Spring Cleaning for Your Online Life

Spring is a time for renewal. And the longer hours of daylight can shed some light on things that have been hiding in the winter shadows. That includes our virtual selves. 

We all know the importance of online brand identity. But when was the last time you took a good look at your company's online presence? Is your website clear and inviting, or is it boring and hard to navigate? Follow these steps to make sure you're putting your best virtual foot forward.

Keep it fresh 

Is your last blog post from 2019? Is the site copyright as old as MySpace? If so, clients might wonder if you're still in business. Outdated content, old contact information, and dead links could lead potential customers to think you aren’t changing with the times. The same goes for failing to keep up with current trends and technology. If a customer sees content on your site that is unclear or out of date, you’re hurting your credibility.

Fresh, high quality content not only keeps clients engaged, it helps you to build domain authority. You want your website to be valued by search tools, giving you higher positioning in search results, which in turn drives more traffic to your site.

Try out a search engine optimization audit tool like Screaming Frog or Beam Us Up to evaluate your searchability.

Does your content spark joy? Is it relevant to your current business objectives? If not, scrap it and replace it.

Safe and secure

The security and integrity of your website should be top-of-mind. Companies—even government organizations—regularly have their vulnerabilities exposed in embarrassing news stories about security failures. Hacks can cost you a lot of money and make clients lose confidence in a brand. Lack of trust can lead customers to seek out competitors who do a better job of protecting their data. 

There are many open source tools for auditing web security, like Zed Attack Proxy, Wfuzz, and SQLMap. Find the right one for you and make use of it.

Design for success

Once you’ve got your content, search optimization and security sorted, take a step back and consider the design of your website. Things to avoid include: complicated navigation, colours that are either too plain or too obnoxious, and unwieldy contact forms. 

Avoid the impulse to use multiple fonts or too many pictures. Keep it crisp, simple, and consistent. Minimalism is in.

Tips and tricks

Start with a clean-up. Click through every page on your website, check for broken links, old news, and clunky design. Look at it on a mobile device, and check it out using a few different web browsers to make sure the functionality is up to par. Then set a schedule for regular review to make sure it stays up to date.

Google yourself. See what others find when they search for your company. While you're there, set up Google alerts to keep track of mentions.

Post on networking sites like LinkedIn and GlassDoor, and check your mentions on social media. Make a plan to address any issues you have found, and set goals for improvement.

Tend the seeds and watch them grow!

About the Author

Susan Dixon is a Vancouver-based communications and research consultant, with expertise in knowledge curation, institutional analysis, workplace health and safety, sex and gender research, and women’s health. An established singer/songwriter, humourist, and burgeoning novelist, she has a passion for words of all flavours and worlds of all sizes.