As your online business or company website grows, you need to start performing regular internal website reviews. It’s no different from having a physical retail location where you would need to constantly reposition your products, check your inventory, and change up the store’s interior design. Here is a handy seven-point checklist that will help you go through the most important aspects of your website.
1. Backup Your Website
One of the worst things that can happen is losing all your website’s files due to a server crash. You need to setup an ongoing schedule of backing up your website so that you are protected. How often you should back up depends on how much you update your site. If you add a lot of content to your website over the period of a month, you should back it up monthly. Otherwise, every three months should do.
2. Revisit Your Website Design
The look of your website says a lot about your business. You want to come back to your web design if you’ve had it done a long time ago. Even if the visual presentation still seems up to date, you need to look at other aspects of your websites such as the typography (there is an amazing amount of beautiful fonts available now for the online use, that we didn’t have just couple years ago) formatting, site structure, sitemaps and most importantly conversion paths.
3. Optimize for Usability and User Interface
Your usability and user interface has a direct impact on how well your website performs. The thing you need to know about usability and user interface is that you can always test out new setups against your current control to see if you can come up with something that’s better. There is also Google A>B testing tool available thru Google Analytics, you should take advantage of that.
4. Look for Errors
Broken links, unviewable images, problematic scripts, and forms that don’t function are all examples of technical problems that affect your website’s performance. Simple programs can be used to quickly spot these technical errors so that you can fix them. Additionally, go thru as many pages on your site yourself by hand, this will put you in user perspective, analyzing page content and usability.
5. Check for Security Holes
Figure out what files and pages of your website you want to lock from public view and make sure that you have them properly secured. Also, make sure that the platform you’re using is updated so that security loopholes cannot be exploited. Popular platforms such as WordPress, Magento, Drupal, and Joomla are in constant development, release security patches regularly.
6. Content Audit
If you’re going to publish a lot of content for your website, you need to perform a content audit every few months so that you don’t repeat the same topics. Running an audit will let you know what kind of content you’ve already produced and what kind of content would be great for future updates. It will help you also analyze what content is successful with respect to SEO, sales conversion, shareability, etc. Also very important is to analyze your services and offerings pages, making sure that your business offline is in sync with your business online, not only in regards to adding new services that your company added to the menu but in regards to company voice and tonality.
7. Search Engine Friendliness
Do you have duplicate content listed in the search results? Are specific scripts causing problems for the search engine spiders? Is your on-page optimization the best it can possibly be? Go through all your pages every few months to ensure that they are properly set up for the search engines. Google Webmaster Tools will be your best bet for this task.