Does your website need an annual check…. a website MOT?
Every year our cars have an MOT test; to check vehicle safety, exhaust emissions, and overall roadworthiness to help improve road user safety. Why not think of your website like your car? It has lots of technical (not mechanical) parts that need maintaining and updating. On a car you would change your brake pads from time to time and check the oil and carry out other maintenance work. So what about your website? How about spending a bit of time making sure it is working well and it going to be able to get you or your business from A to B, metaphorically speaking of course.
Give your website an ‘Annual Health Check’
A bit like you might do to get your car ready for winter, why not get your website ready for the year ahead?Many people have a website built and then don’t really look at it or do anything with it for quite a long time, sometimes a few years. As long as it seems to be bringing in the business, or you are too busy working to think about it, it is easy to ignore.
What checks should I carry out on my website from time to time?
Take time to carefully read all the text
Do your web pages have good text? Does it reflect your business now?
Take time to readall of your text. Is it still appropriate and suitable for what you do and how your business operates now?
Are there any new products or services?
If so, they probably need their own page, rather than a paragraph being tacked on at the end of an existing page. Having a new page for this new service or product is good for SEO too. But remember to link to it from other pages and add good titles that have your keywords in as well as using unique pictures where possible and trying to get a good amount of text. Search engines like lots of text.
Have there been any changes to staffing?
You might need to update staff photos, job roles and descriptions. If a website editor or administration has left, make sure you have deleted their account so they cannot access the website or staff resources.
Do any of the photos need refreshing or updating?
If you site was built with stock photography for the initial build you may now be in a position to hire a photographer or take your own photos that can be used on the site.
Check your contact form
Are you certain is is all working well and delivers to your email account? As software changes and security improves you may find the messages could be rejected by some inboxes that are not on the same server or end up in junk mailbox folder
Is there anything you can add to the contact form that may make life easier? Are you collecting phone numbers as well as email addresses? A standard WordPress contact form doesn’t always add this. Would it help if you asked for an indication of intent of contact form e.g. do they want a quote, a particular service or just have a question?
Do you have new testimonials?
If you have been collecting new testimonials on Google or Check-a-trader etc make sure you add some or all of these to your website. There are widgets that can do this automatically too, to save you manually doing it , they can pull in your new reviews within hours to save you doing this. It is also a great way of building trust as it is through a third party and so you can’t just make them up yourself.
Do you have any broken links?
Check especially external links that go to other websites, especially to blog pages andaccreditations / certifications. Broken links can affect your ranking and harm SEO by showing search engines that your website is old and outdated.
New Social Media Accounts?
Do you have any new social media links that you can add to your site. Got a new TikTok account that needs adding? Add it in, but also do check your existing Social media links still work.
Can you add anything to your website that could save you time?
Do people frequently ask you the same questions? If yes, add an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section to save you and a potential client in asking and answering e.g. Opening hours, terms and condition? Services?
Would adding a job application page help so new job seekers know the process and have access to the forms they need to fill in to apply to work for your business?
What new features can be added?
With the ever evolving technology there will always be new things to add. Have you considered adding a chat box? Maybe one that uses your WhatApp account ?Or an Exit pop-up which appears as they are about to leave your website? Are you interested in linking up your shop with your accountancy package?
Is your site secure well protected and licences renewed?
Take time to check if your site is protected by an SSL certificate if it does your url starts https:// and has the padlock in the address bar. Check is has software that is up to date and licences that have been renewed. Is it on a good server and your site is backed up regularly. Generally speaking the cheaper the hosting package the less likely it is to keep everything ‘shipshape and Bristol Fashion’.
Check the competition!
Who are your competitors, are there any new ones? What do they do and offer that you don’t. It is a bit like keeping up with the Jones’. But if they are doing it, maybe you should be too?
Check how you appear on Search engines
Search for your company, yourself, or a product for service. Do you appear high up?
Is the information correct? Do you appear in the Maps and are these details correct? (Google My business) e.g. Opening hours, map pin, website link, Is it time to add some new photos, services or products on your Google my business account?
Collect the Statistics. How many visitors are you getting?
Are you collecting statistics about the number of visitors (Google Analytics) to inform you of how your website is doing and which pages are most popular , which countries look at your website etc. A little bit of tracking code on can collect this information and while you might not want to know now, it could be useful in the future.
Give your site a little TLC with a website MOT
Hopefully this have given you a few things to consider. Like most things in life, everything benefits from a bit of TLC. Get in touch if you want help to give your website an MOT or simply want to rev up your sales.