8 Steps to Keep Your Higher Ed Website on Track
Here are tips to help you maintain your higher education institution's website and keep it running at peak levels.
Your higher education institution's website is performing well, and you want to keep it that way, but no website stays on top on its own. To accomplish this goal, you need to prioritize regular website maintenance and optimization. In this post, we’ll go over three reasons you can’t neglect website maintenance and five steps to keep your site optimized and performing its best.
Why website maintenance is key
You want your website to show your school in the best possible light. With proper maintenance, you can ensure your site runs like a fine-tuned machine. Here are three reasons to prioritize website maintenance:
If you use Drupal, WordPress, and another content management system (CMS) to run your website, you need to install regular security patches and updates. Failure to patch or update your CMS leaves your site susceptible to cyberattacks. If an attack compromises the site, your school could suffer a data breach that leads to reputation damage and other long-lasting problems.
2. Web traffic
Although your site may rank high on Google and other search engines, there is no guarantee it will do so going forward. Update your site to ensure your content is fresh and relevant. That way, you can boost the likelihood that your site will appear at the top of search engine results for terms relating to your school.
3. User experience
Website visitors want outstanding experiences, regardless of when they check out your site. Proper website maintenance ensures the user experience (UX) is seamless on all devices. It’s also an opportunity to collect insights into your site's performance and uncover ways to enhance the UX. Then, you can make changes to optimize the visitor experience.
How to optimize your higher ed website
Those are the reasons you need to conduct regular website maintenance. Now, let's look at five tips to help you maintain your school's site and optimize its performance.
1. Establish a content team
Have a team in place to manage content on your school's site. The team can handle your blog posts, social media, and other site content. It can also develop and implement a plan to ensure new content is published regularly, which is important for attracting daily traffic.
Your content team should keep an eye out for any website issues, too. If problems crop up, team members can address them in their early stages: Assess the issues, find out why they occurred, and take steps to prevent them from happening once again.
2. Use analytics
Leverage Google Analytics to evaluate website traffic. Google Analytics can be used to set up benchmarks for monitoring site traffic. As such, the tool can deliver immense value, particularly when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO).
Use Google Analytics to gain insights into web page views, bounce rate, and other aspects of website traffic. Create reports and ensure site data is collected and evaluated periodically. Next, the data can be transformed into insights that show which web pages and content hit the mark with visitors. Over time, the insights can help you continuously enhance your site and ensure it consistently meets visitors' expectations.
3. Watch for redundant and outdated content
Conduct ongoing web page content audits across your higher ed institution's site. These audits can help you identify duplicate web pages, content that is out of date, and similar issues. Once you update these pages, they may load faster than ever before. You can also optimize them for better search engine performance.
As you perform web page audits, verify that your content meets the needs of your target audience. Consider the audience's perspective and why a visitor may check out your site in the first place. You can then tailor your content to ensure it delivers clear, concise, and accurate information to site visitors.
4. Account for desktop and mobile users
Test your website's performance on desktop and mobile devices. Ideally, all of your site's pages should perform as expected on desktop and laptop computers, smartphones, and tablets.
Assess the performance of different types of website content on different devices, as well. For example, if a video on your site does not play properly on a mobile device, you should replace that video so mobile users aren’t immediately put off when they visit.
5. Strive for continuous improvement
Perform website maintenance as often as possible. Create and execute a maintenance schedule and stick to it over time. This helps minimize the risk of long-term site problems.
Lastly, be realistic about website maintenance. There is always room for improvement, especially for schools that want to get the most value out of their sites. By committing time, energy, and resources to regular maintenance, you can help your website stand out from others. In the long run, this maintenance ensures your site generates interest in the school.
Need website maintenance help? KWALL is available
Don't expect website maintenance to end. Colleges and universities must pay close attention to their sites to ensure it’s easy for visitors to learn about the school and what they have to offer.
If you need extra help with website maintenance, KWALL can provide that assistance. As the premier web agency for higher ed, we help colleges and universities build and maintain exceptional websites. To learn more about how we can help you enhance and optimize your school's website, please contact KWALL today.