Spring comes with a new, fresh, clean start and a renewed sense of life. This is taken by many as a new beginning by getting rid of the old in the form of spring cleaning. You might be thinking about cleaning your house, so, why not also think about refreshing and reviving your business website too? This is because your website represents your business’s online and it’s the first interaction of customers with your company.
Did you check if your website is accurately displaying your company’s personality, culture and character? Is it up-to-date and using current version of software?
When you decide to spring clean your home, you may want to decorate it differently and do more than just cleaning and renovating a room’s appearance. You can do this in a similar way for your business website during spring.
Below is a list of things that you need to consider when spring cleaning your website:
1. Update Copyright and Time References
This info is basically found in the footer of your website and can feel like a picky detail but it is the one that indicates your focus on the content. It is for sure that visitors will question about the validity and functionality of an outdated website. So, it’s better to avoid this situation and display the website’s relevancy and existence by updating these two aspects. Also, make sure that your copyright date is always present one by adding some lines of code.
2. Review the Web Hosting Plan
You need to renew your web hosting plans annually. So, it is always a good idea to check for the expiry of the web hosting plan. Also, see to it that the web host has helped you to solve the glitches of your website. Did your website receive proper protection? Was their support team available and friendly when you called them? Did the prices increase or do you feel that you are overpaying for the service? It is not possible for your website to function without a web hosting provider. However, it is important to check if the one you have selected is experienced, skilled, trustworthy, responsive and friendly to work with.
3. Renew the Domain Name
Similar to your web host, you should evaluate your website’s domain. Check if it actually gives an idea about your company’s name and comprises of targeted keywords. Is it attractive, short and memorable? In case you are planning to re-brand your company, will the current domain name be suitable for the brand’s personality and identity?
Remember to check these factors when renewing your domain name and web hosting plan.
4. Perform a Link Audit
Though this needs to be done frequently in a year but now it is a great time for getting habitual to check for outdated or broken links. One question for you – how did you feel when you were on a website, clicked on an interesting link and that took you to a 404 page (Page Not Found)? Similarly your visitors too, get disappointed after seeing this page and it also decreases your credibility.
Do the external links embedded in your website point to expired content or pages that don’t exist now? Go through your site from time to time and ensure that all your links are up-to-date. You can check for broken links in Google Analytics or a broken link checker and fix or update those links.
5. Check and Update Contact Information
When the customers’ emails are unanswered, it is a bit more frustrating thing. So, ensure if your customers’ queries are landing to the right inbox by double checking. If they are not, it’s time to update your email address. Have you shifted your office recently or may be changed your phone or social accounts? Do update them on your contact information page. Also, add all the info related to your brick-and-mortar locations on this page. While doing this also delete any extra or unused email accounts and also, remember to remove all the references to those accounts from your website.
6. Perform a Content Audit
Do you remember the last time when you checked the content on your site? Is it still showcasing your company’s mission, vision, expertise and target market? Maybe you have set some new goals and taken your business to new direction this year. Then you will need to check that you are passing the right message to your visitors about your business and what you want to achieve.
Be sure that you add some fresh content on your site. You can do this by adding some new photos of your business events or new employees, new testimonials from recent clients and so on. Also, update your older blogs with the current industry information and issues affecting your potential customers currently versus five years ago.
While checking your website content ensure that fonts, image sizes and style, and copywriting and grammar style are consistent all over your website. Repair any inconsistencies to make your website appear professional. And while doing that, check if the content is relevant and posted at a right time, especially in introductory posts, popular content, and product descriptions. Repurpose or delete the outdated content.
7. Update Prices and Review Inventory
Every year the operation and manufacturing costs change through the year. So, check for your numbers and prices to do justice to the customer and to your profit margin. If you own an ecommerce website, make sure the catalogue of products and the description for each product is correct and updated. Also, recheck the products that you have listed for sale. Check if there are any products that should be rethought, repriced, or retired? Also, check if the current inventory is displayed instead of the discontinued items.
8. Test Functionality
You might be having various types of forms or subscription options on your website. Fill out those to check if the process is intuitive, simple and significantly functional. Check if the comments on your blog are working. Also, take a test of the checkout process of your shopping cart and see that the money is deposited in the right amount. Fix bugs and check for the ways that can make the process easy.
9. Evaluate Calls to Action (CTAs)
Do you think your “subscribe,” “donate here,” and “buy now” links are gaining enough attention? Re-work on making the calls to action buttons shiny for your website to better achieve its purpose and get new customers. Also, make sure you have social sharing buttons such as “Like us on Facebook”, “Follow us on Twitter”, etc.
The most important thing is check if your CTAs are well-designed and located at a place where visitors can easily notice them. If you don’t have clear and well-placed call to action buttons, your visitors won’t take any action at all.
10. Update Bios
When a visitor comes on your website, he should feel fresh. You can keep your website fresh by updating your bio and brushing up the “About Us” page. Re-check any key stats or numbers listed on this page as well. Also, update the staff positions and job duties that might have changed in the past year, so that the credit is given where it’s important and customer queries are asked to the right person.
11. Update Policies
You might have changed some of your policies. Therefore, you should keep it updated every time there’s a change in the policies. Make sure that your website clearly represents your company’s current practices and nothing is neglected. So, make changes as required.
12. Review Analytics
Check your Google Analytics and separate the trends. Find which pages are visited frequently and which are getting decayed. Update your popular posts and see if you can get more traffic out of them either by posting them on social media or via campaigns. For the older posts that bring in more traffic and engagement, you can repurpose the content or completely dismiss them. In case there are pages on your website that don’t bring enough traffic, you need to rethink of how to rework on them and present the information.
Clean Your Website as the Noise of the Whistle
You will find spring as a great time for cleaning up your website and bringing new life to your business. This includes making sure that your website is functioning correctly, is easy to navigate and the content is accurate and current. Apart from being easy to use and fun to interact with, a website may require redesigning and getting a new look.
The above mentioned 12 tips will take time and work, but similar to giving your home a thorough spring cleaning, you’ll feel better when it’s also done on your website.