We recently had some family members from North Carolina visit our house. We did extra cleaning, straightened up the guest room and other common areas they might visit and we bought food suitable to their children. We did all these things because we wanted our house to feel warm and inviting to our guests, whose house we have visited many times.
The same approach should be taken toward a business website. From time to time, it’s good to spruce it up a bit, preparing it for new guests. The reality is that most guests to a website are new guests so this gussying up has real value.
Here are a few ways I have spruced up my website in the last few months:
Change it up. My website, Bigger Pie Strategies, recently experienced a new look and feel. It reflects growth in my business, as well as growth in my understanding of what my ideal clients want and need from the site. I liken this work to replacing a worn mattress in your guest room.
Check in on your Google Analytics. First, you have to have Google Analytics, which is free, installed on your website. It provides a million tidbits about your web visitors, including how long they stay, what operating systems they are using (lots more mobile phone users than I expected), what pages they like, how many return and whether your email campaigns are getting to your website. That’s valuable information for preparing future content for your site. This post reflects some of those discoveries. I liken this step to asking your guests how they slept the night before in the guest room.
Check your links. Links to other websites can become outdated, which not only annoys your visitors, but also hurts your Google ranking. Checking links a few times a year makes good sense. (If you are on a WordPress site, it’s much easier.) I like to check the lights, the TV remote, etc. in the guest room before they arrive.
View it like a user. So often the creator of a website assumes web visitors will see the site the same way she does. But often users see it in new and interesting ways. For instance, my old site had a logical click path that made sense to me. With my new site, I created a few click paths, giving visitors more options to reach the content I really want and need them to see. I liken this step to sleeping in the guest room one night to see what the experience is like for your guests.
Have pride in your website. If you have pride in your website, it means you will take care of the little things that need tending to. It means you will write new blog posts and make sure pages are visually appealing. Sometimes I feel as if we take more care of our out-of-town guests’ comforts than our own, but then I see them doing the same for us.
The drive to do the little things when out of town guests are due is a good motivator to accomplish some of those pesky home tasks most of us prefer to cast aside. The same holds true for your website.
More often than not each new visitor to your website is literally an out-of-town guest, who knows nothing of the place he is now in. How can you make that person feel as comfortable as I hope people feel when they visit our guest room? The answers to that question could improve your website dramatically.