Every business MUST have a website these days, right? Well “yes” and “no”…
If you have a website for your business, you must be committed to keeping it up-to-date and relevant. Everyone falls into the trap of being too busy. We, at Gathering Waters, have done that too. Our old website was HTML based and clunky to update. It was old but it was working. Too many “paying” projects to spend the time to update our site… The list of excuses goes on.
“Is your site easy to maintain?”
If it isn’t, it will never get updated because it takes too long and things must be quick and easy. WordPress sites are very easy to maintain. WordPress resides on the server with your site files so you can maintain, update and change from any computer. All you need is your login information. WordPress is user-friendly. If you know how to use a word processing program, you can use WordPress.
“Does your site need to be cleaned up?”
The worst situation on a website is a wrong or missing contact information!
- Check each of the email addresses, phone numbers, street addresses and store hours to make sure they are all correct. Nothing turns a customer or prospect away quicker than the inability to easily contact your business.
- Check to make sure all of your page links are working, you don’t have incorrect URL’s or broken links for images.
Pages with too many words and paragraphs are often skipped. “If I can’t skim it and ge the meaning, forget it.”
- Can you add a photo or illustration? Maybe an icon.
- If a graphic can’t be added, convert the paragraphs into a bulleted list.
- Is all the text relevant? It is adding to clarifying or supporting your point? Or is it just “fluff”? Go through your copy and see if there are words or sentences you can delete.
- Is the content duplicated on various pages? Maybe you can simplify navigation and help customers find the details they are seeking by re-organizing, reducing and making the content on pages more succinct.
“Is your site easy to find and navigate?”
Are the right visitors finding your site? Are you emphasizing the correct keywords for searches. Are those keywords in the right place, with the right support so search engines will find them and provide your site the ranking it deserves? We hear a lot about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and people pay big bucks for it. SEO is pretty easy if you keep it in perspective:
- What is your main business and what are the words that prospects will use to search for that service or product. These words may not (and probably are not) the same words you would use, you are too close to the business. Ask others outside of your business what words they would use to search.
- Where are those words? Are they in the page titles of the page that best supports them? Does your site use the page titles appropriately? Many sites do not. Are the keywords supported by the content on that page?
- Do all of your graphics (illustrations and photos) make use of Alt Text?
Once a visitor arrives on your site, can they easily find the information they are seeking:
- Are your menu names descriptive and understandable by the general public? Do they adequately direct people on where to go to find the information people are most likely seeking?
- Avoid clever and/or hidden navigation. You may think it is cool but your visitors do not want to work to find information.
- Have a home button so people can easily find their way to the home page as many may not enter through the home page. Not everyone knows to click on the logo to go home and not every website is set up that way.
“Is your site easy to update? Do you update it enough?”
Websites are living and evolving promotional tools. The more you update your site, the more visitors will return to it and search engines will index it more frequently. A static website (one that is rarely updated) is seen as a dead entity and search engines will lower the ranking because it is viewed as providing little to offer the public.
- Fresh content means frequent visits from search engines and you will receive higher indexing.
- Quality is more important than quantity and updates just for updating. If you don’t have good, relevant information to support the theme or message of your site, don’t update. Low quality/filler information that are stuffed with keywords will do you no good. Search engines will penalize you for it.
- Updating a site 2 to 3 times a week is considered a frequently updated site. Even once a week or once every two weeks is good. Updates of once a month or less is considered infrequent and your search engine ranking will suffer.
My advice to clients about their websites:
- Make sure your content supports your page topic. Stay focused. Search engine algorithms are smart and they can access the relevancy of the page content to the page title. Make sure your content supports your page topic and your page title describes your page topic.
- Add a blog to share information and topics of interest that support your business. If you ever thought of doing a newsletter or find yourself wanting to share an article with your customers, you should start a blog. The best blogs are not written on a schedule but published when the author has found something interesting to share or important to say.
- Don’t use industry slang or company achronyms that the general public or your target audience may not be familiar with their use or meaning.
Other articles on the same subject:
There’s No Excuse for a Terrible Website in 2016 Posted on Inc.com BY LAUREL MINTZ
Founder and CEO, Elevate My Brand http://www.inc.com/laurel-mintz/25-reasons-your-website-needs-an-upgrade.html
5 Reasons Why Fresh Content is Critical for Your Website and SEO
Posted under All About Blogging on Mar 24 2016 by Robin Burton http://seositecheckup.com/articles/5-reasons-why-fresh-content-is-critical-for-your-website-and-seo