Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published in 2019. As of May 2021, it’s been updated and republished to reflect current information. The article was cleaned up, recommendations were reassessed, and references refreshed.
Spring is often associated with a fresh, new, clean start and a renewed sense of life. For many, this means out with the old and in with the new, which takes on the form of spring cleaning.
While you may be thinking about spring cleaning your home or even your office space, why not think of refreshing and reviving your business’s website? After all, you only get one chance to make a first impression, and your website is often the first interaction customers have with your company.
Does your website accurately display your company’s character, personality and culture? Is it current and up to date?
Like your home, you may acquire a different taste in décor and choose to go beyond cleaning to overhauling a room’s look. Maybe this spring you should consider taking the time to do the same for your business website.
Even if you’re not going for a complete overhaul, though, there are some simple and effective ways to clean up your website right now.
Update Content and Information
Does the content of your website still embody your company’s personality and mission? Does it read as if you’re the top expert in your industry? Is your last blog post or “news” item from a year or two ago? Is the company contact information and personnel biographies current?
Nothing is more boring or unprofessional as a website that is full of outdated, incorrect information or lacks in authority and quality.
For e-commerce websites with online ordering and a catalogue of products, make sure the description for each product is correct and updated. Don’t be afraid to naturally use keywords or target phrases on category or product pages within the content. This will help you appeal to search engines so you can be found by more users. Be sure to display current inventory, not discontinued items.
Additionally, consider adding regular blog posts to your site. This constant stream of fresh content can pique the interest of customers and catch the attention of search engines.
As part of your content marketing strategy, you can even check your older blog posts for newer opportunities. Go back through old posts while you are spring cleaning to find blogs that can link to important content, products, or pages, or look for ways you can add updated or current information that is helpful to your readers.
Test Out the Website’s Usability
Is your website easy to navigate and do all the internal links work? If not, site visitors will be quick to leave. It is also a good idea to check if your website is compatible on different devices such as phones and tablets.
Also, look through all the content for grammar, spelling, punctuation errors and industry jargon. The tone and style of the content should be consistent on each webpage and should reflect the image and personality of the brand.
A website that looks nice and is easy to use increases the time visitors spend on the website, whereby increasing their chance of converting.
Give it a Fresh Look
Like your personal home décor preferences, your business will undergo a brand refresh to update and freshen its look to match its evolving personality. The frequency of this change can also be attributed to the preferences of a business’s targeted customers and the industry a business is in.
When undergoing a brand or website redesign, it’s a good idea to work with a professional website designer as they know their way around the colors and font styles and sizes and their emotional and psychological effects. He or she will know which complimentary colors should be incorporated as well as the appropriate website design and layout for the look and feel of one’s brand and the personality it wants its website visitors to experience.
In addition to changing up the layout, typography and color scheme, also consider adding new photos (that are optimized) along with fresh content. Adding an events calendar and current news can also revive the appearance of a bland website. This is also a great time to refresh and outdated company logo.
Make Sure the Links Work
Outdated or broken links can lower your business’s credible and professional appearance. If the internal and external links point to pages that are either outdated or no longer exist, your page’s SEO and online visibility can suffer. One should check out each link on their website frequently and regularly.
Make Sure Third-Party Website Apps and Extensions Work
Are your company’s social media and RSS feeds properly linked and connected to your website? Are third party on-page analytics trackers up and running? Is the spam filter on your blog post comments turned on or should you disallow all commenting on old blog posts to avoid spam? If your business has an app, does it work properly?
If the third party apps and extensions installed on your website fail to work properly, you miss out on the biggest online advantage you have: making your content shareable and gaining valuable analytics information about your website users and their behavior and interaction with your website.
Without these analytics data, it is hard to assess the areas of improvement.
Evaluate and Clarify Your Site’s Call-to-Actions
Are the calls to action (CTA) of each page of your website obvious and clear?
If it isn’t noticeable or clear, website visitors won’t know what action to take which can lead to missed conversions, purchases and e-newsletter subscriptions. When people come to your site, they not only want to quickly find the information they are looking for, but they also want to know what they can do with the information you provide.
Don’t be afraid to tell your audience to click, sign up, or even purchase. It will help encourage them to take that next step that may help increase conversions.
Renew or Re-evaluate the Domain Name and Web Hosting Plan
It’s always a good idea to look at your website hosting plan each year because many plans require annual renewal. Did the hosting provider take care of any or all the glitches of your website? Did they provide adequate website protection? Were they responsive and easy to work with? Did prices go up or do you feel like you’re overpaying for service?
Your website can’t function without a hosting provider. You need to be sure the one you choose is skilled, experienced, trustworthy, responsive and are comfortable to work with.
Similarly, yearly evaluation of your website’s domain is also a good idea. Does it clearly communicate the company’s name and targeted keywords? Is it catchy, concise and memorable? If you’re overhauling a company re-brand, will the current domain name fit the new brand identity and personality?
If you do determine that a new domain name is right for you, ensure that you appropriately redirect your old domain name and URLs.
Spring is a great time to clean up your website and bring new life into your business. This entails ensuring that your website functions correctly, that it is easy to navigate and that the content is accurate and current.
Whether you’re undergoing a major re-branding or simply want to make a few minor tweaks and improvements, the professionals at SEO.com can help. We are a full-service online marketing agency with professional developers, website designers, content and SEO specialists, Social Media experts, and PPC professionals. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you in your website spring cleaning.
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