It’s time to spruce up your online store with a dose of Spring cleaning. Today’s Volusion blog post discusses things to consider when conducting website maintenance. Keep reading to learn more.
Thank goodness Spring is finally in the air – after this long, drawn-out winter we all deserve a little sunshine. I was enjoying the early beginnings of Spring on my apartment balcony yesterday evening, only to look across the parking lot to see a neighbor with a huge Christmas tree in their window. Quite frankly, I was appalled. It’s March for crying out loud! With this indignation in mind, I quickly decided it was time to start Spring cleaning.
More importantly for you, it’s time to get rolling on Spring cleaning for your online store. Here’s some things to consider:
Make sure everything works.
Do a scan of your website to see if all of your links are functioning properly, especially if you have links to other websites. You’d be surprised at how URLs change, so perform a check to ensure that your customers are being sent to the right place. Additionally, run through all your images (yes, all of them – I didn’t say this would be quick) to make sure that they are loading properly. Just think, how would you feel as a customer if you couldn’t see a product image before purchasing?
Spruce up your design.
Just like my neighbor with the Christmas tree, if your online store still has references to the holidays, take it off. You can reuse it for the coming season, but the holidays are officially over. More importantly, it’s time to freshen up your website. New graphics for your homepage and category pages are an easy fix. Now is the best opportunity of the year to do some major design work on your site, whether it’s a new homepage or an entirely new template.
Whatever the case, go through and make things simpler. If you have a lot of clutter, find a way to cut down – your customers will be appreciative. Change is always a good thing, especially as a way to rekindle interest in your most loyal shoppers.
Update your content.
First, go through your web content to make sure that everything is accurate and up to date. If you have any mentions of 2006 or claim that the Walkman is the newest piece of technology on the market, that needs to be fixed.
Then, evaluate your keyword strategy within your content. Are the keywords you used last year still as relevant in your competitive climate? Take a look at bidding levels for your most important keywords and make any content adjustments accordingly.
Make sure to keep things simple. If your content is too wordy, find ways to trim the fat. While content may be king, you can’t argue with the fact that people just don’t like to read anymore.
Finally, spruce up your “about us” page with news from the past year and exciting developments. This will make your entire online business look more modern and relevant.
Add something new.
In addition to some major website maintenance, it’s equally as important to add something new to your online store. If you’re not blogging yet, why not look into it? Try adding icons that link to your social media channels. You can even create a news and events page to show off your awards and accomplishments. Whatever the case, it’s a good idea to try something fresh on your site to experiment with new tactics and perk interest.
Resubmit your site and track results.
After you brush the dust off your hands and admire your hard work in cleaning up your store, make sure you resubmit your site to search engines. This will allow them to index the changes and make updates on their side. And once you’ve done that, make sure you’re keeping tabs on the results of your efforts through various tools. How are the changes affecting session lengths? How is traffic flowing to new pages of your site? Are conversions up? Your specific metrics depend on your business plan, but whatever the case; make sure you’re following so you can be fully prepped for the holidays.
Use this checklist as a game plan for providing your online business a fresh coat of paint. While it may take some time, the benefits far outweigh the costs. One final thought – make sure to tidy up your admin area by deleting expired coupons and content pages. This will help speed up your daily operations and prevent future headaches.
And after I finish my personal Spring cleaning, I’m heading back to my balcony and giving angry looks to my neighbors across the way. That’ll show them to keep their unsightly Christmas tree up past March.
Happy (and tidy) selling!
-Matt Winn, Marketing Associate
Have you started Spring cleaning on your online store yet? Any other tips or tricks you’d like to share? What do you think of the ideas listed above? Any questions or comments? Leave your mark below!