If you thought your office was the only part of your business in need of a spring cleaning, think again. Chances are your website hasn’t had a good sprucing up since the day you launched it, and while it may not be spring quite yet, now is as good a time as any to dust off the cobwebs and get your online presence spic and span.
From security issues to content that doesn’t fit your brand anymore, here are the 9 most important ways to spring clean your website.
1. Confirm that it works on all browsers
Is your website easily accessible to all of your potential visitors? Not if it doesn’t display correctly on all of the major browsers. Try loading it on different browsers than you normally use and pay close attention to how quickly it loads, how the images and text appear, and whether your forms and popups work correctly. If you’ve incorporated video into your website, does it still play correctly?
Next, make sure that it displays correctly on the mobile versions of those browsers. Start with the mobile browser that you use most often, then download other browser apps as needed to thoroughly test your website.
2. Update your content
One of the most impactful ways to spring clean your website is to declutter your content. Comb through your site page by page and make note of anything that needs to be removed or edited.
For instance, you may need to remove team members who have left the company from your About page, update the phone numbers on your contact page, or revise your company mission to align with a new shift in direction. If you have old blog posts that no longer apply to the services you offer or the audience you serve, delete them. If your service and product pages still include things you no longer offer, bring them up to date.
Most importantly, proofread. Nothing makes your website copy look sloppier than spelling and grammatical errors. Cleaning these up not only makes your site look tidier, but can make your business look more credible as well.
3. Check for broken links
Everyone knows the frustration of clicking an exciting link and being met with a 404 page. But broken links aren’t just disappointing for your site visitors. They’re also a lost opportunity for your company.
So the next task on your spring cleaning checklist is to scour your website for broken links. This is especially important if you deleted any content during the previous step.
You can check for broken links manually if your site has only a few pages, but for larger sites, this can be incredibly time-consuming, and it comes with a pretty hefty margin of error.
Instead, we recommend using a free broken link checker to do the heavy lifting for you. These tools quickly scan your site for broken links and tell you where they are and what they’re supposed to link to. All you have to do is update your content with the correct URLs.
4. Look for new internal linking opportunities
Now that you’ve gone through your website copy with a fine-tooth comb and repaired all broken links, it’s time to take one more pass back through your content. This time, look for places where you can add more internal links, or links that lead to other pages on your site.
For example, can you link to newer blog posts in your older ones? Have you published new case studies that would complement any of your service pages? If different members of your staff take turns writing your blog content, can you link to the topics they cover in their About page bio?
Internal links are important because they provide added value to your website visitors, encouraging them to browse deeper into your site. They can also help Google determine which pages are important even if they’re not in your main navigation.
5. Review your media
If you’ve been reading our blog for very long, you already know how important it is to include media items like photos and video. These visuals keep your visitors engaged and reading, and can be a great way to add more information (and value) and solidify your brand aesthetic.
But sometimes these media items don’t display on your page correctly. Maybe the size is off, or maybe a link is broken and preventing the image from showing up.
To your visitors, this seems as though you don’t care about the impression your company makes. And if you don't’ care about that, it stands to reason that you don’t care about them as customers, either.
We know that isn’t true, but the important thing is that they do, too.
So while you’re spring cleaning your site, double check that all of your media displays and functions correctly. You should also make sure that all of your images and videos have meta descriptions and alt tags, which will help Google’s crawlers identify what’s on that page.
6. Evaluate calls to action
Some of the most important pieces of copy on your website are your calls to action, or CTAs. These are the snippets of text that urge your visitors to request a quote, purchase an item, sign up for a service, join your email list, etc.
The problem is that the more times your visitors see the same CTA, the less effective it becomes. They grow immune to the message because they know what it says and they know what action it’s urging them to take.
If it’s been a while since you updated your CTAs, take the opportunity now to evaluate them. Do they still evoke the same response you intended? Is there a more effective way you can word them, or do you need to direct them to a different action? Is there a better place on your website that you can position them?
Updating your CTAs could be just the thing you needed to elicit a better response from your audience. And if you need more help with your CTAs, we’ve written a full blog post about them here:
7. Convert to HTTPS
While you’re on the cleaning kick, take some time to clean up your site security.
Security and data privacy have been top of mind for most consumers for the past several months, thanks to several data breaches at major companies that made national headlines last year. Now, 85% of people will not continue browsing if a site is not secure.
That’s a chunk of traffic that we bet you can’t afford to lose, so now the ideal time to upgrade to an SSL-encrypted URL.
8. Renew your domain and hosting
There’s nothing worse as a website owner than letting your domain or hosting expire, especially when you just put in all that effort to spruce it up. An out-of-commission website can cost you thousands in lost sales, even if you’re able to get it back up and running quickly.
That’s a risk we recommend you don’t take. Log into your web host now and verify that your billing information is still correct and that your domain and hosting are set to automatically renew.
This only takes a couple of minutes to do, and will save you a ton of time and headache in the long run.
9. Freshen up your design
One of the best ways to clean up your website is to freshen up the design a bit, especially if it’s been a couple of years since you change its look.
White or empty space, bold colors, and clean fonts and imagery all help to make your site feel more modern and less crowded, which can go a long way toward convincing a new customer to do business with you. If your website doesn’t include at least one of these, it may be due for a springtime facelift.
Let's get your website looking its best
Need help tidying your website and getting it ready for spring visitors? We can help. Our team here at Trajectory Web Design includes experts in design, development, and copy — everything you need to take your website to the next level. Together, we’ll help you declutter your online presence so that visitors can easily see what’s most important: the care that you give your customers.
Read to take the next step? Contact us to tell us about your project.