Posted 27th January 2011 | By Nick Evans, Chairman

Have you taken a good look at your website recently?
A good website is your gateway to new customers and new markets but if it isn't loved and cared for, it may not fulfil your expectations.

So how do you know whether it's working (or not)? Do you measure its performance or do you simply rely on the level of footfall as an indicator? Do you update it regularly?
To help answer these questions, here's a lightning look at websites, measurement and why updates matter.
Analyse and improve
Here are a few tests to try on your website.
If you were a visitor who knew nothing about your company, would your website introduce it well?
Check all your products and services: is everything up to date? Are there errors spelling, pricing, description?
Do you appear on the first page in Google searches? Try it with your town name included and then your county
How easy do you believe it would be to find any specific element that's not on the front page?
Is the branding, colour scheme, logo, imagery, legal and copyright date, up to date?
How wordy and jargon-heavy is the content?
Do all the links work as expected on every page (a big job this one)?
How many visitors did you have to the site in the past seven days, the past month and the past year?
What's the average time people spend on your site and how many pages on average do they view?
Do people arrive at your home page and then "bounce out" without viewing more pages because they have not found what they wanted?
All in all, do you believe that your website is driving new business to you?
Check out more about focus of your site's content here.
Updating
Changing content, images and links is important because why would anyone visit a site again that had not changed? Equally, getting rid of irrelevant, outdated content should be a priority too don't let it "grow like Topsy". You can change content on your site regularly in a number of ways for example, if you write a blog that discusses trends in your line of business or offers a viewpoint on particular ideas or processes, then you could automatically echo part of its content to your Home page potentially improving your search engine ranking.
Measuring
Understanding traffic to your site and visitor behaviour is important because it allows you to optimise your site to more closely meet the needs of its visitors. If you can increase traffic by improving your use of keywords in your site, for example, then you can easily measure the effect after you have changed them. Do more people find your site than before? Do they stay longer and view more page?
There's plenty more, but these hints will give you the general idea of what to look for.

Nick
ExtraMile Communications Ltd

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