As a busy small business owner, I bet you had trouble this year finding time do a good spring cleaning. Boy, I know that I sure did.
Some things go out the window when you’re swamped with work, and spring cleaning is usually one of them. You look around the house, think, “This is tidy enough,” and get back to work. But what about the spring cleaning that you need to do for your small business?
One place that almost every business could do a spring cleaning is on their website. Even a well-managed website eventually need to be revamped with an updated interface, improved functionality, and a reorganization of pages. So, I say that we get into the spirit of the spring season and do a cleaning! Here’s how I would go about it…
Take a Tour
How long has it been since you’ve gone through your own website? Chances are that it’s been a while. Most people go through everything once the site is finished and rarely do it again. But taking a tour is one of the essential parts of website spring cleaning.
Before diving deep into your site, you simply want to do a quick tour. From the homepage, click around the site, checking out pages to see if they flow into each other logically. Don’t deeply analyze everything; just try to take in the general user experience. After you’re done, you will have a sense of just how much needs to change for the refresh.
Unless your website was created more than five years ago, your homepage is probably in reasonably decent shape with a sufficiently modern design. That being said, there’s probably lots of room for improvement.
First, take a look at the very top of the homepage. This is the first thing that your customers are going to see when they go to your website. What kind of impression does it make? A positive one? Does it make them want to know more? Could it use more calls-to-action?
How does your logo look in the upper-left corner of the page? Even if you are happy with your logo design, could it be a bit bigger to grab more attention? Or could an entirely new logo be the branding jumpstart your small business needs?
Read through all of the copy on your homepage. How much is there? If there is too much, the average person isn’t going to read it. On the flip side of the coin, having too little will result in them thinking that you don’t offer the solutions they need. Either way, they’re going to click off and look for your competitor’s site instead. There is a happy medium when it comes to homepage webcopy, so it might be a good idea to experiment until you find that sweet spot. Or you could hire me, and I could take care of it for you!
Often, spring cleaning has nothing to do with “cleaning” and everything to do with organization. Things can be spotless and still be a mess, and that’s especially true when it comes to website navigation.
When someone comes to your website, you want to have everything they need logically laid out right at the top of your homepage. You don’t want to offer too many choices because they won’t know where to go. Similarly, giving them only one or two options will give the impression that you have a barebones site.
My personal recommendation is to have five links in the navbar: About, Services, Blog, Testimonials, and Contact Us. You can add drop-down menus to these if you want to offer more selections (in Services, for example). On the whole, these five categories are pretty standard, providing most users what they’re looking for in a website. If your business needs more, we can figure that out!
Tidying Up the Blog
If you’ve been keeping up with your content marketing over the years, you probably have a massive catalog of blogs on your website. And that’s a great thing! The more free content you offer, the better! But over time, your blog page can start to get a bit, well, cluttered! Thankfully, spring cleaning allows you to dig in and make some sense out of the content chaos.
First, you want to make sure that all of the links to your blogs still work. This can be a little time consuming, depending on how many blogs you have, but well worth it. A “Page Not Found” message might as well be a huge, red light flashing at users, telling them to look elsewhere for a company that actually maintains their site.
Next, how is the organization of your blogs? If you’d have a few years’ worth, then the older ones are probably buried under a ton of other content. Those old blogs are still useful, so be sure to offer users a way to access them. On my site, for example, I have a search bar at the top. All someone needs to do is type in a keyword, something like “Digital Marketing,” and a ton of blogs will pop up, all offering users valuable info.
Finally, how dated are your blogs? A blog you wrote about back in 2013 could be hopelessly outdated today, offering inaccurate information to your users. Going through these old blogs and renovate them with updated information will make sure that everything on your website is accurate. It also presents you with opportunities to post those old blogs as “new” content on your social media.
Spring cleaning is time-consuming and exhausting, even if you’re only doing it in the digital realm. If you don’t have the first clue how to get started fixing up your website, I can offer you a completely free guide, The Ultimate Step-by-Step Website Audit Workbook. In it, you will find the process I use to analyze and revamp websites. If you give it a read and decide that you can’t afford the time, then you might be able to afford me! I’d be happy to go through your entire website and tell you everything that could use a tidying!
Of course, that’s just the first step of spring cleaning. After you know what’s wrong, then it’s time to fix it. I can come in handy here too. Need new eye-catching graphics? No problem. Want a webcopy polish? You got it! Need to rebuild everything from the ground up? Then let’s get started! If you’d like to take a look at the kind of work that I can provide, I did a massive website spring cleaning myself last November (Winter cleaning? Same difference!)
So, please contact me today and, together, we can “clean” your website so you won’t have to think of it ever again. Well, at least not for a few years!