While all this seems like a no-brainer, people often come up with plenty of excuses not to keep up with website maintenance. Here are a few that we often hear:
1. My website is a bit slow, but everything else is fine.
Actually, no, everything is not fine. Website speed is an important factor in both user experience and SEO. Pages with a longer load time tend to have higher bounce rates and lower average time spent on the page. Slow loading time has also been shown to negatively affect conversion rates . Additionally, Google has indicated site speed (and as a result, page speed) is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages .
Your website speed can be affected by a number of crucial things, like outdated software, malware, or other issues, and search engines will take note and dock sites for mechanical deficiencies. What’s worse is that sites that don’t install the regularly released updates are more prone to malware, viruses and hacking attempts, which can also work against SEO and potentially get your site blacklisted.
2. No one wants to hack my little old home care website.
This is a common misconception in our industry; after all, who would want to hack a small home care website? However, small business websites are exactly the type of sites that hackers are targeting. Why? Hackers know that many small business owners don’t take the necessary steps to ensure that their sites are updated and secure, and will take advantage of the security gaps in order to install malware that can ruin a website.
Also, it’s important to understand that hackers aren’t sitting around hacking into websites manually. Sophisticated hackers send armies of trolling bots out onto the web to find small business sites that don’t have the latest software updates installed. Keeping up with web maintenance helps to ensure that your site has the most up-to-date security features and patches and is free of viruses and malware.
3. We’ll just clean off viruses/malware if we get them.
Oftentimes, companies take the wait-and-see approach to web maintenance, assuming that if they get hacked, they’ll just deal with it then. The problem is that, these days, it’s not a matter of IF your page will be hacked; it’s WHEN. When a site is hacked and malware is uploaded, it’s often undetectable from the outside. In fact, an infected website may function normally while spreading that infection to unaware users and possibly even other servers without anyone ever knowing until site speed starts to slow or Google itself tags your site as harmful. Once they are discovered, these infections can take a lot of time and money to clean up, and in the meantime, you risk being blacklisted by Google, which will cause your site’s rank to plummet.