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Review Your Site Regularly For an Airtight Site

Image Review Your Site Regularly For an Airtight Site
On January 5 we published a Marketing Bite called "Check Your Site for Outdated Material Every New Year".

In that Bite we offered five suggestions for things to check on your site now that the calendar has turned over to a new year:

1. Copyright dates
2. Staff members who are no longer with you
3. Obsolete services or new services you have added
4. Out-of-date time sensitive info (Examples are: how long you have been in business on your About page or promotions that have expired)
5. Give a New Year update to all of your social media channels

As long as you’re putting a little time into your site, there are a few slightly more in-depth items you can check that would get your site off to a great start this year.

1. Review and test your contact forms
If you have contact forms on your site, review them to make sure they work. Even if you can’t think of any reason why the forms wouldn’t work like they’re supposed to, check them anyway. Mistakes can happen and unless you check them, you might not ever know that people aren’t able to reach you through your contact form. Now would also be a good time to see if you would benefit if your form was updated. You might want to start asking people how they found your site or something else that your contact form doesn’t currently ask. Also, be sure to “break” the form—which means submitting the form without the required information and with the information in the wrong fields—and see if the results make sense or if the error message is understandable.

2. Review your automated outgoing messages
Do you send an automated confirmation message or receipt after someone orders a product or uses your contact form? If so, review that outgoing automated message to make sure all of the information and dates on it are correct and current.

3. Test all outgoing links on your web site
Outdated or broken links are a source of frustration for a customer who click on links that don’t work. Not everyone understands what 404 File Not Found error messages mean and may not continue trying to find what they’re looking for on your site, and instead may just click away and go to another site. Check all links on your site to make they’re accurate and work. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) offers an online link checker that makes this easy to do. If you have an account on Google's Webmaster Tools, they also offer an easy to use link checker tool. < >

4.Place a Test Order
Using a non-businesss email or account, such as a friend's email address, go through the entire ordering process and payment processing steps to make sure that everything is working as it should. All ordering related email messages should be sent out in a timely manner and should say what they are supposed to say.

5. Review your domain record
Make sure your domain registrar has current contact information for you and that you are listed as the registrant and administrator of the site. If you’re not listed as the contact, you might miss renewal notices and other important announcements about your domain. The registrant is the legal owner of the domain and should always be you, the business owner, not your web developer or anyone else. You should also be listed as the administrative contact. If your web developer is listed as the administrator, then they have the ability and access to claim ownership of the domain, which could take it completely out of your control if you and the developer ever had a falling out.

6. Check Your Site on an iPad
Don’t have an iPad or know anyone who does? No problem! You can visit a store that sells Mac products and play with one there. The main point of checking on an iPad is that these devices are becoming increasingly popular, and you’ll want to know how your site looks and functions on one. According to a recent study on 2012 mobile data by Emarketer iPad users will reach 41.9 million in 2012.

With iPad touch screens, users don’t click on links the same way as they do with a computer cursor—instead they tap on links and buttons. Things to look for are how “tappable” your site is. You may discover functionality issues such as the “add to cart” buttons” and “more information” buttons are too close together. The text menu in your general navigation could appear tiny and be hard to tap. Small numbered links which lead to additional pages may be tiny and hard to tap. All of these issues and others which you may discover could lead to frustration with your users inadvertently tapping the wrong button and then having to wait for the previous page to load again.

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