We had a bit of a health scare in the Nussey household while I was home for the holidays. My six-year-old leopard tortoise, Hiccups ─ how do I put this delicately? ─ was stopped up. It had been three weeks since she last felt “moved” to relieve herself. With momma home to take care of her, it was time to get professional help.
You’ll be happy to learn Hiccups is all cleared up now. We may never know what caused the problem, but the doctor’s guess was that she was feeling stressed after not seeing me for two months. (For the duration of New York’s frozen winter, I have left Hiccups in the care of my parents in year-round sunny SoCal.)
I once overheard a conversation between two moms in a coffee shop. One was telling the other her son had been asking for a pet. She figured she’d give in and get him a turtle. Because they’re easy. Right. I wanted to interrupt and correct her confusion. Reptiles, like any pet, require knowledge of temperament, habitat, diet and general care before being adopted by a responsible family. And they require effort and diligence to keep them happy and healthy.
On the other hand, tortoises are survivors. In the 1800s, sailors, pirates and whalers discovered that the slow beasts of the Galapagos could be used as convenient fast food. Since a hearty tortoise can live up to a year without food or water, in the days before refrigeration, ships would load up with the gentle giants, making a meal of them as needed. While they were alive in the dark, cold hull of these ships, I doubt these tortoises were thriving.
As it goes, websites and pet tortoises have some things in common. They’ll survive neglect for a while, but the results aren’t pretty. They need support and tender loving care to be at their best. And they can use professional help to keep operations smooth. Have you given your website a check-up lately?
Maintaining the health of your website
We love our pets and would do anything for them. The same goes for our websites, which often directly affect the livelihood of our entire families. Conduct regular analysis of your website’s performance and health to make sure it’s running at top shape. Raven Internet Marketing Tools are great help for diagnosing and treating a site’s weak points.
Here’s what a basic work up should include:
Content: Keep a healthy flow
One of the best tactics for optimizing a website’s effectiveness is making sure the content is on-point, persuasive, relevant and strong. To be sure your website is well fed with beneficial content, Content Manager is like the nutrition label, breaking down the relevance and frequency of optimized keywords. And because the tools reports the content’s reading grade level, a publisher can be confident the content speaks to the right audience. If blog posts make up a site’s steady diet of new content, the Blog Manager syncs Raven Tools to WordPress blogs, making blog optimization and publication a one-stop task.
Links: The nervous system connecting you to the web
No site is an island, or, at least, no healthy one is. The web is about connections, and links play a significant role. Links bring traffic, signify relationships and can boost rankings. Raven’s suite of link building tools brings order and a bit of ease to the intensive tasks of link generation and maintenance. With the Backlink Explorer, keep an eye on the inbound links to your site. Streamline the process of obtaining new links with the Site Finder to identify important sites from which to obtain new links and the Quality Analyzer to help you determine if a site targeted for potential link building is valued by search engines. And the Link Manager keeps track of all the work that has been done for a link building campaign, including the delegation of tasks, updates if links are changed or removed, listing URLs targeted for links and more.
Social: Cultivate a thriving social life
It was pretty big news last week that Google and Bing confirmed Facebook and Twitter influence site rankings in their search results. Your social standing counts for something, not only for a site’s standings in the SERPs, but also for a brand’s strength and reputation across the web. Awareness of social metrics like fans, page views, replies, messages and retweets, and categorization of positive or negative sentiment of brand mentions is possible with the social media tracking tools Facebook Monitor, Twitter Monitor and Social Monitor.
Rankings: Monitor your vital signs
Prime metrics for measuring the general health of a site are search rankings. Of course, as with a body, there isn’t just one metric to pay attention to. SERPs are personalized based on location, search history and preferences. There are multiple search verticals that may be relevant to your site which need to be monitored. And new technologies, such as Google Instant, can change user behavior.
Maintaining or steadily increasing search rankings is a critical part of SEO objectives. Use the Keyword Manager to organize and prioritize the keywords being targeted, and leave it to the SERP Tracker to store, view and compare ranking data over time.
Like blood pressure or pulse, a website has vital signs that point to overall health. Everyone will feel the benefits of a healthy lifestyle when you keep your website running in peak condition.