Review Your Website
Plan to Evaluate Your Online Information and Make Sure It’s Up to Date
By Peter Lyle DeHaan, Ph.D.
For the past 25 years I’ve worked on my own websites, designing them, posting content, and keeping them up to date. Sometimes I break them too; then I get to fix my mistakes. I currently have ten websites for myself, my writing, and my business. Though this experience doesn’t make me a website guru, it has taught me to look at the sites I visit with a critical eye.
Sadly, I see areas that need improvement on most websites. And too many have obsolete information. You probably know your website needs some attention, but you haven’t gotten around to doing it yet.
I urge you to move this task from your want-to-do list, and put it on your schedule. Write it down and put a date on it. Then do it. Here’s some things to consider:
Read Through Your Website: Start by going through your site. Read through your content methodically, page by page, and read every one. Unless you want to be really diligent, you can skip blog posts. The main thing is to focus on the pages.
This is hard to do and time consuming, especially for large sites. It’s something I don’t do often enough myself, but don’t follow my example. You can do better; after all, you probably don’t have ten sites to go through. To get through it faster, you can always ask for the help of other people in your organization. This will make the job go faster and be less taxing for everyone.
As you read each page, look for out-of-date text and missing information. Also watch for missing words, wrong words, and punctuation errors. Likewise flag confusing information so you can fix it later.
Pages To Remove: As you go through your site, you may come across pages you don’t need anymore. Make a note to remove those obsolete pages. The good news is that once you decide you don’t need it, you can stop reading it.
Pages To Add: Just as there are pages you may want to remove, you’ll also discover important content that’s missing. Make a note to add it. This may include new services or products, procedural changes, and information your patients or visitors may commonly seek.
For ideas, check with your call center agents to find out what questions they keep hearing over and over. This is prime material to go online. Yes, not everyone will see it, and they’ll still call and ask. But some people will notice it, and then you’ve just saved your staff a needless phone call.
Site Navigation: When it comes to adding new pages and removing obsolete ones, this affects your website menu and site navigation. You need to adjust your menu accordingly.
Don’t just add or cut options. Instead take a step back, and see if the navigation is logical, intuitive, and easy to use. For help, ask someone outside your organization to look at it and tell you what confuses them about moving through your website. Then implement their suggestions.
Conclusion: For your website to best do the job it’s supposed to do, it must have correct information and give visitors what they’re looking for. This requires periodic reviews of your website’s content and navigation.
Don’t put this step off. Both your staff and your patients will appreciate it.
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A Thought for Today
“Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another.” -Anatole France