No one would argue that a website is an essential component of any new business. Even my grandmother has a website! Yet for so many organizations they completely ignore their site after spending gobs of hours to build it, completely forgot about like Woody from Toy Story. Don’t do it! Don’t be that organization everyone sneers at because you’ve neglected your site. Take a few steps to keep everything looking good!
*As a side note, if you’re having technical issues with the site, check out our post on website maintenance. Maintenance fits into spring cleaning of a technical nature.
To begin with, just read through your site. If possible, have people read through the site who didn’t create the content. It’s a great project for any new hire – helps get them up to speed on your organization and keeps them busy that first week when you’re trying to remember why you hired someone for their position to begin with. It’s not always exciting, but it’s worth doing. Things to be on the lookout for include:
- Grammatical errors – Look, their are thymes we muse up that has nothing to do with dad spelling. Having someone copy edit is always important.
- Context clues – Does your content make sense? Or was it written from the perspective of a staff person who already knows everything? Writing the content for someone who knows nothing about your organization is a challenge, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
- Updated references – Nothing like a letter from your President saying how excited they are to see everyone at the Orlando Conference… in 2007. Unless you’re the Time Research Association and you deal with time travel, that’s probably not going to get anyone very excited. About your organization, staff bios, and FAQ pages can easily become outdated. Update them.
Things can get old, and on the internet if your site somehow qualifies as an antique, that isn’t likely to get you any additional value. At the same time, building a new website can take a lot of time and money. Instead, consider finding ways to refresh your content.
- Rewrite static pages – Many of the same pages that can end up with old references are also the ones that never get refreshed. Consider having someone take the time to re-write some of those pages, or at least add in some newer references.
- Update media – If your photos and video remind you of these, you may need to update them. The great thing is we live in a time of excessive content. Getting new photos of your organization doesn’t require a professional photographer at your event or in your office. Have a photo scavenge hunt as a team building activity, then take the photos and use them on your site. That’s what we call #winning.
- Speed it up – If you’ve been adding lots and lots of content on specific pages, especially your home page, you might want to test the load time. If the page scores poorly, look to improve the speed by removing content or reducing image sizes.
Yes, everything on your website is super important and there is nothing you would ever take off. Or is it? In the process of reading through your site, there will likely be a few things you can just remove.
- Great idea…that didn’t work – History is filled with ideas that didn’t work out. Like that section of your site where people could post their questions and you would engage them in a lively conversation…and you got one question in the past two years. If the section isn’t being used, you might consider getting rid of it. This also applies to features that were SO IMPORTANT on your old site so they were added to your current site, but now no one uses them. They gots-to-go!
- Consolidate duplicate pages – Great minds think alike, and sometimes that can result in those great minds each creating their own “About” page with nearly identical content. Combine that content into a single page and save yourself the hassle of having to update multiple pages.
- Remove unnecessary steps – There are times when a website gets a little over designed. Like when a customer has to click through 5 pages if they want to register for an event. You think you’re providing them with more information, but in fact you’ve made things more complicated. If there are ways you can simplify the user experience, go for it.
- Archive it – Pages that don’t get a lot of action may not be worth keeping. Take a look at your site analytics, and if there are pages that no one has looked at in the past year, they may be worth taking down. Similarly, if there are content pages that have very high bounce rates that people don’t spend much time on, you may be better off getting rid of the page and instead directing them towards content your analytics favor.
So hopefully this gave you a few ideas on ways to try and address your site. Have any questions on how to improve your website? Contact us at [email protected] and we’d be happy to help!
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