Read time: 7 minutes
When was the last time you reviewed your website?
No, we’re not talking about a quick skim or your most recent visit to a specific web page.
We’re talking about reviewing your website, as in:
- Evaluating your web page copy
- Testing functionality and accessibility features
- Exploring different pages and how quickly you can find them
- Ensuring there’s consistency within the design from page-to-page
And these are only a few of the items required to ensure your website is up-to-date.
But if it’s been a while since you’ve reviewed your website extensively, or if you haven’t done it at all, know that you’re not alone.
It’s not a task that many people think about…unless something goes wrong with the website. A lot of people are just happy to have a website up in the first place, with many of them being ok with some issues if that means they can maintain an online presence.
But with more and more businesses entering the “online arena,” and doing so with a high-quality website to start, it’s become increasingly important for businesses to review their website every year and identify what’s working…and what’s not.
Much like when it comes to your marketing efforts and your expenses, dedicating time to review your site could help set your business up for success in the coming year.
So if you’re unsure on why you should review your website, here’s why it’s so important.
You learn if your messaging is accurate
Your site’s primary job is to be your online presence.
When people find your website, it should be able to properly communicate who you are, what your business does, and how it can help them.
For some sites, they even take it a step further and incorporate psychological triggers to better resonate with the reader’s common pain points and frustrations…and how they can help solve them.
As your business grows and your services develop, the messaging on your website may not be as accurate as it used to be. Whether that’s due to service changes, a slight positioning shift, or something else, it’s important to make sure that your websites messaging is staying consistent and relevant with your business.
So, what can you do to make sure your website's messaging is up-to-date?
Start taking notes.
Chat with whoever is in charge of your online marketing and identify the current key points of your business’ messaging when it comes to:
- The services you offer
- The audience you currently serve
- The pain points you want to address
- The tone you want to convey
- The mission you champion
From there, start reading and taking notes! And try to do so from the perspective of your audience.
Taking the time to review your site’s messaging could be the reason why you convert on a CTA…or a visitor leaves your site.
You discover any potential issues
Arguably the most important reason why you want to review your website is so you can discover any potential issues that could disrupt the user experience!
No matter how beautiful your website is, it can all go to waste if the user experience is disrupted with bugs, poor navigation, slow load times, and much more.
Unfortunately, issues can arise from even the simplest of tasks, whether it be adjusting a page URL that leads to a broken link or installing a new plugin that could break the site!
These issues, among many others, happen all the time…and you’d be surprised to learn just how many of these issues go unnoticed.
With more websites focusing on stronger usability and accessibility, even small bugs can leave your audience dissatisfied and frustrated with your website. And if your business relies on strong web traffic to generate revenue, that could have significant negative repercussions to your business.
The 30 minutes you could spend reviewing your website could save you thousands of dollars.
And that’s a time investment we’re sure most people would make.
You understand if your site is contributing to your goals.
Most businesses with an online presence have some sort of goal for their website.
From bringing in organic site traffic to generating leads, there’s a number of different goals businesses optimize their website for, with no goal being better than the other.
Every goal you have should help contribute to your business's bottom line in some shape or form, and your website can certainly help you do that.
But as the years go on and your business develops, it’s likely that your website has as well. Whether it be due to new content or updated service options, your website has likely gone through some sort of change or has taken on new additions.
And it’s just another reason why reviewing your website is so important:
You want to make sure that — despite the potential additions or changes to your website — it’s still contributing to your overall goal.
The best way to do that?
First review what you’ve learned about your audience and the goals you set at the start of the year.
What are things about your audience that make it critical to include in the site? What are the elements of the site that contribute to your goal?
For example, our site has gone through a number of changes in 2021 alone as we’ve worked to keep people on our website and direct them to our blog. Along with some copy changes we mentioned earlier, we’ve also added a few new elements to our homepage to encourage that action.
All of those changes happened because we took time to review our site, compare it to our current goals, and determine what we felt was best for us and our users.
When you do the same, you’d be surprised to find out what’s not bringing you towards your goals…as well as what is.
So…how often should I review my website?
How often you need to review your website depends on how you use your website!
If you’re a business owner that relies primarily on e-commerce, has heavy web traffic, and has a stronger web presence, you’ll be better off reviewing your website once every quarter.
It hits the perfect balance of staying on top of things while not micromanaging every small detail on the site, which can be tedious, time-consuming, and exhausting.
If you’re a website owner that doesn’t rely on online traffic as much for business and only uses a site to establish an online presence, you’ll be better off reviewing your website once a year.
This lets you update any changes you have made from the past year and gives you more time to focus on the business itself, instead of the website (which is something thousands of business owners do).
But what if you’re in the middle of these two options? What if you have a business that doesn’t rely on online traffic as much as e-commerce, but still uses it to establish authority, lead generation, and more?
For these website owners, we recommend every six months (which is what we do)!
We’ve found this to be the perfect cadence for our needs, as we allow our site and the changes we may have made over the last six months to “age” and see how it performs. If it isn’t well-received, we’ll make adjustments!
And if it is generating positive outcomes? We leave it be!
But whatever time frame you want to follow, just make sure you’re reviewing your site regularly! Your website is like a plant, and it needs TLC (Tender Love and Care) in order for you to generate the results you want to see.
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Every two weeks, we’ll share with you a new piece of content from our blog, share a tip on web development and accessibility, and discuss a story on the internet that we found interesting, fun, and important for you to know.
We actually discussed this very blog post in our newsletter earlier this year, so many of our subscribers were actually prepped and ready to review their site this holiday season!
We hope you can join our growing community of website managers, builders, developers, and designers that are all working together to make the internet more inclusive, understandable, and accessible.
We’d love to chat with you.