Websites are increasingly important to your daily business operations. Even if you consider yourself primarily a brick and mortar type of business, your website is an important extension of your business image on the World Wide Web. Businesses today simply cannot meet their full potential without an effective website.
However, there is perhaps one thing worse than having no website at all. That’s having a website that’s out-of-date, ineffective, or out of touch with your target audience. With that in mind, it’s vital for business owners to conduct regular self-audits to ensure your website is not only operating well, but also delivering the message you want to send about your business.
How to Check Your Website for Problems?
You should check your website often for a few key problems. In fact, there are some things you should check weekly and other issues you should check monthly and quarterly in order to keep things running smoothly.
Weekly checks should include link checks where you go onto your website and randomly click a few links to make sure none are broken or, somehow, misdirected. You should also set aside time to read the Google Webmaster report each week. It’s a free report that provides you with valuable SEO (Search Engine Optimization) information and other relevant information regarding your site. Finally, you should look for viruses on your site on a weekly basis.
Monthly checks should be a little more involved and include things like testing any web forms you have set up, testing your shopping cart, and testing the speed at which various pages on your site load. If pages are loading slowly, you’ll want to conduct a more thorough examination in search of methods to improve speed.
Quarterly tests should be performed to determine whether upgrades are required, change passwords and user names, and determine if the site needs to be updated for better performance with customers.
Website security is also essential to keep your website visitors and customers’ data safe, while cyber liability insurance keeps you protected.
What about Content?
Content, remains king of the Internet today and that is something that will isn’t going to change in the near future. Bad content sends a negative message about your business. Poorly written content, or content that is out of touch with your customers, also sends a negative message as does content that is out-of-date or recommends outdated technology and standards.
Use tools such as Google Analytics in order to see what content on your website is performing admirably, which content could use some improvement, and which content isn’t getting any traffic at all. Try to discover if there are ways to boost underperforming content and carefully consider whether or not you should get rid of content that isn’t getting any traffic at all.
Sometimes content that isn’t getting traffic at all is easy to repurpose or optimize for better results. At other times, it’s best to let it go and replace it with content that’s more appropriate for your audience and the performance of your website.
Don’t forget that content isn’t all about the written words on your site. Images, video, and audio are all important tools in today’s social media marketplace. Check them frequently to ensure they’re performing effectively and that links aren’t broken or redirected.
Your website is your virtual storefront. It provides Internet visitors a window into the heart and soul of your business. It’s vital to make sure your website is sending a good message to the World Wide Web about your business and what you have to offer.