Why a monthly website review is the key to long-term site success
So you’ve designed and built a beautiful WordPress website, pressed launch and your new site is out in the internet world. Time to sit back and relax watching new customers find you?
Not quite. Whilst a well-designed website is essential for business success, the launch is just the beginning.
A WordPress website isn’t complete when it’s launched. Honestly, it’s just the beginning.
It’s like a machine that needs to be cared for on a regular basis.
Whilst many busy business owners don’t have time to look after their website every day, a monthly website review can make sure you keep your website up-to-date and performing at its best.
Updating plugins, themes, ensuring your site backup strategy is effective, checking site speed, performing ongoing content updates, reviewing any SEO issues and checking a variety of other website factors are all part of keeping a website running efficiently and effectively.
Why you should complete a monthly website review
There are two key reasons why you should add a monthly website review to your ongoing business actions: website maintenance and website optimisation.
Ongoing website maintenance ensures your website continues to function optimally. Ensuring your website is maintained means you can continue to educate and convert traffic that reaches your website.
Failing to keep a website updated is one of the most common website mistakes I see.
There’s a temptation to sit back, heave a sigh of relief and wait for traffic to arrive.
But regardless of how impressive a website was on its launch, keeping it updated is essential to ensure the needs of your existing and potential customers are consistently met.
Furthermore, website optimisation is important for your ongoing business success. Within your monthly website review, you can consider what is working in terms of visitors finding your website, which posts are most popular and which pages convert best. This information can help you to optimise your site to gain more traffic and increase conversions.
How a monthly website review can drive your business success
Whilst launching a well-designed website creates a solid foundation for your business, it is ongoing website maintenance and optimisation that will ensure your website continues to drive traffic, generate sales or enquiries and improves over time. A monthly website review encourages you to dedicate time each month to focus on your website, implement any changes that need making and revisit your website strategy.
Here are four ways a monthly website review can support your business success:
1. Monitors and improves your website speed
Google’s recent Core Web Vitals update means that a website’s page loading speed is now more important than ever. Taking time each month to review the page speed for your website’s most important pages, and fixing any page speed loading issues will maintain, and could even improve, your search engine rankings. The higher your website appears on search engines, the more organic traffic you will receive meaning more potential customers find out about your business by visiting your website.
2. Enables you to understand your website audience better
Understanding your audience is another key factor to your business success, the more you know about your potential customers the easier it is to target and acquire new ones. A monthly website review gives you the time to look into your website analytics and get the answers to important questions such as “how are people finding our website?”, “how long do they spend on the website?”, and “are they converting into leads?”. The answers to these questions can inform your strategy moving forwards. For example, if many customers are finding your website through your “how to” blog posts – you can focus on creating more “how to” posts.
3. Helps to optimise your online presence
Another important way a monthly website review supports your business success is it helps to ensure your website is optimised for search engines. I’ve already touched on how SEO can increase traffic but a monthly website review can further ensure you tick the boxes for good SEO. From fixing broken links to building an internal linking structure (updating older posts with links to recent posts), and reviewing your content strategy to figure out what new blogs need to be written for your website – these tasks can all be included in your review so you can see what you need to action over the following month. SEO can get left behind when you’re focusing on making your website look nice and function properly, but optimising your website for search regularly can make a big difference in how many people find your website.
4. Keeps your website secure and running efficiently
For your website to be secure, it needs to be kept up to date. One of the most common ways for hackers to get access to a website is through outdated software or plugins. Checking for website or theme updates within your monthly review, and updating what needs to be updated will help to keep your website secure.
What to include in your monthly website review?
Now you’ve seen the benefits a monthly website review can offer your business, what do you actually need to include within the review? Below, I have put together suggestions of monthly website review tasks to ensure your website continues to be an asset for your business:
1. If there is anything on your website that needs immediate attention?
First things first, is there anything on your website that needs your immediate attention? If you have received an email containing an error that needs addressing from Google Search Console, have noticed a page is not displaying correctly or typos on a key page, make sure to address these at the beginning of your website review.
2. Test website speed
As above, a fast loading website is important for your search engine rankings but it also ensures a better user experience, allowing your site visitors to view pages and navigate quickly between pages. Running a quick page speed test using free tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights can help you to identify problematic pages. Once you have identified your slow pages, you can write a list of tasks to tackle over the month.
3. Check website links, internal and external
The only way to make sure your potential customers aren’t faced with the dreaded page not found! The inability to find the page they were looking for often leads to increased exits from your site and a higher bounce rate. Google has a number of tools you can use to check for error pages users may be seeing on your site, reviewing and fixing these monthly will ensure a smooth website experience for your customers.
Additionally, checking your website for broken external links is important both for your SEO and to ensure your website visitors confidence in your website. You can use a broken link checker to do this, making sure you fix the broken links you have found – either during your review or at an allocated time over the next month or so.
4. Test website forms
Almost all websites have forms to collect emails, leads, or potential customer queries. Every form should be tested regularly to make sure it is working as it should. Fixing any potential form issues will make sure you don’t miss out on any new customer details.
Worth mentioning, if you have an e-commerce site, you should also be testing the entire order process regularly. From finding a product, adding items to your basket, to checkout and payment. Sometimes problems can arise in the ordering process, testing this at least monthly will stop you from losing potential sales.
5. Review Google Analytics
Make time to review your Google Analytics and Search Console results at least once a month to measure your SEO results, gain an understanding of your website’s traffic, which websites performed best and worst this month and does anything need to be changed?
Questions to consider in your review of your website’s analytics:
- How is my website traffic changing?
- How is my organic traffic changing compared to other traffic sources?
- Which countries do my visitors come from?
- Which pages and posts drive the most traffic?
Questions to consider in your review of your website’s Search Console results:
- Which keywords are driving visitors to my website?
- Did my organic rankings (where my site shows on Google) improve or drop?
- Are there any technical issues on my website threatening my SEO results?
When you have the answers to these questions, you can consider if there are any changes you need to make on the website such as addressing technical issues or adding more sales information to well-performing pages.
6. Update plugins, theme and ensure website backup is functioning correctly
Essential for your website’s ongoing success is to make sure it is as secure as possible, updating your WordPress plugins and theme (if necessary) is one of the ways to do this. Also, check that your website backup is still functioning correctly and you know where your website backups are being stored (either with your website host or through another system).
Add your monthly website review to your calendar now
Your website is a key business asset, it’s important to treat it as such. Take a look at your diary and add a monthly website review to your calendar now. This recurring event will play a big part in your ongoing business success.
It is up to you how extensive you want your website review to be – but I’d suggest selecting at least three of the suggestions included in this blog. If you are time-poor, you could look to do a shorter monthly website review and a more extensive review every quarter. If you want more support with your website and ongoing maintenance, consider my monthly WordPress maintenance package.