The birds are chirping, the grass is turning green and the sun is shining. Spring is here!
For me, spring not only brings with it sunshine and fresh air, but also thoughts of spring cleaning. It’s the time of year I go through all of my belongings and take boxes of donations to Goodwill, swap out my clothes for lighter, more colorful spring clothing and deep clean my home.
Your website deserves the same spring cleaning treatment. Here are a few ways to get started:
1. Take the trash out. You get busy…really busy…and the act of cleaning up the files on your website takes a backseat. Take a deep breath, and dive right in. If it’s overwhelming to clean up files, just like it might be to clean out an entire closet, set aside 15-30 minutes to go through the files in your media library. Start by taking a look at duplicate files (maybe you tried uploading a file and got an error message and tried again, and then both ended up uploading) and getting rid of them. Then go through and see if there are any files that are three years old or older. Make sure they are still relevant, and if not, get rid of them. (As a side note: you should always have your files saved on a shared drive or locally. Don’t use your website for file storage.)
2. Update your look for spring. While it may not be a full wardrobe upgrade, take a look at your website and refresh the photos with some more current ones. It’s a small, but very noticeable refresh that keeps your site looking fresh. Whenever possible, use original photography, or when using stock photos, try not to use photos on the first two pages of popular stock photo sites like iStock, Adobe Stock or BigStock, as you don’t want to be wearing the same clothes that everybody else has this summer!
3. Check your links. Having outgoing links on your site is an important piece of the SEO puzzle, so go ahead and click on them and make sure they go where they are supposed to, as when other websites update, their URLs may change. Also check the links on your site that go to other pages on your site and make sure they all work as they should.
4. Update your case studies/portfolio. This one is the WORST, well, maybe just the hardest. It’s easy to get behind on, but keeping your case studies or a portfolio of your work updated is important for many reasons. It shows your potential customers that your work is current, relevant, and most importantly, REALLY good. Keeping the case studies or portfolio section of your site updated also shows Google you are updating your site, which is a win-win for SEO. You do great work, so make sure you show it off!
5. Customize your automations. Automated thank you and confirmation emails are expected with each form on your site. Take it a step further and make sure your automated emails maintain your brand voice and give your customers a chance to keep learning more about you. If they fill out a form to request more information, thank them AND give them a chance to sign-up for your email newsletter. While you’re at it, give them additional links to explore all of your offerings.
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Kayde Kempen has a bachelor’s degree in journalism, and previously worked at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh as an associate marketing manager where she served as a marketing project manager, writer, social media manager and web content specialist. During her five years at UWO, Kempen led nearly 90 website redesign projects. She has a Higher Education Experts certificate in Web Analytics for Higher Ed, and received a 2016 Platinum Hermes Creative Award for Integrated Marketing Campaign, a 2014 Platinum Hermes Creative Award for Overall Website in an Educational Institute and a 2012 Hermes Creative Gold Award for a microsite.