Does your business website pass the freshness test? When was the last time you checked in on it?
An outdated website is bad for business. Think about it. Have you ever visited a website that was woefully out of date? You know the type; one with old events being advertised on the homepage, broken links, or the latest post on the blog is two years old.
What did you think? Did you wonder if the business was still in business? You’re not the only one.
Your business website serves as an online destination for your customers and potential customers. For some, it may be the first impression they get of your business. That’s why it’s important that it be up to date.
So, bring up your website right now in another window and review these things to see if your business website passes the freshness test.
Business Website Freshness Test
Calendars & Events
Scan your website for any time-sensitive items. Look for outdated events, promotions, expired discounts or coupons and get rid of them.
If you have a blog, when was the last time you posted? If it’s been longer than 30 days, you need to remedy that. Set aside a few minutes to brainstorm some post ideas. Make a list, and then make a commitment to update that blog at least once a month.
You don’t have to write a 10-page white paper. Short articles – 400-500 words – are fine. Just remember when you are writing, to set aside the sales pitch and instead opt for blog topics that will deliver helpful information and value to your website visitors.
Don’t have a blog? You should consider adding one to your business website. A regularly updated blog is one of the best tools for improving your search engine rankings. It can also prove to be an unmatched marketing tool. A blog allows you to showcase your expertise, and gain credibility with your audience. That credibility makes it easier to persuade them to make a purchase or contract a service from you.
Go through your website page by page and check for broken links. Delete or fix any that you find, and while you are at it, look for opportunities to add some fresh links. Up-to-date internal and outbound links can help improve your search engine rankings.
Speaking of search engine rankings, check in on your website’s SEO. Do you have keywords assigned to your pages and posts? Are your posts and images optimized? Make adjustments as needed, or hire an expert to help.
Grammar & Spelling
As a writer, nothing screams “unprofessional” louder to me than a website with spelling or grammar errors. Though the majority of your website visitors may not be writers, they will notice. Proofread your website. Have a friend do the same and clean up any spelling mistakes or poor grammar.
Design & Navigation
Now that you have some of the immediate concerns addressed, take a thoughtful look at the design of your website. Does it look good? Is it a website that you are proud of? Does it have a clean, modern look? Are you using high quality images?
Think about it from the perspective of a potential customer. Is it easy to navigate? Does it give them the information you want them to know as well as the information they are seeking?
How does it read? You want your website copy to communicate in a clear and concise way. You need to say just enough to give a good overview of your business, your products or services and what makes you different and better than your competitors. Too much copy can clutter the page and overwhelm the reader.
If you’re not happy with your website, consider a redesign. Hire a professional to help. If your budget is tight, you could consider using a DIY website platform like SquareSpace.
Make It A Habit
Once you’ve gone through the steps and made much needed updates to your business website, make it a habit to review these things on a regular basis.
Gone are the days when you could build a website and then forget about it for a few years. Effective, lead-generating business websites are living things. They evolve. They grow. And they should be updated on a regular basis. So, keep your website fresh. Your credibility depends on it.
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