Web Site Tune Up – 4 C’s and an RBy
Is your web site ready to face the new year? Often times we get so caught up in the big picture and moving forward, that we forget to check up on our web sites. It’s the details that make can make the difference between a good user experience and one that leaves your potential customers/visitors feeling like there is something missing. I have put together a quick list of items you can use as a guideline for tweaking your web site.
Your desktop calendar knows its 2007, but does your web site? If you are just dealing with a blog, then you are probably just fine. But, if you have any traditional web sites, you need to check. Depending on how your site was created (and who did it), you may need to change a single file (like a PHP include), footer template or you may need to change each page by hand. It’s a subtle detail that lets your visitors know that your site is well maintained and current.
How can people do business with you if they can’t contact you?
- Is your contact information clearly posted on your site? If not, it needs to be.
- Create a contact page or put it in a footer at the very least. Double check existing contact information for accuracy – can’t tell you how many times I have changed my email address and forgotten to go change it on my site right away.
- Don’t make people fill out a form unless you have a really good reason. I, personally, don’t like having to give you my information just to talk with you.
Periodically give your website a once over for content accuracy. Do you still have Joe Associate’s bio on your site even though you haven’t had him on staff for six months? What about the client story from a client you no longer have a working relationship with? How about affiliate links to promotions they are no longer running? You get the idea.
This one goes along with the checking of content. Take a few moments and check your links. Make sure they still work. You could save yourself some embarassement. You wouldn’t want to find out that a link that once went to a client’s web site now points to a porn site! (true story)
Do you have a page on your site that you really don’t want people to find via the search engines? Examples would be an admin login page or maybe a page with just family photos you are sharing with your friends. Adding the meta tag robots with the noindex instructions is a quick way to indicate this for just one or two files. You can also have your robots index a page but not follow any of its links, too, using nofollow. The default setting is for the robots to index a page and follow the links, unless you code it otherwise.
Remember, your web site is a living, breathing document. In order for it to work for you, you have to work on it regularly.