If you’re in France, the beginning of September – the “rentrée” – is kind of like a mini New Year. A time to start afresh and attack the next few months of work with renewed vigour.
Take the opportunity to smarten up your website for last quarter of the year, no matter where you’re based. Here are some quick ways to make sure your site is in the best shape possible for the new season.
1. Check your email form.
Email forms on websites are notoriously temperamental. Send yourself a message from the form and check you receive it. Also make sure you actually show an email address, and if possible, a telephone number. Some people prefer to just grab the phone.
2. Is your blog up to date?
People visiting your website really want to see that you’re alive and kicking.
3. Are you showing your social media updates?
Most people show social media badges on their site that link to their profile pages, and buttons that allow people to share the content they’re reading to their own network. If you don’t blog, you can include a social media feed somewhere on your site. It’s a great way of showing you’re active, even if you update the website itself less often. (But if you show your last tweets on your site, or your last Instagram pictures, you better make sure you post there often.)
4. Smarten up your images.
Are your images distorted, blurry or pixelated? The most usual cause for this is that they’re not resized properly, or that you’re trying to use an image that was too small at the outset, for a space that’s too big for it. Crop your images to the exact size that’s needed for your website, and if your image is too small for the space you want to use it for, I’m afraid there’s no way of making it fit – you’ll have to find another great one you can use instead.
5. Spruce up your wording.
Make sure you sound enthusiastic on your website. “Join Our Newsletter”? I’m sure you can sound more perky than that.
6. Balance out your website.
This is easy, once you’ve thought about it, and makes your site look that much more polished. Make sure your images match in shape and size. For example, if you include pictures of people who’ve given you testimonials, crop them in an identical way. If you have, say, three “product” or “service” boxes in a row across your home page, with a button underneath them, make sure you make the text equal in length so that your buttons are nicely aligned.
7. Get rid of blank areas on your website.
These don’t add anything, and look neglectful, but I see loads of them around. Does your footer have a gap? Fill it up, or balance it out somehow. Are there widgets with nothing in them in your sidebar – “Recent comments” where there are none, as yet? Delete the widget for the time being.
8. Show your followers?
If you don’t have many followers yet on social, why show everyone? Hide the number of your Twitter followers or your Facebook Page likes, until the numbers are ones you want to show.
9. Check your favicon.
That’s the tiny icon you can see on the tab of your browser window. If you’re showing a generic favicon, change it. This is a minute detail – but if you’re displaying a “W” for “Weebly,” for example, which is instantly recognisable, it does look less than professional.
10. Get rid of the branding
Isn’t it time to go premium with your website platform? Do you really want “Free website” or your platform’s branding, or ads, to show on your website? No matter how wonderful the design is, or how interesting your content, letting everyone know that you’ve opted for the free version only lets the side down. So get rid of that branding pronto.
That’s it! A few ideas to show the world you’re seriously in action for business this season.