If you’re a small business owner with limited staff and time, improving your web site may not be your first priority. But consider this: Current and prospective customers see your online presence as a reflection of you and how you do business. Mistakes, inaccuracies or outdated information can send a message that your company lacks attention to detail, ambition and/or the ability to do the job right. The truth is, you’re worse off having a dull, error-ridden or outdated web site than no web site at all.
Here’s the good news: If you can carve out 30 minutes, you can make sure your site meets some minimum standards customers expect to see. Here’s a checklist of quick, easy fixes:
[ ] Copyright date on the footer of your site. It should reflect the upcoming year.
[ ] Contact and support information. Check for any changes to be made in your company phone numbers, addresses and email.
[ ] Your list of company offerings. Did you add or discontinue products or services? Consider highlighting a bestseller from the last year or spotlighting an upcoming trend. Update and re-order your list accordingly.
[ ] Client and partner lists. Add any new companies or clients with whom you’ve conducted business.
[ ] Awards, endorsements and customer testimonials. You’ve been keeping track of accolades and great quotes from your happy customers, right? Post a few outstanding new reviews.
[ ] Social media channels. Is it time to delete the links to your social media accounts that you’ve let languish? Maybe you created a YouTube or Instagram account you should highlight instead. Make sure any links or buttons take visitors to fresh, compelling content. If not, remove the buttons from the site.
[ ] Check your links. Click through your entire site and test for broken or dead links.
Once you've nailed the basics, consider carving out time to tackle some of these bigger elements:
[ ] Your company story. Small businesses evolve, grow and hone their focus over time. How do you describe who you are and what you do? Is the story still accurate, concise and – most importantly – compelling? Telling your own story can be difficult; enlist the help of a talented, objective writer who can help bring your company's unique story to life.
[ ] Leadership bios. Ensure meaningful professional details are updated for your leadership team, including titles; volunteer and board experience; and recent keynote speeches and presentations. While you’re at it, update your LinkedIn profile, too.
[ ] Photos. Every year, make a point to refresh some of your web site images. Swap out office building shots, team photos, leader portraits and stock photos. If you don’t have quality, updated replacement images, schedule time with a professional photographer.
[ ] Blog and news pages. Take a good look at the existing pages of your web site that should be updated frequently. If you added content throughout the year, now is a good time to organize, archive, tag and cull content – to make it easy for readers to find what they need. If you had good intentions but haven’t touched it for months, consider retiring the page(s) until you have more time to make updates.
[ ] Overall site design and structure. If your site is difficult to navigate, doesn’t reflect your company well or doesn’t hold up compared to your competitors, then it’s hurting your business. Budget for a new online strategy in the coming year.