There’s something about sunny skies, chirping birds and blooming flowers that really gets you in the mood to scrub your home from top to bottom. Savvy business owners, however, know the beginning of spring is the perfect time to do a little cleaning of their own – on their company’s website, that is. Just like any other essential element in your life, it’s crucial that your website receives an annual “deep clean” in order to bolster the important assets and purge the unnecessary ones. Use this 10-point checklist to spring clean your website ahead of the hustle and bustle of the upcoming summer season.
☑ Conduct a Content Audit
How long has it been since you last took a deep dive through the content on your website? Between outdated information, updated service offerings and a brand voice that may no longer fit the direction your company is heading, a great deal can change over the course of a year.
Spring clean your website by making sure all of your content is accurate, relevant and current with where your business is right now. Freshen up any copy that might feel stale, and remove or rewrite content that no longer reflects the state of your company or your industry. As a general rule, any copy more than two years old could benefit from a refresh during your content audit. In addition to going through your current content, evaluate gaps in your website in order to guide the direction for your content creation over the coming year.
☑ Check Your Links
Few things are as frustrating as coming across a link to an interesting article, only for the link to not work. Along with being irritating to your readers, broken website links can also negatively affect your SEO.
Use this time to get yourself into the habit of making sure all of the links on your website are functional, and replace or remove those that are no longer up-to-date. Manually checking link by link can be time-consuming and ineffective, so you might want to consider investing in software or passing this task off to an outside digital marketing agency who can handle this for you.
☑ Take Inventory
Just like you would use spring cleaning as an opportunity to organize that overstuffed hallway closet you haven’t been able to close since last summer, B2C companies should also use this time to organize their inventory.
Take a look at the inventory you have left in stock from the past year – what do you need to reorder, and what should you put on sale to try to clear out space for new products? Next, take a look at how your inventory is presented on your website. Are out of stock products presented as such? Could any of your slow-selling products benefit from new photos or an updated description? Sorting through your inventory now will give your business the insight and foresight needed to prepare for your busiest months ahead.
☑ Check Your Domain Name Status
What benefit does spring cleaning your website serve if you no longer have access to your website? Purchasing your website domain does not mean it is yours to keep forever – you have to renew it periodically in order to keep using it. Forget to renew your domain name, and you run the risk of someone else buying it out from under you. Use spring cleaning as a reminder to check on your domain name status and extend your registration if yours is due to expire this year.
☑ Revisit Your Service Offerings
Have you added new services recently but haven’t given them a designated place on your website yet? Looking to double down on a particular service in the coming months and need to bolster your marketing efforts? Setting aside a day to spring clean your website is the perfect occasion to clean up your service pages.
On top of double-checking that your service offerings are up-to-date, make sure any pricing on your website reflects the amount you are currently charging for your services. Nothing turns customers off more than inaccurate information, especially if that inaccurate information costs them more money than they had anticipated.
☑ Update Company Photos
Spring is the season of “newness”, so use spring cleaning as an excuse to take new company photos. The makeup of your staff can change drastically over the course of a year, and it’s important that your website reflects those changes so potential customers know exactly who they will be working with. Set aside an afternoon to have a company photoshoot, including posed team photos, candid shots and new headshots. While you’re updating the staff photos on your website, make sure their job title and/or description is also accurate to their current position in your company.
☑ Study Your Analytics
Much like a vacuum is an essential tool for spring cleaning your home, Google Analytics is an essential tool for spring cleaning your website. Your analytics provide a wealth of information you can use to determine which elements of your website perform well with visitors, and which could benefit from an overhaul.
Google Analytics enables you to uncover the behaviors of your website visitors, including which pages they are visiting, how long they are staying and where they are converting. If you uncover a page with a high bounce rate and low conversions, take that as a warning sign that something is not resonating with your audience. If you have a page with a particularly low bounce rate and high conversions, on the other hand, try to determine what’s working and implement that strategy on other pages of your website.
☑ Check Your CTAs
Now that we’ve covered the power of Google Analytics in uncovering weak conversion points on your website, the next step is identifying which individual links have the poorest click-through rates. A call-to-action (CTA) is a small snippet of text that guides your reader towards taking a desired action, such as “Add To Cart” or “Call Now”. If a particular page on your website is not converting, consider changing up the messaging of your CTA to see if it resonates better with your audience.
☑ Update Your Plugins
We’ve all been there: scrolling down a list of must-have plugins for your website and deciding to download a handful of them all at once. It’s fun to play around with interesting new elements while you’re still figuring out which ones are the best fit for your needs, but keeping too many plugins on your website will clog up your backend and slow down your load times.
Spring clean your website by going down your plugins one by one to decide which are worth keeping and which you can uninstall. Next, make sure the plugins you have decided to keep are in their most recent version and update the ones that are no longer current. Outdated plugins can expose security vulnerabilities on your website, so practicing plugin maintenance will help to keep your business’ and your customers’ information secure.
☑ Manage Your Security
Outdated plugins aren’t the only threat to your website’s security – you’re also dealing with defunct software, weak passwords, non-encrypted webpages, and so on. Spring cleaning your website should also include looking for vulnerabilities in your website’s security and creating an action plan to combat them. Backup your website, change your passwords, scan for malware and become SSL-certified if you haven’t already in order to keep the cracks in your cybersecurity from getting big enough for a cybercriminal to sneak in.
Ready to Spring Clean Your Website?
Setting aside time to spring clean your website doesn’t have to be a once-a-year occasion. Use this time to get yourself into the habit of making these routine checkups every few months to keep your website running optimally year-round. If the time commitment is holding you back from conducting routine website updates, consider investing in a web design, content and maintenance package and let an experienced digital marketing agency (like ours!) handle the upkeep for you.