Advice from the Web Coach

Web Coach Tip: Top 10 New Years Resolutions for Your Website
by: Donna Payne

January — time for serious housekeeping and a website annual health checkup! As we make resolutions for ourselves, we can’t leave our website un-healthy a minute longer! You may not even realize your site is ailing.

Sick websites are just like sick people. They’re not as productive or functioning as they normally are. Broken links and outdated info compare to a sore throat and nagging cough. Ignored and left untreated will eventually lead to bigger problems ahead.

So prepare to take notes while you read this article. Print this out and grab a pen & paper, I’ll wait.

1. Remove outdated events or expired offers.

Nothing is more unprofessional than outdated info. Ie, Sign up for our August Super Conference. Either revised it, or delete it. As you prepare for 2006 include your “still on the burner” projects on your site. Give your visitors something to look forward to.

2. Update client testimonials and completed projects.

Let the world know how busy you’ve been and what you’ve been up to. If you’ve not been so productive – make it look like you are – new clients are attracted and want to work with successful “happening” people.

3. Move a successful product or service to the front page.

Make it a feature product and run a “special” for the month. Then next month, swap it out for another service or product. Take the time now to plan your “specials” for the next 6 months, or better yet – for the whole year!

4. Have your products or services morphed into a life of their own?

What I mean is, look at your navigation – do these categories still apply? (ie. About us, web development, business solutions, etc.) Break out an item worthy of standing on it’s own into your navigation menu. Your customers will thank you for bringing your goodies out of hiding.

5. Got an updated photo of yourself? Or is it time to make an appointment with the photographer? Enough said… just do it.

6. Check your auto-responders. ALL of them.

Test the entire series by sending to yourself and scouring over each with a fine tooth comb. Prepare to update your copy.

7. Review your Pricing.

Do you have unnecessary services listed you can delete? A new service you can add? This is also good time to do a rate change.

8. Revisit your pre-contact Assessments and Questionnaires.

Did you notice questions that went unanswered more often than others? Perhaps re-wording the question or deleting it all together would be wise.

9. Double check your contact info.

Include your instant message (IM) id’s or modify your business hours. Add your turn around time for answering inquires, etc.

10. Edit copy on all your web pages but save the homepage for last.

Now stand back, see the big picture and incorporate those edits into your homepage. Remember, you’re going to take your visitor by the hand and lead them where they are to go.

While you’re on a roll – don’t forget to take a look at your System’s housekeeping. For example, I revisited a production checklist I use for one of my major clients. Adding in little tid-bits of info that I spent way too much useless time searching for each month will save me thousands of moments of frustration. Plus, every production based item I need for this client is right at my fingertips.

WOW, now doesn’t that feel better!

While you still have pen in hand, what else can you do to improve and simplify?

What about being creative – do you spend enough time marketing to attract clients? Do you spend quality time reflecting on your business to learn from past mistakes and how to avoid them?

Now that you’ve created a weekend project, please don’t obsess. Start out spending only 15 minutes with each task. You can do ANYTHING in 15 minutes.

Copyright 2006 Donna Payne

About The Author
Donna Payne is the Chief Web Goddess of TheWebCoach.net, and is known as the gal to call when you’re feeling stuck or overwhelmed by the internet. To spend more time with Donna and experience Web technology, Development and Marketing in the most SIMPLIFED way possible go to http://thewebcoach.net.

[tags] resolution,new year,2007,website[/tags]

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