Recently I worked on a website for one of my favorite clients.
The last time she updated it was about five years ago, when small businesses and solos were just turning toward having “responsive” websites.
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. This is getting even more difficult with the many sizes that are available for cell phones and tablets nowadays.
I actually worked for a company for about 5 years that evaluated websites while my children were growing up. So, many of the items that I had on my checklist back then, I still have today. Having these items working properly on your website may even help you in the SEO rankings. And even if it doesn’t help with the rankings, it definitely helps a newcomer to your website have a good impression of your company.
Here are some things to watch for on your own site:
1. Check Your Links. Make sure that they all work. Just because they worked 2 years ago, does not automatically mean that they are working today. It never hurts to check.
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 visitors 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)? And definitely make sure, that there are not any spelling or grammatical errors. Sometimes it even helps, to ask a friend or loved one to read it as well. Sometimes they will find things that you missed altogether.
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 and a Tablet. More than half of the visitors to your site will do so on a phone or a tablet – make sure your site looks good and is easily readable.
5. Review Your Dashboard. Take peek at the back-end of your website (or get a qualified professional to do it with you). Are there plugins that you 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.
6. Do You Have Fresh Content? Do you have an up-to-date copyright on your website? Have you added some new information, like a blog or new pictures? Is your contact information up-to-date?
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!