Spring Cleaning

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When you think of spring, you may think of warmer days, sunshine, flowers, and the renewal of life.  On the other hand, you may think of….spring cleaning.

Despite involving a little elbow grease, spring cleaning is a good thing.  You dust off the cobwebs, get into the corners, and suddenly the sun is shining through your windows and your house smells fresh and inviting.  Makes your home a place you like to spend time.

Well, there’s no reason to limit spring cleaning to your household.  Why not spread a little spring cleaning love to your website?  You know, dust off the cobwebs, get into the corners, and make your website a place your audience likes to spend time.

What is involved in spring cleaning a website?

Dust Off the Cobwebs

Does your website feature dated or timely content?  If your latest press release is dated from 2011, it’s time to organize that content so that anything older than 6 months to a year gets put into an archive.  If you are able to continuously add news-type content to your site, than this is an easy task.  Simply segment the older pieces (or remove them, if the information is no longer valid) into an area that allows users to find it, but also lets newer, fresh content to take center stage.

If your updates are few and far between (which can be the case for a variety of reasons), then see if the content can be reworked to be timeless.  If your “2009 Tips for Success” apply every year, then adjust the content as “Yearly Tips for Success” and don’t let readers think you’re not giving your website TLC.

Get Into the Corners

Take a look at your website’s “static” content.  Information that really doesn’t change that often.  Things like About Us, Staff Bios, Location, etc.  Is everything still valid?  Did the treasurer of your company recently complete an advanced financial certification program?  Make sure that is reflected in the bio.  Did a major retailer recently open right next door to your offices?  Doesn’t hurt to note that on your Location page for customers trying to find you.  Little updates not only tell your audience you are paying attention to your site, the search engines also looooove them.

Let the Sun Shine In

When is the last time you changed the graphic look of your site?  If it’s been longer than a couple of years, and budget allows, consider a redesign or refresh.  The dynamic nature of the web is exciting, but it can also make your site seem dated faster than you think.  If a complete redesign isn’t in the cards, try something as simple as updating images to revitalize the look-and-feel.

The Obvious

Most websites feature a copyright line somewhere, usually in the footer.  Does yours reflect the current year?  If not, update it!  And if possible, have your developer program it so that it updates automatically as the crystal ball drops in Times Square.  A tiny little thing that shows you are giving your website the attention it deserves.

The most important thing to remember is a website isn’t like a newspaper.  It doesn’t get printed, read, and then tossed out in the trash or sent to the recycle bin.  It’s a living thing that needs constant care so that it remains a place you and your customers like to spend time.

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