Before you answer, let me just say there is looking and there is looking with purpose.

As part of keeping up to date in my area of specialisation (coaching accounting firms) I look at websites on a daily basis. I get to see some really innovative things that some firms are doing and the obvious stagnation that others are suffering. But the one thing that I see almost every day is websites that just don’t work. That confuse, annoy, frustrate and turn you off ever using that firm.

So my message is this: you must have a process to be constantly reviewing your own website so that you are assured as a bare minimum it is functioning as intended and not pissing people off. Excuse the language, but frankly, there is no place in 2016 for crappy websites.

The reason for this will be obvious to many. Your website is inevitably the first place potential clients, team members or suppliers will go to learn something more about your business. And if it does not work properly your chances of having a positive impact on them are significantly diminished. Possibly zero.

Your website is your window to the world on display for all to see. Make it a positive experience.

So here are my top four things you should be methodically checking on a very regular basis:

  1. Typos – never a good look. I recently saw one accounting firm describing the leaders of its firm as “principles” instead of the correct “principals” Ouch!
  2. Broken links – every hyperlink on your site needs to be clicked on to test that it still goes to where it is intended. Particularly with links to external pages which you may not directly control, it is very easy for these to be broken. And even on your own pages it is surprising how often something technical occurs and a link is broken. If it doesn’t work, fix it immediately or get rid of it until it can be fixed.
  3. News / Updates or Similar – It’s no longer news if the last item on your news page is last month or last year as I regularly see. If you have this type of page keep it current or get rid of it completely. Half-baked efforts just make you look, lazy, undisciplined or stupid – none of which I imagine you want your potential clients or team members to associate with your business.
  4. Team Members – it is very common in many businesses – particularly professional and other service businesses, to show images of the team. I think this is a great idea as it adds personality and is more engaging for the user. However, two things to be on top of:
    I)  Use quality images of each team member
    ii) Promptly update the images when a team member arrives or departs

Of course, there are many other aspects of your website that ultimately need consideration, beyond the scope of this article, but I think this is a good start. Oh, one more thing worth mentioning – if you are using so called stock images – the same ones that countless other businesses use – then don’t! It doesn’t cost much to create your own.

Now I’m sure some clever person reading this might well scrutinise my own website and find a mistake. Go ahead try your hardest and perhaps you will find something. But wouldn’t it be better use of your time to scrutinise your own site?

Look at your website through the eyes of your potential clients and employees and you might be surprised what you see.

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