The road to launching a new “live” website is a long and winding one, but even a “finished” website is never done. Your website is a living organism that needs to be fed and nurtured to grow and evolve. Here are six tips for keeping it at the peak of health.

1. Flex your design muscles

A beautiful website and a well-designed website are not the same thing. The best design is the one which is visually appealing and provides an optimal user experience. It takes time to plan and refine the design and user interface. Analytics provide data and insights into the customer journey. Like any good athlete, you need to train hard in order to perform well.

In addition to structural design, page layouts, colours and fonts can also influence consumer behaviour, including their purchases. Don’t be caught without a game plan. Visual design trends change over time. Keep your site current with updates and give it regular check-ups to stay healthy and fit.

2. Keywords

Is your website keeping up or is it out of breath? Just as language evolves, so do the ways consumers search the internet. Keywords are fluid. Not only do the words and phrases that people search for change, they’re asking more complex questions. Thanks to machine learning, search engines are much smarter today and they have changed their algorithms to better understand the context of search requests, shifting the focus from words and phrases to topics. Google uses past searches with similar themes and pulls associated keywords and phrases to serve up the best results.

3. Content

Google loves websites that frequently add new content because it gives more to the GoogleBot to “crawl” through. Like runners in a marathon, you’ll be rewarded with more opportunities to be “indexed” on the Google Search Network. Frequently feeding your site content that’s peppered with hyper relevant keywords and phrases also gives users valuable up-to-date information. Static websites that never add or change their content can actually be viewed as “dead” by Google and be relegated to the bottom of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

There will always be things you can improve or remove …this is what makes your website one of the most powerful devices in your marketing toolbox.

4. Functionality

As technology becomes more powerful, the number of functions we can expect it to perform increases as well. New mobile devices can support experiences like 360° photos and live videos, so why not incorporate them? In today’s competitive game, adding the latest technology on your site can improve the experience and meet the high expectations of users. By incorporating new functionality, you’ll be rewarded with better KPI’s.

5. Performance

Even if you aren’t an athlete, be sure to keep your site performing like one – nimble and fast – otherwise it can significantly impact your conversion rate. According to Google, 40% of consumers will leave a page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Too many images on a page will significantly lower your conversion rates. Other factors, such as the web host and their server environment can also spell trouble for your website’s speed.

6. SEO Ranking Factors Change

As the way people search and use the web continues to evolve, your website needs to adapt. Your SERP ranking depends on it. Google’s primary goal is to deliver the best possible answer to every search query. Relevancy isn’t the only ranking factor used by Google. A good user experience is essential but how Google defines that is a moving target. With the proliferation of content, it takes more time for search engines to crawl through the pages. Solutions may include adding more internal links and organizing your content around topic clusters. Although this will require changes to your site’s architecture, you’ll be rewarded with higher search placement.

Are you convinced that your website will never be “done”? There will always be things you can improve or remove – this is what makes your website one of the most powerful devices in your marketing toolbox. Unlike print, an error can be fixed (yes, we’ve all made them!) and an update made in an instant. So go ahead and press “publish”. Why wait when you can iterate?