Maintain Your Website

When was the last time you really looked at your website? It’s easy to neglect your site after the initial setup and launch, but you really shouldn’t.

Think quarterly maintenance

Websites are a lot like houses – it pays to spend a bit of time on maintenance on a quarterly basis. Periodically revisiting your website with fresh eyes can help you to spot potential problem areas. For example, you may discover that some of your pictures are out of date, or that your IDX listings are showing your old contact information. You may decide it’s time for an updated look or redesign, and iHOUSEweb’s Elite Service Team™ is happy to take care of it. Schedule a look-over for your website at least quarterly – right on your calendar. Most of the time it won’t take more than half an hour or so, and it’s always time well spent.

How to look at your website

First, when you’re doing your quarterly review, slow down. Make sure you’ve got a way to take notes… that might be pen and paper, your cell phone or even a Word™ or NotePad™ file on your computer. You want a way to make a list of what you want changed. Pretend you’ve never seen your site before. Try to look at it the way a potential buyer or seller might look at it. Don’t try to fix anything just yet – simply note down the things you want changed. If you try to make changes during the examination, you’re apt to get lost. So just build your list. If you find an egregious error like your name is spelled wrong or the phone number is wrong, just underline that heavily so you can correct it ASAP, and keep looking. Consider your search engine optimization (SEO). Has your service area changed? If so, you should adjust your website to target your new local search terms. Make sure your basic links to your About, Contact and other pages actually work. See if you can actually subscribe to your own newsletter. If you’ve got a tablet, look at your site there as well, and always be sure to see how it looks on your smartphone. Since most people begin searching for a new home or an agent online, make sure that your search features are up front and easy to locate. Consider the type size – remember, most of your clients will no longer be in their 20s and 30s, so a bigger type size may be in order.

Order your list

Once you’ve completed looking through your site, take the list of fixes and changes you’ve made and put it in order of importance. Incorrect contact information should be fixed as soon as possible, whereas design changes are not urgent. As you order your list, note which ones you can do easily and which ones you may need some help with. If you’ve only have a few minor items to address, maybe you can get them done on your own. But if you need extensive changes to be made, you may be better off calling your website provider for assistance. A little preventative maintenance and some strategic thinking about your website can go a long way.
Anne Wayman real estate writer