Every time you
take your car in for an oil change, most shops give you a 15- or 30-point
checkup when they change your oil to alert you to any other potential problems
you might experience in the future. In the same way that your mechanic conducts
a regular inspection of your automobile, you need to conduct an annual checkup
of your website.
Here are 7 critical areas that need to be checked yearly on your site:
1. Copyright notice. In years past it would take me until March or
April to update my copyright notices primarily because I had to go in and update
every single page of my site. More recently, however, I’ve used an includes
file, which is one file that can be inserted in many pages to hold my copyright
and contact info. Consequently, when I need to update the copyright info, I
open this one file in my HTML editor, update that file, save and upload it.
Once it’s revised, the new information miraculously appears on all the pages in
which it’s included, updating them all at once.
2. Opt-in forms. The beginning of each year is a great time to ensure
that all of the opt-in forms are working on your site. Do you need to add
additional fields to the opt-in form to collect mailing addresses, for example,
or to ask how visitors found your site? Is the information contained on your
confirmation page (the page to which a visitor is sent upon her initial request
to opt into your list) still current and relevant? How about the thank you page
(the page to which your visitor is sent when she has confirmed her desire to
join your list)?
3. Autoresponder followup. Next, review the content of the
autoresponders that you’ve set to follow up the opt-in. Are they still
current? Do they mention offers or upsells that are still available? Do you
need to update any copyright or contact information contained within them? Are
they making it through spam filters? Use this tool to ensure that every email
gets into your contact’s inbox,
Sp*mCheck from SiteSell.
4. Signature files. Does your email signature file contain a call
to action that’s still working for you, or does it need to be updated? Have you
changed any portion of your contact information? After you review your
signature files in your email client, do the same check of your email signature
file in your shopping cart program or autoresponder program.
5. Client attraction device. Take a look at the fr*e giveaway you
provide to your visitors in return for them opting into your list. Whether it’s
a document or an audio or video file, update the copyright and content
information in it and review any biographical/profile information that you list
about yourself or your business. Is the content you provide in this giveaway
still valid and current? Do you want to keep the current call to action, or
does it need to be updated to better fit with your current business model?
6. Missing images and dead link check. When your website fails to
properly display images, your business appears unprofessional. Tour your
website to ensure that all images are displaying as they should. If you link to
or make reference to many resources on your site, run a dead link check annually
to weed out or update those that no longer work. You may be able to do this
with your HTML editor. If not, try the fr*e weekly link checking service
offered by iNetDog.
7. Order forms. Be sure that your order form works all the way
through. Most online business owners, when checking order forms, stop at the
point where they need to enter credit card information. If your merchant
account agreement prohibits you from using your credit card to order from your
company, ask if they have a test card number you can use, or have a reciprocal
agreement with a colleague to check each other’s forms. Check your followup
autoresponders that are set to go out after someone makes a purchase, as well,
to ensure that they are still up-to-date.
Websites that are obviously out-of-date or aren’t working properly are a huge
deterrent to doing business with you. Check these 7 key areas yearly on your
site to convey to your visitors that your site is regularly updated and
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this blurb with it: Online Business Resource Queen (TM) and Online Business Coach Donna Gunter helps independent service professionals learn how to automate their businesses, leverage their expertise on the Internet, and get more clients online. To claim your FR*EE gift,
TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, visit her site at OnlineBizU.com. Ask Donna an Internet Marketing question at AskDonnaGunter.com.
Best-selling author Donna Gunter works with successful business owners who are experts in their fields and established in their industry and are seeking a way to stand out from their competitors. Using her Ideal Clients on Autopilot System©, she helps them determine the exact strategies to generate more qualified leads and better-paying clients with automated systems. This proven system makes all their marketing easier and more effective and they find themselves positioned as the only choice for their clients.