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One of your top marketing priorities must be keeping your business’ website up to date. Your website is often the first impression a prospect has of your company whether they find it through an organic search or visit your website in advance of a meeting to get a better idea of what your business is all about. First impressions can be lasting — especially negative impressions based on an outdated website design, pixelated images, and a blog with its last entry from 2014.
Our blog “5 Ways to Refresh Your Website in 2017” reminds you to add fresh content, re-examine your keyword strategy, update images and video, and, of course, update copyright dates. We thought we’d continue the list with a few more things you need to do to update your website and make great first impressions.
Dig Deeper: Check for Broken Links
If you’ve relaunched your website or removed outdated information, it’s possible you have some broken links that need to be addressed. Broken links are frustrating from a user’s perspective — if you’ve captured someone’s attention and they click on your link, you don’t want them to only get a 404 error page. Broken links are also bad for search engine optimization (SEO): They indicate poor usability and can cause problems with how your site is crawled.
Use a broken link checker to identify them and then correct them. If you have a WordPress site, we recommend the Google Webmaster Tools Broken Link Checker.
Another strategy to consider is customizing your 404 page. The page is an additional opportunity to increase brand awareness, and direct visitors back to your homepage or a popular call to action — it may even mean a few more leads. Customized 404 pages can range from apologetic to humorous, so choose the strategy and the message that will best resonate with your target market.
If your website design isn’t responsive, it’s time to consider upgrading. Google prefers responsive design to having a separate mobile site with a different URL and considers responsive design a best practice, in part because it makes it easier for users to share and link to your content.
With increasing adoption and use of mobile devices, more and more of your customers are using tablets, smartphones, and other devices to access information on the Internet. Test your website on a variety of devices and make sure the user experience is good, regardless of how the user chooses to access it.
Circle the Date
Once you’ve updated your website, you aren’t finished forever. Make a date to repeat the process in the not-too-distant future. The products and services you offer will change, team members will change, and even styles change — so your website must change along with them. Always make the best impression possible with an up-to-date, accurate, usable website.