the keywords that people would use to search for your services. An example of this can be seen by looking at a dentist. Technically a dentist will offer dentistry services, however, no one is going to plug the term ‘dentistry’ into google. They will search for things like Sydney Dentist, fillings, crowns, etc. So these are the terms you should include in your title and meta tags. If you are not sure how best to approach SEO we can help with our Website Optimisation Report.
Connect Your Website to Google Analytics
It is important that you have access to information regarding the users & traffic to your website to help you diagnose any performance or UX issues.
Google Analytics offers this service for free! The type of data that Google Analytics can provide includes;
- Page visits per user
- Bounce Rate
- Percentage of new & returning visitors
- User Demographics
- User platforms & devices, ie. IOS, Windows, etc
- Website traffic sources
- AdWord campaign performance
This data is crucial to understanding what your target market are looking for, and can allow you to make changes to your website based on their needs. You can also access data relating to individual pages of your website, this means that you can see how many people viewed a blog post and discover how they came to your website.
Install a Backup Plugin & Create a Backup Schedule
Think you can get away with not backing up your website – we don’t recommend it. Whilst WordPress is an extremely stable platform, it is possible for things to go wrong. In the past there have been security issues that have taken down some websites. If you do not have a back up copy of your website saved on an external hard drive you could end up with a website that is completely blank.
We advise our clients to install the UpDraftPlus plugin. This plugin allows you to download and save a back up of your website, including not only the theme and pages, but all the website’s assets, such as images and links. The plugin also allows you to restore your website from a previous version. You can create a backup schedule in the plugin so that your site will be consistently backed up, say once a month. It is important that you create a backup schedule and stick to it. It is easy to create a backup when the site goes live and then never do it again. This can be detrimental if you are continuing to make changes to the site, if the worse is to happen, it can feel like you are back at square one. Make sure you routinely delete the older backups so not to clog up your server with zipped copies of your site.
Test Contact Forms & Important Links
Contact forms can provide you with a large number of leads for your business. However, if your contact or newsletter sign up forms aren’t working you could potentially miss out on reaching these new customers. Once your site is live you should go through and test all the forms on your website, ensuring that you fill in every box of the form. Picking up issues at launch is much better than discovering that people have been trying to contact you for the last 6 months with no avail. The same goes for external links on your website such as social media, partner sites or articles. When linking to other websites it is also important that these links open in a new tab or window to avoid driving traffic away from your website.
Promote, Promote, Promote!
Get it out there! It is important that people have access to your website. Ensure that you update your website URL on your social media platforms. You will be amazed at how much traffic you can drive to your website through Facebook alone. Also remember to go to all your public directory listings, such Yellow Pages, True Local, etc, and update your website details. You may not think that these directories are important to your success, but even deterring one customer from reaching your business can be detrimental.
If you feel you may need a hand doing any of the above checks on your new website, contact us and we can organise a website audit for you.