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The 3 Keys To Keeping Your Website From Hurting Your Business

Is your website turning off your customers? Are you sure? If you don’t test your site regularly, it may be full of broken links and outdated information. You’ve designed your small business website to be clean, simple and easy to use. But your customers aren’t going to stick around if your small business website doesn’t work the way it should, and why would they? If you can’t properly maintain your own website, why would they assume that you’ll do high-quality work for them? Let’s look at how to keep your website from hurting your business.

The way to make sure your small business website is working properly is to test it yourself. Never assume that your web developers have delivered a perfectly working site. No programmer is perfect, and the littlest typo can mean that your links don’t work or that your customers will be calling the wrong phone number.

When To Test Your Website

  • Before a new site goes live.
  • Today – since your website is probably already live.
  • Whenever you make a change, such as adding  or removing pages, or changing information.
  • Monthly, to make sure that everything is still working as it should, and that you don’t need to update any information, or take down outdated coupon codes.

How To Test Your Website

This is a methodical process, so create a checklist or spreadsheet for everything you’ll need to verify. This includes every link in your website’s header and footer, and any other navigation that appears on every page. For each individual page, list every link that appears on the page. You’ll also check that everything is spelled correctly, that pictures are displayed properly and that the correct information is shown. If your customers can do anything on your website, such as fill out forms or buy products, then include those processes on your checklist.

Once your testing checklist is complete, check your website against the list. Look at every page, click on every link, and so on. Whenever you find a problem, note it so that it can be fixed. You may be able to give your marked up checklist to your web developers, or they may need you to write an explanation of the bugs for the sake of clarity. Be as specific as possible, such as “On the  home page, I clicked on the “Sale” link and it took me a page that said 404 Page Not Found.”

Once the bugs are fixed, test the specific fixes, but also test the entire site again. Sometimes new problems are created when fixing old ones, and you need to catch those too.

Where To Test Your Website

Don’t just test your site on your desktop or laptop. Your customers might visit your site from a mobile device, so you need to test on a tablet or smartphone lest you chase them away.

 

Testing your small business website may not be the most exciting part of your job, but it ensures that you make a great first impression with your customers. Have you tested your business website lately?

 

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About Jen Anderson

Jen Anderson is a freelance writer and recovering techie who pines for her dot com days like a dead parrot pines for the fjords. She enjoys using her technical savvy and writing skills to help small businesses grow. You can see Jen's work at jenandersonwriter.com.

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