Your website is the single MOST important marketing tool you have. Every ad you write, social media post you make, Radio, Television or Newspaper ad you buy should have the end-goal of pointing people to your website. If your website is not designed to funnel potential clientele, convert leads, and inform your public about you, then you are wasting valuable money and resources on nothing. Effective marketing requires you to have a well-designed, relevant and current website.
But you're a business owner! You have your own problems to worry about.
Taking 10 minutes out of your busy month (or delegating this task to a trusted staff member) is an important task to add to your routine to keep your client-focused website on point and relevant.
10 Point Inspection Steps:
1. Check and update your contact information.
Make sure everything is up to date and relevant. If you have added any staff members, changed any communication pathways, or added a new location or office, make sure it's included on the website. Any reference to customers can find to contact you should be audited and updated.
2. Check your site for content accuracy and timeliness.
Ensure your blogs are not old and/or outdated. If there is old information, update it, and re-release the post/page/blog as new (updated for [[This Year]]!). Take this opportunity to update your content AND promote yourself at the same time. Also give your pages a once over and ensure there isn't any old information on them. If there is, updated, or (if you don't know how), get a staff member or your web developer to do it for you. SIDENOTE: While you're looking over your site, make sure you keep a special eye out for spelling/grammar mistakes.
3. Check for broken links.
Links break. It's just a fact of life. No external website will ask you first if it's ok if they take a page down. So it's on you to ensure any external links are checked and fixed (if broken). Google WILL penalize you for having a bunch of broken links on your site. The days of "LINKS" or "RESOURCES" pages are gone. Make sure any external links on your site are content-relevant and audience-appropriate.
4. Review your calls to action.
Business changes, and sometimes when things DO change, the website is the last thing to change (Trust me, I know this first hand). Take a look at your site, and make sure all your Calls to Action (CTA's) are accurate and pointing to the right place. This then leads to the next point:
5. Test Functionality.
Sometimes things happen. Software gets updated, and can cause other parts of your site to break. If you have forms on your site... Submit them. If you don't get a response back within a reasonable time frame CONTACT YOUR DEVELOPER. This could be lost opportunity. If you have other points of functionality on your site... try it out. Making sure everything works is important, because a possible client won't buy anything from a company who has a broken website.
6. Update your online store.
If you have items online that you are selling directly, ensure the prices are accurate (including shipping) and that your stock numbers reflect reality.
7. Check your site on all devices.
Look at your site on a phone, Desktop Computer, Smart TV browser, Tablet, etc... Ensure the site looks good and is consistent across all devices and pages. "Good Enough" is not good enough. Be picky.
8. Add some fresh content.
If you have a blog, news-roll, photo galleries or other dynamic content... Add something! Google loves a site that is fresh, and so do your users. Plus it's an added opportunity to increase the keyword rich content on your site to appeal to users who are searching for your products and services.
9. Evaluate your Website metrics.
Is your website getting traffic? What are the hardest hit pages? Are you using the traffic to funnel your audience through to your desired goal? If some pages are getting more views than others, consider why? Use the insight you gain for adding more content relevant pages.
10. Check your SEO.
How are you ranking? Open up a web browser and 'google yourself'. What search terms do you think people would be searching for to find you. Are you in the Top 3 in Google for those terms? Contact your web specialist if you are concerned about your web rankings. It might be well worth investing in an active SEO program to increase customer lead generation.
Check your hosting plan. Are you making use of the services offered by your hosting company? Taking advantage of your hosts negotiated services is the best way to ensure your money is well spent, and you are maximizing the value of your web services. If you're unsure about what you're paying for, or have concerns about how much (or how little) you're paying... talk to your hosting provider. They will answer all your questions.
A few simple steps will go a long way to keeping your website relevant and productive. And remember... if something isn't working, or your site isn't generating the desired response... Change it up! A website should be ALWAYS evolving.