It’s that time of year, when we take time to clear out closets, dispose of mismatched socks, reorganize the basement, mow the yard, and take inventory of things that could use a little sprucing up. Your website is no exception. The web changes at lightening speeds. An outdated design or website can have the same effect on a web visitor that no-running-water and broken windows have on a potential guest.. If you don’t give your website a good spring cleaning, you could be left in the dust.
Here’s 6 tips that will help you update your site this Spring
1. Get your design aligned with the times
In the early days of the internet there wasn’t a whole lot that could be done with website design. Design was flat, bold, and static. There were only a handful of fonts and colors available. As technology advanced in the early 2000s graphic designers were able to do more, but this ushered in a period of 3-D design aesthetics where everything always had to ‘pop’ right off the page, and this made for some rather gaudy looking websites. Fortunately, the latest design trends are much more subtle than either of the former periods. Use of flat design elements (not 3-D), large beautiful photos, and responsive site structure that adjusts to fit any sized screen, has ushered in a new era of some of the greatest looking websites you’ve ever seen.
If your website falls into either of the former categories, it’s time for an update. Try using one of HostBaby’s responsive backdrop templates and you’ll be amazed how great you look.
2. Remove outgoing links to websites that you don’t use
Are you still using Friendster or MySpace regularly? Probably not. Do you link to these sites from your website? If you do, it’s time to remove those links. Never send your website visitors to dead ends. Go through all the outgoing links on your site. For each one, ask yourself if you’re really offering your visitors value by sending them to the website in question. In most cases it’s usually better if they stay right where they are. Your website is where you want your audience to congregate. Don’t send your traffic off on a wild goose chase if you don’t have to.
3. Make sure you’re up-to-date
A common mistake I often see is an event calendar that either has no upcoming events or the last event was a few years previous. A blank calendar makes it look like you’ve got nothing going on. So if you have a calendar on your website, keep it up-to-date. Remember you can add more to your calendar than just public events. Adding release dates, birthdays, significant historical dates, or anniversaries can bring your calendar to life and make your fans feel included.
Also, make sure your last blog post wasn’t written in the dark ages. Update your blog regularly and your fans will be much more likely to return.
4. Update your “call to actions”
A call-to-action is simply when you ask your website visitors to do something.
Here’s a few call-to-action examples: Sign up to my email list, Buy this album, download this free track, check out my gallery, send me your requests.
Call-to-actions are very important. You want to make sure that you are guiding your visitors in the right direction. You also want to make sure that you’re not still encouraging your fans to download your 2013 Christmas cookie recipe. Update your call to actions so they represent your website goals are right now.
5. Give your site a copy makeover
It’s always good to update your website copy–especially your website bio–once a year. This way you can keep your important details current. It’s also always helpful to get another pair of eyes on the content you’ve written on your website. We all make grammar mistakes now and again, and it’s worthwhile to have a friend or colleague go over your copy and make some suggestions for improvement.
6. Double check your contact info
One of the biggest and easiest mistakes to make is to have outdated contact info on your website. Don’t miss out on important opportunities simply because nobody could get a hold of you. Check the phone numbers, email addresses, and contact forms on your website. Make sure they all go to the right place!
Do you have any spring cleaning website tips? Let us know in the comments below!