I’ve been taking a bit of a look at the topic of websites this week, from the importance of having a website to the basic elements that are essential for an effective website. So in keeping with that theme I figured we’d have you take a long hard look at your existing website and see if it’s properly tuned up for peak performance.
When you create printed marketing pieces, or place an ad in the Yellow Pages, once it’s there, it’s done. You can’t change it. But if your website is truly a living, breathing entity, it can and should be changed regularly. Because of this, there is no reason that you should ever have outdated information on your website.
Twice a year, when we change the clocks, we’re told to change the batteries in our smoke detectors, just to make sure they are fully juiced. And we’re even told to summerize and winterize our cars, our yards, and our homes. So why not take the time now to look under the hood of your website and do a little bit of a tuneup. Here are a few quick things you need to check out:
About us page – Is it current? Is it really about you? If you list your employees, is their information up to date? Are there any former employees still listed on your site, or any newer employees who need to be added? As you write about your business or staff, make sure you use language that is less likely to become outdated. In other words, it’s better to say that John has been a certified instructor since 1998, rather than saying he’s been a certified instructor for 14 years. The latter of those will be incorrect very soon.
Photos – Are your photos current, especially for your staff? Your business isn’t a dating service, so you don’t want to use photos from when you were young and dark haired if you’re old and gray haired. People want to see who they might be working with, and they don’t want to be surprised if they meet you in person.
Contact info – Has any of your contact info changed? Do you still use that fax number you have listed on your site? Was your area one that was given a new zip code or area code? Are your physical facilities still in the same location? Have any email addresses been added or changed? And is your contact info in the right, easy to find place?
Products and services – Are you offering any new products or services that aren’t reflected by your site? Have you discontinued any product lines? If you have an online store, make sure it’s up to date with proper products, images, and pricing.
Broken links – If your website is filled with both internal and external links (and it should be) make sure those links still work. This can be a rather daunting task if you have a rather large site, but it needs to be done. With WordPress there are plugins you can use to check your entire site for broken links.
Social sharing – Are you giving your website visitors the ability to share your content on all the most important social sites? Have you added options for sharing on newer platforms like Pinterest and G+? Or are you still promoting sharing on MySpace and Xanga?
And while we’re at it, here are 8 things you don’t want to find on your website.
- Broken Link Checker Has Saved the Blogroll (stirrup-queens.com)
- Mission Critical: A Mobile Friendly Version of Your Website (v3im.com)
- How To Back Up Your WordPress Site To Dropbox (v3im.com)