If you’ve invested in a high-quality website built on an updated platform, give yourself a hearty pat on the back. But your website is much like a house or car: in order for it to retain its value and function, it needs regular maintenance. This means consistently putting in time and energy to keep it relevant, so it continues to support your value proposition, attract referrals, and qualify leads.
Here’s what you should be doing on a regular basis:
1. Keep it fresh
Setting and forgetting your web content won’t do to boost your search engine rankings or keep prospects engaged. Be sure to regularly add new content—but not just any content. Review your Google Analytics to determine which pages are visited most, and expand upon them as much as possible (in line with appropriate SEO practices, of course). Also think about your clients or target audiences: which services will intrigue them the most? Once you answer this question, consider adding new content to the corresponding service pages on your website, so you can be sure your website speaks directly to them.
2. Beef up your staff bios
Statistically, staff bios are the most visited pages on a professional services firm’s website. Make sure your staff bios are updated as well as compelling. Staff qualifications, areas of specialty, and roles often change; you want your website to accurately portray your firm’s most valuable assets.
3. Regularly publish new blog posts
Providing thought leadership is critical to positioning your staff as experts in their respective areas of practice. If your firm’s website has a blog, awesome! The challenge, of course, is keeping it populated with new content. Developing a robust content marketing strategy and even working with a ghostwriter can help. However you tackle the writing, it’s important to keep the blog posts coming. And when you do publish a post, make sure to include a link to relevant service and staff bio pages.
4. Cultivate a compelling careers page
With U.S. unemployment rates low, it can be difficult to recruit talented employees. Make sure your website is doing all it can to help. Even if you’re not currently hiring, your website’s careers page should position your firm an exciting, fulfilling place to build a career. Not only should it describe your firm’s culture and values but it should also detail your ideal candidate—for both entry level and senior positions. You may even want to consider creating separate careers pages for recent graduates and experienced professionals.
5. Improve your imagery
Because of the improvement of open-source content management systems like WordPress, many websites can be continuously improved upon without the need for an expensive renovation. If you have such a website, consider changing your imagery on a regular basis. This might involve switching up your website’s main home page image to reflect the current season or your niche focus. At a minimum, make sure the photos that accompany your staff bios (i.e., headshots) are current. If they’re outdated or stuffy, it’s time to bring in a photographer.
6. Leverage the power of social media
Make sure your website includes links to your firm’s social media accounts. And don’t forget to check them regularly to make sure they work.
7. Get up to speed on SEO
SEO best practices may be ever changing, but it’s helpful to at least have baseline knowledge of how it can impact the effectiveness of your website. If you haven’t already, install Google Analytics, which can help you better understand your website’s functionality and traffic. To enhance your SEO know-how, read up on our “Making Sense of SEO” blog post, or watch this webinar I created on SEO strategies.
8. Identify someone who can help
Maintaining your website requires significant time and energy. And in order to do it successfully, you must make a consistent effort. For this reason, I strongly recommend dedicating a staff member to the task or even engaging an outside consultant to help. A good website is an investment that can pay off in the form of new clients for years to come. Practicing proper maintenance can help you make the most of it.
If you’re wondering what it takes to build and maintain a powerhouse website, check out our webinar.
Kristy Gusick became a partner at PSM Marketing LLC (PSM) in 2012 after spending 16 years in various roles in financial services. Her experience in business development, marketing, sales and coaching spans the financial services, legal and other professional services industries. She also makes time to remain very involved with the Financial Planning Assn. of Minnesota, and am a member of the Public Relations Committee.