dead link checker - blog: 5 Monthly Website Maintenance Tips for Ecommerce Sites

Friday, 9 September 2016

5 Monthly Website Maintenance Tips for Ecommerce Sites

website maintenance – Apple computer and calendar
Image from Unsplash

Your ecommerce website is like your digital store front. And just like you tidy your store and keep it up to date to impress customers, your site requires regular maintenance to keep attracting visitors.

From SEO to paid search, it’s likely that you spend a lot of money on online marketing. However, if you fail to allocate time to ensure that your site is as usable as possible, visitors will quickly leave, rendering these efforts futile.

A badly maintained site can also have a direct impact on your rankings. In order to determine whether your site is offering a good experience, search engines analyse how people are interacting with your pages – and factors like dropping traffic and a high bounce rate are clear signals that they shouldn’t recommend you.

Whilst there are lots of things that you should be doing on a monthly basis, here are five of the most important tips.

1. Keep an Eye on Site Speed

Site speed is something that many business owners overlook. However, it’s a critical factor when it comes to keeping your visitors happy. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the following statistics:
Consumers expect your site to load in two seconds or less (source:
40% of consumers will abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load (source: Kiss Metrics)
Slow loading websites cost retailers around £1.73 billion in lost sales each year (source: econsultancy)
If you’re building a new site, fast load speed should clearly be a priority. But site speed can also slow down over time as you add new pages, images, social buttons, etc.

You should regularly check your load times to ensure that you aren’t losing valuable business. You can analyse the speed of your site’s pages using tools such as GT Metrix.

2. Update Contact Information and Forms 

Clear contact information and easy-to-use contact forms are essential for ecommerce businesses – but it’s surprising how many sites lack this basic information.

Make it a priority each month to ensure that your contact details are up-to-date and that your contact forms are working properly. A technical error or a typo in your email address will result in you losing valuable leads.

3. Refresh Your Blog

A huge number of commercial sites have a regularly updated blog – and there’s good reason for this. Aside from helping to build your brand and communicating who you are as a business, a blog will help to improve your rankings.

This is because great content drives traffic, keeps visitors coming back and gains links, likes and shares – all of which indicates to the search engines that your site is offering a great experience.

You should update your blog with a post every month. However, the post needs to be of high quality and appeal to your audience. Otherwise it won’t achieve any results and you’ll be wasting your time.

4. Update Promotions, Deals and Stock Information

There’s nothing more frustrating than clicking on a deal or ordering a product, only to find that the site’s information was out of date.

If you do run promotions or deals, make sure you regularly refresh them. Aside from making sure any dates are clear, you should remove any old offers, as they’re a clear sign of a neglected website.

You should also regularly run through your site and make sure that any out of stock products aren’t incorrectly listed. All product information should also be correct and up to date.

5. Check for Broken Links 

The web is constantly changing and as a result, sometimes links can become broken. Whilst this might not seem like a serious problem on the surface, it will be doing some serious hidden damage.

First and foremost, a large number of broken links can cause search engines to have problems indexing and ranking your site. However, most importantly they can have a hugely negative affect on your site’s usability, causing visitors to become frustrated and quickly leave.

This can also have an indirect impact on rankings, as the consequent drop in traffic and increased bounce rate will signal to the search engines that your site is offering a bad experience.

Tools such as Dead Link Checker allow you to regularly check your site for broken links and alert you of any problems.

A poorly maintained ecommerce website is undoubtedly bad for business. Whilst there are lots of checks you should carry out on a monthly basis, these are five of the most important.

For more tips on how to maintain your website and keep it search engine friendly, read our Beginner’s Guide to Maintaining a Search Engine Friendly Website.