Housecleaning Your Way to Better Marketing
By Patrick Negrini
The Website Maintenance Checklist
Your website is the engine of your digital marketing activities. As such, it’s important to keep it well-tuned and oiled. For this week’s post, I’ve focused my checklist on website performance and user experience. As always, I’ve tried to concentrate on activities that a savvy marketer could likely handle themselves, with a bit of Googling.
Website Self-Help Checklist
Check Your Site Speed
Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool is all you need to get started. You may be overwhelmed by some of the technical lingo, but some quick research will help you solve the issues highlighted by the tool. The most common (and easily fixable) speed bumps are images that are too large for a web format.
Check for Broken Links
These are more common than you might think, especially with older websites (2+ years). Broken internal links make for an incredibly frustrating user experience.
If you have a subscription to Screaming Frog, this tool is great at tracking down broken links. If not, Xenu’s free Link Sleuth tool is a good fallback option.
Check Your Conversion Process
Pick a persona and act like you’re a prospective customer, hungry for a chance to solve a major issue you’re having.
- Start on the homepage. Can you quickly and easily understand what the company has to offer?
- Is it intuitive where you should go to learn more about how this company can help solve your problem?
- As you’re conducting your research, is there an easy way to engage and learn more?
- How much information are you willing to give this company in exchange for that engagement?
- Once you engage, is it clear what is the next step?
If you run into issues with any of these steps, document it and continue through the journey. Then start again from the beginning and brainstorm ways to overcome these issues.
Update Your CMS and Plugins
Outdated CMS and plugin versions can cause a whole host of issues with your website, including security concerns and broken functionality. Log in to the CMS and check to see if everything is up to date. If not, do some quick research (Googling) to see how extensive the update process would be to the newest version. Most plugins should not require a developer, but if your CMS needs to be upgraded, it’s best to talk to one.
How’s Your Mobile?
Since “The Year of Mobile” was first introduced nearly a decade ago, it’s extremely important to have a website that functions as well on a mobile device as it does on a desktop computer.
Use Google Analytics to see the most popular device sizes of users accessing your website. Do any of them have higher-than-average bounce rates or low conversion rates?
This fix definitely requires a developer, but coming to the table with a very specific game plan of what is broken will help shave off some hours.
The importance of having a strong digital presence during a global pandemic is obvious. By following these points, you can turn knowledge into action.
If you would like to talk more about improving your digital presence, or want to geek out over Zoom about the latest UX trends and SEO algorithm changes, feel free to reach out.