Your website is often the first introduction of your small business to potential clients and customers. Keeping it in perfect condition can help boost sales and keep your image looking sharp. Make it a priority to review the functionality and usability of your small business website at the beginning of each year, so you can catch and correct and bugs sooner rather than later.
While doing a complete overhaul and review of your website can sound like a daunting task, taking a systematic approach to the job can simplify things. You can take care of these items yourself, or ask a client, friend, or family member to do the following:
- Check all links on the website. Make sure each link directs properly and none are broken or linked incorrectly.
- Review all content for spelling and grammatical errors. Small business websites generally contain a lot of information and even the slightest grammatical or spelling error can send the wrong message to clients. Keep your focus on the most important and most visited pages of your site, rather than reviewing old blog posts for grammatical issues.
- Update the appearance of your website. Not all small business websites need refreshing, but updating even just the homepage of your site can give it a more modern look and feel as you start the new year. Add current photos, remove outdated features, and keep it simple. Make sure the overall appearance of your website conveys the message you want it to.
- Keep your brand at the forefront of your website. Make sure your logo is the focus of at least one page, and place it on other pages within your site as well. Keep colors and design consistent with your brand. Your website should look uniquely yours.
- Think functionality. Make sure your site is easy to use. Items should be in their usual places on the website and your navigation bar should be simple and straightforward. Compare your sites with others in your industry to improve functionality.
- Refresh testimonials. Clients who are thinking about using your services or purchasing your goods don’t care what Joe Smith said back in 1999. They would rather know what your clients are saying now. Solicit testimonials from current clients via email or social media and keep your published testimonials within the last five or so years. Hint: adding credentials behind your reviewers name is an added bonus and makes your small business look more credible. (ex. “I love this business!” -Joe Smith, CEO at XYZ Hospital)
- Social media. If your small business is on social media, those links need to be on your website. Direct clients to your social media accounts for the latest happenings within your business, since they are likely updated more often than your website.
- Make your contact information visible on every page. Your business name, address, phone number, and email should be on every page of your website. Keep it readable and easy to find.
Keep in mind that a functional, attractive and error-free website is extremely important, but don’t get so hung up on perfection that you neglect other aspects of your business. You could probably spend all year updating, tweaking, and perfecting your website but 2016 is calling and it’s time to go out and make your small business more profitable than ever!