If there is one constant on the internet, it’s that things change constantly. While many businesses design a site and leave it alone, it is rare that some force, internal or external, doesn’t change how it performs over time.
Most likely, it’s new content being added, whether it’s new blog posts published, products added or removed, a tool being updated or some other site update. But it’s not always you. You could be susceptible to issues caused by a completely different website. Perhaps you linked to another site in a blog post in the past, only to find that site is long gone months or years later. That link is now the cause of a poor user experience should someone click on it.
Websites evolve. And with every change that is made to a site, there is a possibility for something to go wrong. That means, regardless of whether you’re making active updates to your site or not, you need to put your site through a regular site check up.
There are a couple of tools that you can use to check your site for issues:
- Google Webmaster Tools
- Xenu Link Sleuth
- Microsoft IIS SEO Plugin
I suggest that you run/review one of these tools at least once each month. Put them on a rotation. Run the tool, check the data, fix issues. The next month use a different tool and go through the same process.
If you stay on top of it, you’ll eventually get to the point where problems arise very infrequently. Other than the occasional broken link, your site will be pretty much maintenance free. At least until you make some kind of an update.
While having a 100% perfect or maintenance-free site is unrealistic, if you can eliminate many of the common problems that pop up over time,you’ll be ensuring a better website for your visitors and more opportunity for search engine rankings.