Recently I worked on a website for one of my favorite clients.
The last time she updated it was about seven years ago, when small businesses and solos were just turning toward having “responsive” websites. She decided to hold off back then, but these days it’s a necessity.
If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, a responsive website responds: It adjusts depending on the device it’s being displayed on, whether that is a desktop, phone or tablet. That makes it easily viewed whatever the situation.
Although the text and images on her site mostly stayed the same during this process, I took the opportunity to review every single page – including all her past blog posts. I also took the time to update things as I could for her search engine optimization. That means all her pictures got alt text, pages linked to other pages, etc.
Here are some things to watch for on your own site:
1. Check Your Links. I was shocked by the number of broken links I found. But I guess it makes sense – most of them were put there seven years ago.
By the way, make sure that when a link takes somebody off your site (e.g., to a book you mention), that it “opens a new tab” in the browser. That way your website visitor can easily click back to your site and keep looking around. Making this happen is just a simple setting when creating the link.
2. Read Every Page. Yes, read every single page on your site. Does it represent you? Is your message clear? Could someone reading your site understand why they would want to work with you? Is your phone number on your contact page (really, I saw this missing on a website just today)?
When I relaunched my client’s website I read every blog post too. Some had font discrepancies, spacing issues, links that were different colors than her website palate. Some just plain needed to be taken down because they no longer made sense. It took some time, but it was worth it to be confident that every page looked consistent.
3. Get Great Graphics. Take a close look (with your reading glasses on if necessary) at the graphics on your website. Is your logo pixelated (fuzzy)? Do you have images with a white background instead of transparent on pages that have a colored background? How old is your headshot? Are you using bland stock photography? Time to upgrade if any of this is you.
4. Check Your Phone. More than half of the visitors to your site will do so on a phone – make sure your site looks good and is easily readable.
5. Review Your Dashboard. Take a peek at the back-end of your website (or get a qualified professional to do it with you). Are there plugins that you have and aren’t using that might be slowing things down? Is your website running on the latest version of WordPress (or whatever you run your website on)? Keep your website running smoothly by paying attention to these important details.
Remember that for many people, your website is the first place where they will form an impression of you and your business. Take steps now to make sure the impression is a good one!