Given that websites play such a large marketing role for most small businesses, many entrepreneurs are intimidated by the task of maintaining their own websites.
In fact, the best thing you can do for your website is make it useful, up-to-date and easy to navigate. Ask yourself: What are my customers coming to my website for and can they find it? Once they’ve been on it, will they want to come back?
Here are six steps you can take to ensure people enjoy visiting your site:
1. Read through your website. Check that the information is current. Do you refer to a new product as “coming soon in 2015”?
2. Check your links. Click on every link you find. Does it go somewhere that makes sense—or anywhere at all?
Look for places where links could be added. Instead of telling people to navigate to the Shoes section under the Products tab, provide a link to exactly where they should go. Better yet, make the text of your links descriptive (e.g. buy red leather shoes instead of click here to shop for shoes) so search engines know what is on the page.
3. Review your “About Us” page. Make sure it includes who you are, who you help, what your company does for them (i.e. the problem you solve) and how. What sets you apart from your competitors?
4. Verify your contact information. Ensure that your address, email, phone number, and business hours are current and easy to find. While you’re at it, set up a free Google My Business page so people can access this key information right in their search results. If you’re active on social media, make it easy for people to connect with you.
5. Archive or delete old pages. You don’t want visitors to have to scroll through endless pages of e-Newsletters to find what they’re looking for.
6. Update photos. If you don’t have a photo budget, check out this blog for how to legally use images off the internet. Just make sure you don’t bog down your site with a bunch of large photo files.
While website professionals can offer great technical, design and content advice, don’t assume that you need to defer all changes to them. Don’t let your website become outdated or stagnant just because you don’t have the budget to pay a developer. Maintenance doesn’t have to be complicated, just consistent!
Chaunda Honkonen is the Marketing & Communications Coordinator for Women’s Enterprise Centre, based in our Kelowna head office. She has an Arts degree from UBC Okanagan and an Honours BBA degree from the Okanagan School of Business. In her role as Marketing Coordinator, Chaunda provides writing, design and implementation support for WEC promotional activities via many channels throughout the province.