Spring cleaning for your website

Photo courtesy of scottchan of freedigitalphotos.net
Photo courtesy of scottchan of freedigitalphotos.net

There’s something about that rejuvenating feeling of spring that inspires people to clean up and de-clutter. Getting rid of the old, opening up the windows and letting fresh air in, and making changes for the better – for many, it’s an annual and welcome tradition.

If you’re like many business owners, your virtual presence could benefit from some spring cleaning as well. Here are a few ways to apply that same outlook to your website.

Getting rid of the old

Your website is a perfect place to announce time sensitive information: sales, news, product updates, new inventory. But key to this is keeping your news current.  How often have you arrived at a website to see old news, or worse, news that’s not dated, leaving you wondering if it’s relevant or not?

Take your news out the very day it becomes irrelevant. Even if you didn’t specifically state a date, but you’ve referenced something that has since passed – a building renovation or office move, for example – take it out, or replace it with something fresh.

Let in some air

People have little patience when it comes to reading. They want to be able to quickly scan something, get the information they need, and get on their way.

Do your visitors a favor and let some air into your website.  Look it over for dense paragraphs, lengthy text, or pages that require excessive scrolling before you get to the point. Break these things up: use  lists or bulleted items, insert more sub-headers, add visuals,  or, simply use fewer words.

A reader who arrives to find open, airy text is more likely to try to read it, while a text-heavy, dense site may be quickly abandoned.

De-clutter

When you finally get  a chance to clean out a closet or junk drawer, you probably ask yourself: “When did I put this here? I didn’t even know I had this.”  That fresh eye you bring with cleaning causes you to view things more objectively.

Web sites are also prone to clutter – but it’s visual clutter. A piece of news is quickly squeezed into an existing page, a logo for a new partnership hastily inserted. Different authors add content, and each section looks and reads very differently. Text is bolded or highlighted in an effort to draw attention. Soon, your site is confusing and distracting.

You may have excellent content, but if your visitors are put off by too much clutter, they’re not going to stick around long enough to read it.

Make way for the new

As your business evolves, employees come and go, new partnerships are formed, and product inventory changes. Bios of long-standing employees become outdated, new skills slip through the cracks. Review your site and make sure it reflects the most current information.

While you’re cleaning up your website, make sure you look at other profiles you have on social media, and make sure your entire virtual presence is current and polished.