This past week, I spent some time online doing research for new project management software. I did a Google search for highly-rated platforms, then went to the website of those that interested me.
One of the first things I do when investigating software is to watch a video demo to get a feel for the platform. This week, though, on the websites of two of the platforms I was investigating, the videos weren’t working! Videos are perhaps the most important element on a website selling software… and they were broken. And these are software companies!
Which got me to thinking about all businesses… after a new website launch, how often do we go back and look through it to make sure everything is functioning properly? If you’re like most businesses, not very often… or more likely – never! At least not until a client calls to alert you about a problem… and by then, the damage has been done.
And while you and I might not have sophisticated websites like those technology companies selling software, somehow, things still break…or stop working… or just get outdated.
So, to help guide you through the process of a critical check of your website, we’ve put together this 16-point Checklist…
- Check all links. Broken links (internal and external) are the worst culprit on almost every firm’s website.
- All navigation, particularly drop-down menus.
- Images or videos that don’t load… or have just disappeared.
- Contact Us forms that don’t actually contact you. The form gets filled out but the data gets lost in the ether.
- Data capture forms (for downloading an eBook or subscribing to your blog) that don’t capture the data or send out a confirmation email.
- Search functions that don’t search.
- Share This buttons that aren’t sharing.
- Web Chat that’s not very chatty. And make sure the Chat also connects to your CRM system.
- A feed from one of your social media sites that’s stopped feeding.
- All of the problems above that effect your website can also impact your blog. Check it for all these issues, too.
- Employees on your Our Team page who are no longer employees. Or New Employees who have not yet been posted.
- Services or Products on your ‘What We Do’ page that you no longer do. Or New Services and Products that have not yet been posted.
- And by the way, when you add a new service or a new employee… make sure it’s posted under News.
- A Client List that has not been updated in a while.
- A list of Client Testimonials that hasn’t been added-to in a long time.
- Any new Industries that need to be added to ‘Who We Serve?’
Your website it the most important weapon in your marketing arsenal… it’s the first place prospective clients will go to do their due diligence on your firm. And you only get one chance to make a first impression – don’t ‘blow it’ (like the two software companies I found) because your site is not 100% functional. A broken website is embarrassing and gives the impression that you can’t take care of the details… not a perception you want the marketplace to have about you.