As the temperatures begin to warm and we emerge from our metaphorical burrows, many of us embark upon the annual tradition that is spring cleaning.
Your business should take this time to reflect and tidy up its website as well.
As we all know, consumers are increasingly heading online to search for goods, services and make purchases.
You wouldn’t want to shop in a store that looks like it is managed by a hoarder or has a messy storefront, so why would you expect online consumers to be any different?
These next five suggestions will help you spring clean your website, ensuring a positive user experience for the rest of the year.
Avoid Link Rot
If you don’t do regular upkeep on your website, there is a chance that some of the links might not be working any longer.
This scenario, often referred to as link rot, can occur when your links point to a page, server or another resource that has become permanently unavailable (think blog posts or any pages that reference outside sources, especially).
Letting your links fall into disrepair is a tremendous trust-breaker for your users. Not only does this prevent you from sharing vital information with them, but it gives users the impression that you are not a reputable source of information.
If they feel that you aren’t responsible enough to maintain the links on your website, why would they believe you can fulfill their business requests?
Make a Commitment to Social Media
Social media presents businesses the opportunity to quickly and directly interact with customers and possibly, generate new leads.
Having a presence on the social media platforms that make sense for your business gives you a chance to make more of a personal connection with your users and encourages communication.
This is also another web property that could use a dusting when springtime rolls around. A quick check to make sure that messaging is consistent across all entities, contact information is up to date, calls-to-action are set up and making sure platform updates are acknowledged and taken into account will ensure a seamless, up to date experience for your users across the web.
Utilize Customer Feedback
If you’re not currently using the feedback you get from your customers (whether they’re in the form of testimonials, kudos via customer service emails or positive social media sentiments), taking advantage of the conversations already happening about your brand will do more to engender trust than self-aggrandizement and messaging.
Even a negative review or comment on your page can be helpful—it proves to users that you don’t moderate and manage feedback and in turn, gives you a chance to publicly respond with your point of view and expertise. This gives users the chance to pick a side themselves.
If you don’t already, offer your visitors a chance to give direct feedback – whether it’s via social media channels, a customer service email address or allowing them to comment on your blog posts.
Once they start rolling in, think about creative ways to use their words, whether it be through case studies and project summaries, calling them out in an email newsletter, or sharing and thanking them publicly on a social media platform.
Observe Spring Fashion
Believe it or not, observing spring fashion trends aren’t reserved solely for the clothing industry. Trends come and go in design and technology as well.
Be sure that you are working within the creative guidelines that are aligned with the current design and technology trends.
A few of the more popular themes for 2015/2016 include:
- Simplicity reigns supreme;
- Don’t bombard users with too much on-page text. Visuals can be helpful as long as they don’t pull users’ eyes across the screen too dramatically;
- Either commit to designing a video background for a range of devices or avoid that feature altogether. Users who visit your site from a mobile device may not be able to load and view the video as you intended, if at all. If you do decide to go with the auto-load video option, make sure to provide a static image as an alternative background to accommodate a variety of users and devices.
Update with Relevant Content
To be considered up-to-date and fresh, it is helpful to have a blog that provides users extra insight into your world.
A consistent stream of unique content gives your business a voice that users can connect with. It also serves as a great way to position yourself as a qualified source of industry-related news or opinion while giving your users an additional outlet to respond and interact.
Putting these spring cleaning chores on your company’s to-do list will ensure that your visitors have a better experience with your brand across platforms and devices.