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Website Spring Cleaning

April 24, 2009

Women entrepreneurs get so busy during the year attending to client projects, creating innovative services, and searching for new customers, we sometimes forget to spend time “spring cleaning” some of our current materials, offices, and policies.  Recently Veronika Freeman, a woman entrepreneur from the Mohawk Valley region who runs Dotcalm and Stress Free Design (http://www.StressFreeDesign.com), provided excellent tips on spring cleaning a website. Take some time this month to follow some of her excellent advice.

Check Out Five Competitors Websites:  They don’t have to be local, just businesses doing the same things as you. Have a good look at the inforamation they give to their customers, and what features your website could incorporate.

Update/Review Your Content: Make sure to review every word of your website and check to make sure it is still relevant. Check all your outgoing links to make sure someone’s elses site has not changed links and created a broken link.  Make sure you are still speaking to the right customer market.

Start a New Website Section:  Add a blog, forum, quiz, survey, tips section…anything to keep it new and fresh.

Change Your Look: Websites change their designs too infrequently. Consider changing your online image every second year. Just keep your navigation similar so people don’t get confused.

Sell Something:  Start generating a revenue stream through your website if you don’t already. Service-based businesses can create an e-book or extension of their current services.

Passwords – Do you have them? Do you need to change them?

Domain Names:  Make sure you know when they expire and register them for longer periods of time if you can.

404 Pages: – Do you have customized 404 or general error pages? If something’s broken, these can help people stay within your website, even if they happen to stumble upon something that is no longer there or was never there in the first place.

Are You Using Your Images –  If you need to clear away some disk space, then look at which images you are or are not using and clear some away. Keep your images fresh too.

Check Your Metatags and Keywords – By reviewing your SEO efforts, you can create an opportunity to priortize and focus on keywords that have the most potential to deliver the greatest results.

Review, Test and Reconsider Your Contact Form –  Often, the only thing standing between you and a valuable lead is a cumbersome contact form. Make sure your contact form is easy to find. Is the information being asked really necessary, or can it be trimmed down? Do you automatically and immediately receive a professional and engaging messsage from the attendant? Get clear about what fields are required and why. Confirm who receives the form, who responds to the form, and in what time frame.

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