written by Bonnie Chomica
Did you spend a lot of time creating your website?
I’ll bet you did.
There are so many components and things to consider.
And then once it was created and published and you told the world…does it now just sit there?
Maybe you’ve added a blog post or two.
Maybe a new service or two, but how long ago was that?
I suspect you may have some dust bunnies and cobwebs that need attention.
Websites are never “finished”. They need to be constantly reviewed and polished to ensure their validity, and timeliness. A good dusting off of your website can breathe new life into it, making it more appealing to visitors.
You know, like when you invite guests to your home, you do a clean up. Same goes here.
It’s time to refresh and edit your current website to prepare for company.
Website Content Review
Your website goes way beyond just the basic navigation, pretty colours and images, and well-thought out words. It’s your online brochure, your store-front, and the path to making sales.
When you edit any website, consider your current state of business. What has changed since you first built your site?
Here is a list of key areas on your site to check for or revise:
Content – Basic Pages
It doesn’t matter how complicated your business or industry is, it’s best to try to keep your page content shorter, rather than longer, and simpler, rather than wordy or flashy. People are lazy and busy, and tend to scan websites as they look for what they want or what peaks their interest.
Read the content of your website. Every page! Is it still current? How can you make it simpler to understand?
Consider what you’ve learned from your clients. Are there benefits or language that you’ve heard from them that would add more impact to your website content?
Review your Services/Products page(s). Is what you offer current on the site, or do you need to add something new or delete something you no longer offer?
And, if you have all your services or products listed on one page, consider creating a page for each one. More pages is great for SEO, especially if they are cross linked. (SEO is Search Engine Optimization - how people find you when they search)
Content – Blog Posts
Your blog is your credibility builder. (That would go for video content, too, but for this post, I'll stick to blog content.) It’s your space to educate people by showing what you know, positioning you as the go-to expert in your field.
As your business and expertise expands, some of the content you’ve created previously may no longer be relevant. It may even undermine what you are offering now. A review of your website can highlight what should be removed or changed.
Review each blog post and check for relevance to what you currently offer. If the post doesn’t make sense any longer, then ‘hide it’ from being a live post. I was advised not to 'delete' old blogs or pages, as search engines may have their little fingers in there. But there is a way to hide them from the visible main menu. Check your provider for options.
You should have one on each web page, but blog posts in particular should have a Call to Action (CTA). Check your old CTAs, and if they are time sensitive (i.e. you were promoting a workshop or promotion that is long past), change them to something more generic (i.e. contact me for personal support). If you don’t have a CTA on a post, add one.
Look for evergreen posts, topics you can use again and again because they are not time sensitive. But make sure they are still relevant and useful for your audience. What posts do you have that you can repeat during the year?
Such a crucial part of your marketing is to share testimonials, or reviews on your website. This social proof further establishes your credibility by showing that people trust you, are happy with your service, and took the time to provide public feedback.
Just like any other area of your website, review them all to ensure they are relevant, that they express what you currently offer. If someone provided a rave review of something you no longer offer, it will just confuse your current site visitor. Get rid of it.
If all you have is a Testimonial Page with a big long list, see if there are areas on your website where you can plop a couple of them into, particularly on your Services/Product pages, or your About or Events pages.
One of the most overlooked items are broken links, especially if they are old. They can produce pages with 404 errors (no content), or just go nowhere. Active links are crucially important to help your visitor and to get search engine love, whether they are leading to another place on your website, to external landing pages or resources, or even your Contact page.
In your website review, pay close attention to links. Broken ones may lose you sales.
Test the links on every web page. Anything to do with your business: contact me/us, workshop/events, social media accounts, everything. If there is a broken link, more often than not, people will just leave your site, and move on.
If you have a lead magnet form (free download to capture email addresses for your list), ensure it is relevant for what you currently offer. Has it been there a long time? It might be time to offer something new.
Test the process of the email capture of your lead magnet using an email address that is not already on your email list. You should have ‘dummy’ addresses for this purpose (e.g. Gmail, Hotmail, iCloud, etc.).
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen errors on people’s Contact page. Phone numbers, physical addresses, hours of operation. This is where people are ready to take action. You better edit your website to ensure people can connect with you.
More regularly than reviewing the whole website, review your Contact page and ensure everything appropriate is listed and accurate. It’s also advisable to have someone else look at it, because, you obviously know your address but you may not see mistakes even if you’re looking right at it.
Dust Bunnies Be Gone
The message here is to review and refresh your website regularly. Put it in your calendar for the same day you regularly change your smoke alarm batteries or get your car’s oil changed.
This exercise is not only a cleanup process to help the visitor experience and SEO, it often spurs creative ideas for bigger and brighter business opportunities.
If you’d like a second set of expert eyes on your website, ask me about a Marketing Checkup. You’ll receive my invaluable feedback and advice on your website, email, and social media activities. Contact me for more info and to reserve your spot.
Cheering you on,
Portions of this post were previously posted on MarketingDoneWrite.ca