Tidy Up Your Website with These Spring Cleaning Tips
The weather’s warming up and the snow is starting to melt as we head into spring. That means it’s time for spring cleaning!
But spring cleaning isn’t just limited to your home - you can also apply it to your website.
Many times, we have our website designed and call it good. Every once in a while, though, it’s a good idea to go through your site from top to bottom and get rid of what’s not working - just like your closets.
Here are the things I recommend sprucing up on your site so that you put your best foot forward:
Broken Links - Every once in a while, you may change something on your site that affects a link on another part of your website. If you don’t remember to change that link, you’ll end up with a broken link. If a website visitors clicks on that broken link, they’ll receive a 404 error, which is not good. In the best case scenario, they’ll just click over to another part of your site, but worst case, they’ll just leave altogether.
Get ahead of the game by going through your site, page by page, and clicking on each link and button, ensuring they take visitors to the intended place. If you find a broken link, of course fix the error. You may possibly miss something (we’re not perfect), so setting up a custom 404 error page is also a good idea. Check out this blog post for details on how to do it in Squarespace.
Contact Info - Have you moved recently? Finally set up that personalized email so long @gmail.com? Make sure your contact information is correct so that potential customers can reach you! You’d be surprised at how many emails I’ve sent that bounce back, to an email address listed on a website. More than likely, you’ve got contact information in your footer and on your contact page. Also make sure that if you have a contact form, it’s set up to send messages to your correct email address. The whole point of a website is for potential customers to find you and give them all of your information so they can contact you and work with you!
Blog Posts - Sometimes you blog evolves over times, and your audience changes. When I first started this website, I was focused on helping therapists with their websites, for example. I now work with family-friendly small businesses instead, so some of my old blog posts specific to therapists no longer made sense on the site. I went through all of my posts prior to rebranding and either completely removed posts that didn't apply, or changed the wording whenever possible. You may have changed your blog focus altogether, from mom blogging with recipes and parenting tips, to finance blogging with budget and investment tips. Visitors will take the time to click around, so give them as much information as possible that actually applies to them.
Events - Whether you have regular events or just a couple of big ones per year, make sure what you’re promoting on your website is current. Just the other day, I went to a website and saw an announcement on the home page for a big event coming up in 2017. 2017! Not promoting current events is a huge missed opportunity. Even more so, having old information on your site makes it look like you’re not current and you don’t care. So, if you offer classes, make sure your class schedule is up to date. Even if you don’t have a detailed calendar, but more a day/time schedule, give your visitors the current information. If you have an annual fundraiser, make sure that you have the upcoming date on your site, not last year’s. Incorrect information can lead to frustrated visitors, and they may write off your organization all together.
Copyright - Look at your copyright at the bottom of your website (if you don’t have one, you should!). If it’s over 5 years old, odds are, your site is outdated. Technology changes so fast, that you need a periodic update to the style of your site. If your site was designed closer to 10 years ago, you need a new website. More than likely, your current site is not mobile-responsive, and has an overall aesthetic that does match what people expect to see. I understand it’s a hard pill to swallow, because a website is not a small investment, so you hope that you can do it once and be done. But, if you want your business to keep up with the times and stay current, you’ll need a redo every so often.
What kind of shape is your website in? Can you dust off these few things and be good for the spring? Or do you need a complete redesign?