by Terry Young
Web Site New Year's Checklist
The Internet is an ever-changing place, where people, products and companies appear and disappear literally every day. When a visitor arrives at your site, they need to know you're still around.
Many times, I visit a prospective client's web site only to find that their information is sometimes years out of date. Often, a company will commission a web site but because of high update costs or because their designer becomes unavailable, they do not touch it again for a very long time. Especially given the recent economy, visitors seeing old information might think that the company is out of business and just not call. Here is a quick checklist of things you can do to make sure a visitor stays with you.
1. Update your copyrights and contacts - There is nothing worse than out-of-date copyrights or extinct phone numbers. I myself have come across large corporate sites with copyright dates five years old.
2. Old news is bad news - Remove any news or press releases that are over two years old. Even though you may have broken a major record in your business three years ago, if there has been nothing since then, it still looks like you're on a downward slide. If you have not had news for a while, you should seriously consider removing news pages completely.
3. Prune the dead wood - Any products or services you no longer offer should be removed so you don't create a misleading impression or waste your time answering calls for things you no longer do. Any pages containing products or services you still offer should also be updated, especially if you are in a fast-moving business.
4. Check your staff - Go through your site and remove any people no longer with you. Also, bring any current staff details up to date. Check for name changes, promotions and qualification certificatons.
5. Analyze your look - Styles change, so this is one of the more important things. If your site is over two years old, compare it to your competitors' sites. There is a chance that they have updated their site, maybe employing newer technologies and search engine optimization. If their sites have been upgraded, it is time for you to do the same, especially if you are in a very competitive business field.
6. Check the search engines - Go to Google for example, and type in phrases you think people might use to look for you. Find your results, but also note where your competitors come up. If they are above you, visitors are probably going to them before you.
7. Consider new technology - Sites like our WebUpdate sites can be updated from anywhere in minutes without having to pay a web designer for every little change. Utilizing this technology, the issues I have talked about here should never arise. WebUpdate also incorporates our own advanced search engine coding, which can not only provide hundreds or even thousands of keywords to bring people to your site, but can also save you thousands a year in 'pay-per-click' advertising.
If you are ready to grow your business, now is the perfect time to consider our WebUpdate systems, which employ advanced marketing, promotion and security features designed to give businesses the best competitive edge online.
Terry Young is the founder and CEO of Internet Marketing and Design. Since 1997,