Site Health and Maintenance Checklist
There are a lot of moving parts in your website and unfortunately, they don’t always play nicely together. It happens. The important thing is to either prevent them from happening in the first place or, if that is not possible (and it often is not), you must be able to identify and repair them as soon as humanly possible.
You guys know the kind of thing I’m talking about….the dreaded 404 error, not showing up on mobile devices, weird looking fonts all of the sudden.
Take a look at these helpful steps to keep your site humming along.
Always Be Updating
There is a lot to update when you run an affiliate site.
We love our WordPress, right?
And it loves us, too, but only if we keep it updated.
Choose the automatic update option on your site’s dashboard to keep WordPress current and up to the minute. You can take care of this at Dashboard/Updates.
Updating Plug-Ins and Themes on Your WordPress site
How Often Should You Update Your Keyword Research?
You have likely gathered that keyword research is a big part of your site’s future. It’s a lot of work and let’s be honest, not always super exciting.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but keyword research doesn’t just go away after you’ve identified what you want for your site.
The best empire runners keep a close eye on those keywords and update them as needed. And I don’t just mean a little tweak here and there. Every six months of so you are going to want to do a deep dive into your keyword research. Pretend you are starting from scratch. Things change, trends move constantly, etc. Keep your site on top of those rankings by doing the non-sexy job of really updating your keywords twice a year.
Many site runners do not do this, which makes your time on this step well-spent.
Updating Footer Copy-It’s the Little Things
This one is a tiny detail but it’s those tiny details that make the difference. Keep an eye on your website’s copyright date (usually in the footer). If your theme has an option to automatically update, definitely take advantage of that option. If not, calendar a year-end reminder to manually update to the new year.
Like I said, it’s a tiny detail but which would you rather see at the bottom of a site that you’re trusting enough to making buying decisions from?
(c) 2020 or (c) 2016
I rest my case.
Dated Posts and Google Searchers Do Not Mix
You’ve seen these before. You do a Google search and somehow, on the first page, you see some posts with past years in the title. For example, “Best Coffee Makers for 2017.” What do you do?
Keep on scrolling, of course. Who wants stale content? Answer: nobody. We definitely don’t want that to happen to you.
There is no way I would miss updating the post name on my killer post ‘Best Toenail Clippers of 2019’
And for a while, that may be absolutely true. If you have 40 or less posts and one site to keep tabs on, an outdated (literally) post title would stick out like a sore thumb.
But we are growing empires here, sisters. And that means at some point you might have three sites, with hundreds of posts on each site. That’s a lot to keep track of.
So we have another item to add to your end of year checklist–do a search for soon to be expired post titles and update those posts. If you haven’t downloaded my post log resource, make sure you opt in or contact me at [email protected] to get your free copy. By listing your posts in one place, it’s a quick ctrl-F plus the current year to identify which posts need your attention.
Okay, I said you can’t set it and forget it but there is one exception.
You can and should set up automatic renewals for your domain name. This one is absolutely non-negotiable
You’ve spent 11 months creating content, tweaking keywords, testing structures, and monetizing your site. It’s cooking along and you are making some cash. Nice, right?
Fast forward 31 days…you were so thrilled about the growing success of your online empire that you forgot one tiny thing. You forgot to renew your domain.
Do you know what happens when you fail to renew your domain name? You lose it. And if someone happens to snap it up before you get a chance to retrieve it, you’re #$^@^@ed.
This one is huge. You simply must back up your website. I know I don’t need to detail how much it would suck if you had a crash and no back up of your baby. Don’t take a chance!
I use UpDraft and think it’s a winner. There is a free version and a premium version. No matter what you do, make sure you set it up to automatically back up. I do mine daily and save the last two backups.
Seriously, go back it up right now. I’ll wait for you here….
WordPress Site Audits
You ladies know that I am not a huge techie, despite my early foray into computers. You ladies also know there is a huge amount of behind the scenes technology that keeps our affiliate sites looking good, running fast and operating practically.
They say it’s not rocket science, but sometimes it feels like it is.
It would be super cool if we all knew how to do all of those steps are our own. And even cooler if we actually had time to do all of that manually.
Thankfully, we don’t have to! If you have SEMrush, you can use its kick-ass Site Audit tool to keep tabs on your site’s operations. Not only does SEMRush tell you what’s wrong, it also tells you why you should fix it, how you can fix it and lets you send these to do items to Trello if you like. Thank you, SEMRush!
Not ready to invest in SEMrush quite yet? No prob. You can use WordPress’s built-in “Site Health” function for free. It’s on your Dashboard under “Tools.”
By the way, this is not the same thing as an SEO audit, which we talk about in depth elsewhere. Do both!
Keep Your Eyes on Your Phone
I know what you’re thinking…. “Did she just say that? Of course I keep an eye on my phone. Like, all of the time.”
Yep, me too!
I mean keep an eye on your site on its mobile version. Most niche site owners operate their sites from a desktop. It’s just easier to access everything that way.
But don’t forget to check out your own site on your phone at least every other day. You don’t want something to go wonky and leave it out there on everyone’s phone for weeks at a time. That is a surefire way to lose returning traffic.
Final Words on Niche Site Upkeep
If this were the 1950s, I would conclude with some pithy comment such as, “ladies, keep your niche site as clean as you keep your house.”
But, it’s not the 1950s.
And we don’t do pithy, sexist stuff here at WEW.
What we DO do, however, is create and run stellar niche and affiliate sites to generate wealth. So, get out there and keep making that money, sisters and don’t forget to keep your site healthy.