You can’t just put it up and forget about it. After a few months, it’s going to start to look dingy. People are going to get tired of seeing the same words and pictures. After another few months, the paint’s going to be peeling and it’s going to start to send a new message about your company; that you don’t care about your image. Finally, it will become something we’ve all seen as we’re driving: a tired, faded, broken-down billboard with parts of the message missing and half a phone number.
The reality is that all web sites need care and feeding.
The success of any web site is driven by three major categories of work:
This is all about keeping the technical aspects clean and error-free. Is it running on the latest version of software? Is it secure? Is it fast? Is it backed up? With all web sites, errors creep in over time. The “technical” relates to the effort to keep those errors at bay.
These are the words and pictures that make up your site. The work related to this is about improving them. How you rank in search results is determined by how well the information on your site answers the question that the person asked. This is referred to as “search intent”.
While this is very closely tied to the Content category above, it is a little different and has its own set of work.
All web pages have the “actual” content, but they also need descriptions of that content (the meta content). A good analogy might be Cliff Notes. The meta content is a summary of what’s actually there (and is often what is displayed in search results).
In addition to summaries of the words on the page, meta content is also critical for describing pictures and other graphic elements.
Content has the most significant, long-term impact on how successful a site is, but it’s almost meaningless without the Technical side. It’s also the most time-consuming. Meta Content is in between. It’s straightforward to create, not too time-consuming, and can give your site a solid extra boost in search results.
Bottom line: Simply having a site is a valuable first step. If you don’t maintain it, that value disappears.