Spring Cleaning for your Website
As soon as the clocks go forward people are reminded that spring is in the air. There is a whole laundry list of chores that seem to accompany this time of year. We need to change air filters, rotate batteries in smoke alarms, clean out the garage, and update the company website.
For those of you that diligently updated your site at the new year, there is less to cover, but still a solid spring cleaning is in order!
The thing about your online site is that newer is always better. Being fresh and up to date, or at least clean and presentable is now par for the course. No longer can you check on that moneymaker annually. Let’s be clear, the whole purpose of having a website is to make money. So let’s review some basic concepts you should follow to make sure your site is all shined up.
Top 5 Spring Cleaning Tips – Website Edition
- Check your speed – To quote Mickey Goldmill from Rocky, “Speed…speed is what we need.” So is your site going as fast as possible? There are a few monitoring services available that can let you know how fast you are going. You can check with your host about ways to crank out a few more horsepower. The faster your site is running, the less people have to sit around waiting. None of us like to wait, right?
- Check the map – Your site should be like a beautifully designed diagram that flows easily with everything apparent. Of course in actuality it isn’t. More than likely there is some bad code, outdated links, and other small hiccups that cause minor annoyances for people. There are tools out there, like webpagetest.org, that can test out your site and provide some excellent feedback on problems including speed.
- Toss the junk – Do you have ads that aren’t making any money? Not anymore you don’t! Too many ads actually can decrease revenue from ads because people become overwhelmed and your site slows down while all those ads load. Instead figure out which ones are working and get rid of the excess. You can also look into alternative ideas such as monetizing the links within your content rather than ads.
- Fresh paint – Well in this case the paint is actually content. You can always re-write and re-package existing content, even on basic pages such as About or Contact. Review and refresh should be a one-two step you do often with your site to keep in looking neat and clean along with focused. As for primary content, make sure you have a steady stream of new material, but don’t be afraid to recycle some older pieces that worked well.
- Check the landscaping – Look at your website with a fresh eye. Grab a few friends and have them all stare at your site for five seconds and then ask them to turn away and each write down what they remember. This test let’s you know what message people get at a glance from your site. If the answers aren’t clear or what you want, then it is time to tighten up and refocus the site. A call to action must be clear and concise to survive the glance test.
Think of your website like a nice house; maintenance is always required which includes regular checkups and the occasional big ticket costs. If you don’t have the time or energy (or expertise) to handle the work, then find someone who does. A working website that does what it is supposed to is a wonderful thing; the ones that don’t are getting ready for the foreclosure sign.