Spring has sprung.
The snow has gone (at least we think), and people, plants, and animals are beginning to emerge from hibernation to step into the sun. And if you’re lucky enough to be in the DC area like us, it’s time to check out those incredibly amazing Cherry Blossoms!
We all are aware of spring cleaning for our homes. But this time of year is also a great time to do some spring cleaning for your website.
Here are our tips on how to do it:
Get rid of what’s R.O.T.ten.
Just like you remove spoiled food from your refrigerator, you should be doing the same with your website through a ROT Analysis. A ROT (Redundant, Outdated, and Trivial) analysis entails a full audit of your site’s content to determine what should be purged from your website. If you don’t have a content strategist who can dedicate time to this effort, consider completing a ROT for your homepage, and the top five most traveled pages on your website based on your analytics. We have done ROT assessments for sites that are 30 pages, and sites that are 20,000 pages. Let us help!
If your news section is promoting something that’s more than 90 days old, or you’re advertising an event that’s already occurred, it’s time to spruce up your news/events section of your website. Consider sharing a case study of a client you’ve served, the announcement of a new offering or product, or if you’re a non-profit, don’t underestimate the power of sharing a great story or testimonial. If you feel that it’s difficult to promote current, relevant news on your site, consider removing the News section, and instead, turn to social media to keep your audience abreast of your latest information.
Consider a Makeover:
In a previous post, we shared the difference between a full site redesign and a refresh. The spring is a great time to assess the look and feel of your website. Ask yourself and your team if the site’s design truly communicates the style and personality that you are intending to convey to your audience. If not, it may be time to do a light refresh of your homepage and frequently-traveled areas of your site.
Make 404s into 411s:
A site audit conducted in the spring can determine whether or not you have broken links on your site. Unavailable site content displayed through 404 page errors will do nothing but lead to site abandonment as well as poor SEO results. Identify the broken pages and work with your site’s administrator to correct them.
Spring cleaning for your website must include a look at your mobile presence too. Is your site truly responsive? If you have a unique mobile site, has the content been updated?
GPS for your Site:
During a website redesign, we focus in on strong navigation throughout the site. But after a site, it’s easy for web administrators to create links within content which is great for SEO, but the main and sub navigation should also be adjusted from time to time to ensure that your audience can find your vital content through both search and navigation.
Spring cleaning should include imagery too. Your web launch may have included an array of stock images which are now consider outdated, or off-brand. One thing we often notice in site assessments are images that include dated technology such as older versions of smartphones or gasp, flip phones. Speaking of stock images, think about investing some time and budget into having some professional photos taken. Audiences have grown very savvy to stock imagery and may cause them to view your brand as lacking authenticity. Try employing talented members of your staff and audience to provide real, candid photos for your website that truly reflect what you do and the people you serve.
Make the Call on Call to Actions:
It’s easy for a website to tell someone to buy now, or donate now, but does your website really make it possible to do this? Caught in the Web Consulting recently tested six political campaign websites (on both sides of the political aisle) to see how easy it was to donate $10.00 to their campaign. The results varied from extremely seamless, to – wow- we still can’t believe we couldn’t give… If you’re not sure what it takes to make a good donation page for your non-profit, check our past blog post for our tips.
Testing 1, 2, 3:
During the spring season, take some time to test what truly works on your website. Go beyond analytics and conduct vital A/B testing. For example, which rotator/carousel treatment gets more click-thrus: One with a picture of your CEO, or a more emotional one with a picture of a family? What gets more clicks: Donate Now, or Support Our Troops? What gets more downloads: A PDF or a video recap of our latest testimony to Congress? This information will be a critical driver in solidifying your comprehensive website strategy.