The start of a new year gives us the opportunity to step back, reflect, and see your website with a fresh perspective. Just as we make New Year’s resolutions for ourselves, the start of 2015 is a great opportunity to look at your website from your customer’s perspective, and perform a website health check.
Let’s examine 3 areas of your website to make sure it is meeting the customer’s needs.
With the start of a new year, some content on your site may have become outdated. Our focus is generally on the new content we produce. Take the time to walk through each of the key pages on the site, with your customer’s intent clearly in mind.
Here are some of the things to look out for:
- Phone / Fax numbers
- Address information
- Price lists / Menus / Schedules
- Copyright Information (Change to 2015)
- Outdated Specials & Deals
- Services you no longer offer
Look for any technical errors that may occur and refer to your web developer. Make sure to test things you may not have looked at in a while like promotional videos, or pdf downloads.
- Broken Videos
- Missing Images
- Multi Step forms
- Missing pages and downloads
In 2015, your site has to be mobile friendly. Make sure to test your site on the most popular Android and Apple devices.
Google has put a real emphasis on mobile in recent years, and has clear guidelines for mobile website usability. They have also added a Mobile Usability section to Google Webmaster Tools to highlight areas that need attention.
Sites that don’t provide a good user experience on mobile will suffer in search results.
Keep the user’s intent clearly in mind while checking the site. What information are they looking for right now?
- Phone Number
- Clearly visible without scrolling
- Click to call
- Address visible without scrolling
- Easy navigation, large buttons easy for touch screens
- Fast loading on a mobile
- Properly optimised images
Redirect visitors to the equivalent mobile page they clicked on in search results. A common mistake is to redirect all mobile searches to the homepage. This provides a bad user experience and will affect your visibility in search.
Make sure your website is secure. More and more sites today are being hacked by unscrupulous individuals in order to create links and spam pages on your site.
Here are some simple steps to increase your security:
- When was the last time you changed your passwords?
Passwords should be changed everytime an employee leaves, or you change service providers, they may have access. This includes:
- FTP and Hosting logins
- Keep CMS software and plugins up to date
Popular CMS systems are updated regularly to fix security holes. Using very old version of these can leave a back door for potential hackers
- CMS Systems like WordPress have plugins like Securi that can further harden security
- Consider using HTTPS in future. Google has indicated that they are looking to favour secure sites that use a security certificate.
- Check Googles index for spam pages.
Searching “site:www.yourwebsite.com” will reveal the pages that Google knows about your site. If you start seeing spam pages here, your site may have been compromised.
- Negative SEO
Competitors can sometimes try to discredit your site by pointing thousands of irrelevant links at your domain. These need to be “Disavowed” in Google Webmaster Tools to prevent any adverse effects to your rankings.
Sometimes it’s good to get a fresh pair of eyes on your site to see what may need updating. We have looked at 3 areas to review as we head in to the New Year.
Start 2015 off on the right foot by checking
- Content Accuracy
- Mobile Usability
See your website through the eyes of your customer, and make sure it’s a good experience.