Creating a Business Website Part 8 – Test Drive

Picture this scenario: A potential customer comes to your business website to get directions to your store. It’s early March, but you still have a “Happy New Year” image on your home page (bad on so many levels). Having outdated content on your website makes you look unprofessional.

That is why taking the occasional test drive through the pages of your business website is a worthwhile exercise. How often? For most small businesses, I’d say once every couple months is sufficient, more frequently if your content changes often.

Here are some of the steps I take in my business website test drive:

  1. Go from page to page and read over your content. All up to date? Good.Now go to every page and make sure all your images are still there…ever been to a business website with a red “x” where an image was supposed to be? Not good.

  2. Go to the navigation bar at the top and bottom of your web page. (Yes, navigation at the top and bottom of your site is a good idea.)

  3. Click each of the links for each of the pages. All good?

  4. What about the copyright info? Got the current year on there?

  5. Now fill out the email marketing form you have on your site.

  6. Did it work? Did you get back the auto-responder email from yourself? Is everything on the auto-responder email still current?

  7. How about grammar, spelling and punctuation? This is one that I always have a problem getting right. It’s super-important that you get your website proofed from a pro whenever possible.

  8. Finally, ask a business colleague or friend to take the same steps. You’ll be amazed how often they’ll catch something that you didn’t.

Links that lead to a dead page, images that don’t appear and content that’s no longer relevant reflects poorly on you and your business website. Take that occasional test drive just to make sure everything is always correct and up to date.

This is Part 8 of Creating a Business Website.

View the rest of this series:

Part 1 | Keep it Simple
Part 2 | Don’t Go Alone
Part 3 | Think Like Them
Part 4 | Get Clicks!
Part 5 | Build Relationships
Part 6 | Promote Your Website
Part 7 | Keep it Fresh
Part 8 | Test Drive

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