Spring Cleaning For Your Website
How many times has your team said, "If we ever had time, it'd be great to do XYZ?" We surveyed the carbonhouse team for ways you could improve your website right now.
Links included within this article may direct to the help desk. You must be logged in to a Showtime account to access these.
Perform A Content Audit
Whether you're looking to completely revamp your site or simply update important information, a content audit gives you the opportunity to review your web content in depth.
Review Your Sitemap
Does the current sitemap still make sense for your organizational goals? Are you redirecting pages all over the place? Are you aware of all the public-facing vs. hidden pages you have on your site? Reviewing your sitemap periodically allows you to answer these questions with ease.
While you can always access your carbonhouse website sitemap from the footer link (or by navigating to yoururl.com/sitemap), it's important to review your hidden pages as well.
- Delete Old Pages - Do you have hidden pages you're no longer using? Maybe last season's promotional contest page is no longer needed or a road construction advisory page from 2016 is still hanging around.
- Review And Clean Up Your Friendly URLs - Friendly URLs are a fantastic marketing tool, however, they can quickly become unorganized and chaotic.
Review Each and Every Page
Be sure to access each individual page to review the content included. You may find that multiple pages can be condensed into one or that maybe it's best to break out text-heavy content into multiple pages.
During this process, you should perform the following:
- Review Consistency - Multiple people editing pages can lead to conflicting information. We see this on nearly every single site.
- Remove Unnecessary Code - Especially in text areas where formatting has been copied & pasted from Word
- Check For Broken Links - Have you updated an internal page URI or redirected with a friendly URL? Does your third-party link still go where you expect it to?
- Check & Update Contact Info and/or Staff Listings
- Test Forms - Are submissions working? Are submissions being directed to the correct email address?
Note Your News
Nothing makes a website feel dated more than a “recent news update” from 2018. Consider adding some more recent articles published in the local news about your venue for a quick update. If your team does not plan to update news routinely, consider that maybe a news listing doesn't make sense for your organization.
- You can easily remove or turn off any page linked to news, this does remove the News module from your site.
- If you would like to add a News listing to your site simply add the page in the site navigation where you would like and redirect that page to /news.
Clean Up The Media Folder
Holy moly can our media folder become unorganized quickly! Here are a few suggestions for organizing your media:
- Utilize The New Tagging System - One of our newer Showtime features is Media Tagging Folders. You can find an instructional video and PDF on this feature in our Showtime Workshop: 101 Beginner.
- Remove Old Event Or Branding Images - This tip is especially useful if you've undergone a rebranding or have a lot of one-off community events
- Update Out Of Date Images - Give your site a fresh look with newer images! Take some fresh photos or find some nice ones (royalty-free) on unsplash.com.
- Avoid These Image Mistakes - Take a moment to read this great article from Canva.com on the top 12 mistakes clients make with their website images.
Review Your Analytics
Determine which pages are frequented the most, and which are getting a bit moldy. Polish up your popular pages/posts and consider how you can get more mileage out of them.
Add SEO Optimization
Showtime grants you control over both the text and image which displays within search engine results and link sharing previews. Meta data should describe each page, event, and news article with a unique description and be tailored to your organization's goals.
We have updated our help desk articles to assist our clients in learning more about how you can update and add meta data and meta images within Showtime.
Review Your Tracking Codes
Do you know which tracking codes or pixels you have embedded on your site? Did a promoter give you an analytics code and now you have multiple Tag Manager accounts set up on your site? Or maybe you've added Tag Manager in the past but never really learned how it works?
Use this time to review what marketing codes you have tracking on your site, maybe even transition to a better management system. We are happy to provide you a download of all codes currently embedded via the help desk.
Learn Tag Manager
What better time to undertake some professional development? Dust off your learning skills and start Google's FREE Tag Manager Fundamentals course!
Take Control of Google My Business
With the rise of fake venue and ticketing websites, it's more important than ever to control your locations' presence online. Google My Business is a convenient, free, and user-friendly resource for businesses and potential customers alike. Anyone searching for your business information will instantly have access to the important info you post.
For a brief overview, read our Ask the Expert's article.
Clean Up Your Content For Accessibility
Web accessibility has been a strong focus for us here at carbonhouse and its importance will only grow. Reviewing and updating your content through with an "accessibility focus" is a great way to improve your site whether you've gone through a redesign, had us perform a retroactive accessibility implementation, or looking for ways to make your site more accessible within the current budget.
Test Your Site’s Usability
Turn on the screen reader, does your page setup allow users to navigate easily? Does your heading tag order go from H1 to H4 respectively? Are your tables set up for a screen reader to read? Does your linked text provide information on where the users will be taken when they click?
Review our best practices from the Showtime Workshop Series 104.
Rewrite In Plain English
Accessible content includes copy which is written in an easy-to-understand format, free of ambiguous abbreviations or jargon. Once you get the hang of it, plain English is faster to write and easier to read. Most importantly, you are much more likely to get your message across. Everyone wins.
We love these articles on improving your copy:
Add Alt-text Or Replace Images With No Textual Alternative
Use alt-text to provide access to the content of images for those who cannot see them. This also serves to improve your SEO efforts.
Below covers the different Alt-Text scenarios on your site:
- Images within Text - You must add alt-text under the image properties by double-clicking on the image
- Any Non-Event Slides within Homepage - The system will use the title of the media item, unless using the file name (i.e. .jpg). In which case, an alt-text of “null” will be used.
- **Listing Images (Events, News, Spotlights, Visitor Guide) - These will automatically be given an alt-text of “More info for...”
**These apply to sites that have gone through an accessibility implementation OR new hybrid sites.
Provide Captions & Translations For Videos
Update Your PDFs To Be Accessible
Standard PDF files can typically not be read by screen readers, we suggest testing your PDFs. Adobe Acrobat has a simple to follow process for updating your files.
Add a Web Accessibility Statement
A web accessibility statement is a simple way to let your users know that an accessible site is important to your organization. Your statement should provide users with a simple way to contact you should they run into any issues.
Schedule a Showtime Training
Since we sent out our last note, we are encouraged by the number of clients who've employed the tools available to them or reached out for help. Need a refresh on how to utilize Showtime fully? While the Help Desk is full of articles and videos, we are always happy to schedule a free Showtime training for you or your team.
You're All Finished, Now What?
Need more ideas or looking for tips on how to edit a specific section of your site? Shoot us an email for suggestions. Like you, we'd love to help offer suggestions to help occupy time during this unpredictable challenge.