Customers expect your website to be fresh, logical, attractive and professional. If it’s not, you need to do some housekeeping.

Housekeeping is not SEO.

Web-maintenanceLike deep cleaning the pressroom or tidying up the landscaping around your print shop, “good housekeeping” means getting your website in order. It should be done on a scheduled basis, like changing your furnace filters or the batteries in your smoke detectors.

If you don’t schedule your website housekeeping, years may pass where you accumulate outdated or incorrect content, old fashioned navigation, dirty code, security issues, broken links and more.

There are two main benefits to regular housekeeping:

  • It helps customers understand and better navigate your site. That means they’ll be more likely to find what they are looking for, and will be happier when they leave.
  • Keeping your site clean and organized can help it be indexed correctly and favorably by search engines.

A clean, well-organized website is the baseline that Google — and your business customers — expect when they visit the website of any professional printing company.

Good housekeeping does not take the place of strategic SEO activities.

Unfortunately, many printers think that when they pay someone to organize their site — clean up the code, reorganize the layout, add fresh or repurposed content, modernize the graphics, or integrate with social media — they are paying for SEO.

If you’ve been following my #seo4printers series, you’ll know that true SEO is “optimization.” It’s positioning. It’s laying the breadcrumbs and pointing the arrows. It’s bait and reward. If the stars align, it’s a favorable impression that leads to a sale. SEO takes ongoing attention, hard work, and testing.

Regular attention to good housekeeping, on the other hand, sets the stage for your other sales and marketing activities.

It demonstrates that you care about how you present yourself. It shows you pay attention to your business. It suggest your are successful enough to take care of scheduled upgrades.

I won’t beat it into the ground. Okay, yes I will.

It’s like when you spend a bunch of money on infrastructure before you sell your house. You replace the furnace, plumbing and wiring. You want to jack up the sale price. Your real estate advisor says, “People expect a house to be in good working order. In a competitive market, clean and modernized is the benchmark for a sale. It’s not the reason for the sale.”

So, yes, do freshen up your website. But don’t think that the money you spend on good housekeeping should come out of your sales and marketing budget or your SEO budget.

It’s an operating cost.

The money you spend keeping your website looking professional and organized is the cost of doing business. Customers expect good housekeeping.

sandygatf6Sandy Hubbard offers integrated marketing programs to printers who are in growth mode. You can find her on Twitter every Wednesday at 4 pm ET, running with the bulls during #printchat. Catch the entire #seo4printers series at printmediacentr.com 

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