Hi my name is Andy Mott, I am the head of TigerCare, the customer service team here at TourismTiger.
Website maintenance is an important topic, and it isn’t widely talked about in the industry. We at TourismTiger believe that it is as essential as having a beautiful site built in the first place. Because, after all, if you don’t keep your site updated and maintained, you’re going to eventually need a new one. My job is to work with our customers to keep their websites up with the latest trends in website design, to ensure all content reflects their current offerings, and to design and implement updates on a monthly basis. Personally, I think that maintaining your website is crucial to success in today’s hypercompetitive internet economy.
The face of your company
First and foremost the reason to maintain your website is that it is the most important impression generator of your company. Before the internet, salespeople were the front lines of a business’s external relations. Their job was to generate a positive first impression of your company, reflecting the values and quality of the business in their interactions. Now, however, before a prospect even reaches your sales team, they are likely to visit your website. Think about it, your website is a snapshot of your company that allows visitors from all across the globe to independently form an opinion about your business. What sort of first impression does your website leave?
A well maintained website that contains accurate, up to date, and relevant information portrays a level of professionalism. On the other hand, a website with incorrect information, broken links, outdated content shows a lack of care that generates a feeling of distrust. Especially within the tourism industry, people are entrusting you with their leisure time and money, often booking for whole groups, the least they expect is that the information on your website is an accurate depiction of current offerings. The likelihood of someone booking a tour on a website that lists dates from last year is pretty slim. You may be the best tour operator in your area, but if your website is not up to par I guarantee you your sales won’t reflect it.
My next point could easily be interpreted as the most important reason to manage your website, SEO. Google updates its search algorithm very regularly, in the first half of 2018 alone there have been 4 updates to the algorithm. Many successful techniques in SEO used just 5 years ago are now being penalized by the search engine. Even the smaller updates that don’t affect the core of the algorithm have a sort of cumulative effect that if left ignored can cause your site to go from ranking on the first page to lost in the shadows in just a few years. In March, Google rolled out an update called “mobile-first indexing” meaning that it is going to “use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking.” This is a large change that is going to have a rolling effect on many sites and rankings in the future. SEO is vital to online sales success, so staying on top of the latest trends is a top priority.
Not only does Google advance it’s algorithms constantly, but it also crawls your site consistently. This allows it to assess how often content is being updated. Moz, one of the industry leaders in SEO, claims that “freshness,” whether it be new content, consistent changes, or improving user experience, is definitely a factor in Google’s algorithm. If you and your competition have very similar offerings, both generating off-page buzz, freshness could be the deciding factor of who is ranked higher. While a well maintained website is not the only key to ranking on the first page of Google, it is a factor.
Security may not have the glamour of SEO, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. Analyzing your risk and staying on top of software updates are vital to ensure that your site is safe along with any data stored there. For example, we make all of our sites have SSL certificates and load via HTTPS, we have daily backups, we stay on top of WordPress core updates, and plugin updates. Using out of date software or programming languages means you are not receiving newer security patches.
New trends and technology
Programming languages, new features, and technological advances all are rolling out at a breathtaking pace. Keeping with the times is essential in order to be perceived as a leader in your area. An outdated website can drive visitors away. Users are trained to expect a website to look a certain way, which is why user experience is so critical to gaining sales. If your user experience is out of date or confusing it can be detrimental. On the other hand if you have a fresh site, that is easily navigated, you’d be amazed how positive the effect will be.
At TourismTiger we take great pride in our TigerCare website maintenance services. We provide full time support to keep content up to date, we take care of all security related tasks, and we ensure your site is on the leading edge of new technology. But even if you don’t have a site with us, in today’s technological age your website is one of the most powerful tools at your business’ disposal. It’s necessary to capitalize on this and cultivate all of the potential benefits.
Check out all the benefits of having TigerCare, here.
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