Website Content Spring Cleaning – 37 Point Checklist

Spring is the time to freshen up your website content. 

Website Content - spring cleaning

Who says?  Most likely your visitors, that’s who.

There is a very good likelihood that your website content is stale and outdated.  The design is probably old making it damn difficult if not impossible to read on a smartphone or tablet and it is hurting your online presence and your bottom line.

Are those enough reasons?

Perhaps this short story of how three restaurants lost two customers through poor website design will convince you.

Last Saturday, my husband and I were running errands. Around 1:00 p.m., he turns to me and says,

“Boy, a BLT sounds good.  Where do you think we can get one?”

Not a problem, I think, as I pull out my trusty smartphone and Google “best BLTs in Portland”.  Google presents me with a laundry list of places for BLTs.

The background color of the first website was black with thin and small white type.  Plus the site was not responsive, which made reading it on my smartphone impossible.  I moved on to the next listing.

The second website was the same, but to make matters worse, the menu was a PDF.  This meant I had to wait for the menu to download on my phone.  Really?  Urrrrgggg.  And the story goes from bad to worse.

The point is that three restaurants lost a business opportunity on just one Saturday afternoon.  How many opportunities do these same restaurants lose in a given week, or month, or year?

A better question is how many business opportunities do you lose because your website isn’t working, isn’t readable, makes it difficult to find the simple stuff?

Importance of Your Website Content and Design

As an independent business owner – be you a restaurateur, an accountant, an insurance broker, or a vacation rental agent – you have got to have an online presence that works for your visitors.

The term “works” refers to a site that gives the visitor the type of information they want when they want it.  Specifically, information that is readable and easily accessible on a smartphones or tablets.

This means you need to ignore the head-up-in-the-clouds web designers who think thin white type on black backgrounds is dramatic.  The only thing dramatic about websites like this is the deafening sound of crickets because no one is sticking around to read it.

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Most of all, your website content needs to be welcoming to those who want what you have to offer.

And it deserves some Spring cleaning.

As you are gathering your duster and cleaning supplies, here are some facts about websites you need to consider.

1.  Thanks to the Internet, B2B prospects are 66% to 90% of the way through the purchase process before they contact a company, according to Forrester Research.  B2C customers are often ready to buy, unless it’s a high ticket purchase.

Bottom Line:  Your website content via a Headline, a strong graphic or through the layout has to grab that visitor and pull them in.  If it doesn’t, they are on to your competitor.

2. Customers do their homework and check an average of 10.4 pieces of content according to Google’s Zero Moment of Truth research.  Here’s a brief description of how the Moments of Truth work.

Website Content - Moments of Truth

 

Bottom Line:  You need website content that speaks to where your visitors are in the purchasing process – be that educating a newbie, addressing questions they may have about how you can solve their problems or convincing them to contact you to seal the deal.

3.  Per the Nielsen Norman Group, visitors only have time to read 28% words during an average visit.  Most likely, they are only reading a measly 20%.

Bottom Line:  Your website must communicate quickly and with power.  This means information has to be scan-able and to the point.

Where do you begin?

Begin with the Website Content and Design Spring Cleaning I put together for you.  It covers:

•             Overall appearance of your website

•             Specific check points for individual web pages – Home, About, Contact, Product/Services Pages

•             Content Cleanup

•             Content Tone

•             Blog Content

There is a lot more information regarding content that could be included in this checklist, but I didn’t want to overwhelm you.  If you cover the basics that are included, you’ll be moving in the right direction.

Go ahead and download your Website Content and Design Spring Cleaning and get cleaning.

Summer will be here before you know it.

Your Turn 

What are some of your website horror stories?

Do you think your website performs better than your competitors?  Have you checked it out?

Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

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