With the holiday season in full swing, it's a perfect time to review some simple items that can have a huge impact on how people see your brand online.
The amount of time you could spend on this depends on how active you are on the site and how often updates are made. c-Seven is offering a review package for the months of December and January that will include these items, taking anywhere from 1-3 hours .
1) How healthy are your site links?
Sounds really simple, but one of the top reasons people get frustrated and leave a site is because they click an important link and get sent to a 404 page. Its simple to identify and fix this common problem, all you need to do is navigate your site like a regular user and click as many links as you can!
Its also a good idea to comb the content and see where you can link up certain words to other pieces of content. Doing this can greatly improve usability and help move visitors to content areas you want them to focus on, contact us being a prime example.
2) How fresh is the content on your site? Old events, year old blog posts?
“I wonder if this company is still in business” is a line you never want a potential customer to say. If you have something on your homepage that has a date older than 6 month old, it might be time to remove or update that content.
Important items to look for are images promoting an event that's passed, a call to action to purchase a product that's no longer available, or even very old blog posts. If you are no longer updating your blog and the content is no longer relevant, it better the blog is removed instead of being left as is. If the blog post is still valid content and won't go stale over time, ask us about removing the date display.
3) Have you started using social media but have not let your site users know?
As you know, social media is an important part of digital marketing and can give you direct contact with your followers. It's more important than ever to setup an ecosystem of content to power your brand, using these platforms in harmony with each other. Accomplish this by making sure your social media links and widgets are present on your website, and always promote your website on your social media channels.
4) Are people contacting you in the right way? Is it doing everything it should for you?
Another simple but very important update, almost all sites we study have this page (or one like it) near the top of their overall site traffic. It's not only important that all your contact information is up to date (phone numbers, address, contact form submission email, etc) but also that its collecting the information you need.
Think about what you consider important information and add it to your contact form, things like “What services are you interested in?” or “When would you like to start your project?”. People who are interested in your services will spend the time to provide what they're looking for.
If you’ve added your questions and find you’re form is too large, setup a second version like we did (http://www.c7.ca/contact-us) This gives users the option to ask a simple question like “is your CMS secure?” (the answer is yes it is) or fill out a more involved form so when we speak with them, we already have a better idea about what they would like to accomplish with us.
Although not as important as the top of the site, the bottom should be high on your priority list, it's on every single page! The footer is a prime example of a place where broken links can live or old dates can show (copyright 2013 brings up the “are they still in business” question from earlier).
Review the footer area, and think about how its on every page, maybe there’s something that can be added to boost thats items exposure? A testimonial or a link to learn more about a promotion would fit great in most footers.
6) Do you have all your social media handles? Protect your brand.
Even if you don't want to post on twitter, stop other people from taking it. Your brand is how customers recognize you, in the past a sign at your office and your logo on a business card were all you really needed. With the world getting smaller and smaller, more and more overlap of company names happens (looking at you C7 Data Centers Utah) so it's incredibly important to get your social media handles locked down as soon as possible, even if you aren't planning on using them right away.
Going back to point number 3, you may need to use a variations of your brand's name. This makes it even more important to have a social media presence on your site, so people know what account is yours.
7) How does your site look on a phone? How about a tablet or a smart fridge?
The days of most people looking at your site on a desktop or laptop are long gone, and that's a great thing. Now that people are no longer confined to their desk, they can look at your website on their phone in a coffee shop, their tablet on a train, or even a smart fridge while they cook dinner.
Responsiveness is not only important for your user experience, but google actually penalizes websites in their search results if the site is not mobile friendly.
If you reviewed your site on one of these devices and didn’t like what you saw, please email us and we would be happy to review your options for making your site responsive.
8) Is your branding correct and current? Have you recently upgraded to a new logo or changed to a new tagline?
With so many places to update, it seems that often time there is a lot of focus on updating the more difficult items like business cards and flyers instead of the easiest items like social media channels, your newsletter, and your website. Brand consistency is key and if you made these changes, make sure it's consistent everywhere online as these are the easiest places to update.
9) How much do you know about your users interaction with you online?
Knowledge is a really powerful tool, the more you know about your customers the better you can serve and interact with them. Mantis comes bundled with powerful server based analytics but you also have the ability to add in a google analytics account as well for deeper reporting and comparison purposes. Want more information about your social media followers? We have a tool for that as well.
10) All these items are important but they take time, why not have us take care of them for you?
We’re offering a review package to help get you started on the right foot in 2016. With the review package, our team will go through and update all the items in this list, as well as consult on any updates needed to make your site responsive.
Depending on your site, this can take anywhere between 1-3 hours ($100/hr) and we’ll help make sure your website is the best it can be.