By Ramon Ray –

Spring is on the way, and according to one survey, 77% of households do some form of spring cleaning. As a business owner, the concept of spring cleaning can be applied to the place where much of your information resides — your website. An annual website “spring cleaning” is a great idea for your business.

The Basics

If you’re going to do a major cleaning, you’ll want to tackle the most important parts first.

As reported in Smart Hustle, in a VistaPrint survey, respondents considered up-to-date and accurate content to be most important on small business websites. They were bothered by outdated product and contact information and a lack of address, directions and business hours. In addition, consumers were less likely to buy from a poorly designed website.

You can correct outdated product and contact information as it happens, or make this a monthly calendar item.

If you’re not sure your website has a good design, you can learn more from this Build a Website Guide from Alice, a free platform to help you start and grow your business.

Changes to Make Now

Keeping up with the ever-changing world of search engine algorithms and new website technology can be difficult. Each year, consider making at least the top critical adjustments to your website.

Here’s what’s important now:

1. Mobile-friendly sites. Online searches through mobile devices have now surpassed searches on desktops. That means that your web site must be easy to use on mobile devices. If you created a website in the last few years, chances are that it uses a responsive design — one that adjusts text, images, etc., according to screen size. In addition to giving users a better experience, Google also ranks responsive, or “mobile-friendly,” sites higher than ones that aren’t. You can check to see if your site is mobile-friendly by using Google’s Mobile Friendly Test and inputting your website’s URL. If your site is not mobile-friendly, you can learn how to move to responsive design themes on various platforms, here.

2. Website security. You know when you search online, and sometimes you’ll see a “Not secure” show up when you get to a website? You’ll see this if the website address starts with “http” instead of “https.” If it’s secure, you’ll see the https in front of the URL, or a lock in front of the URL. This became important when Google announced that it would rank secure websites higher than non-secure sites. You can ask your webmaster about this, or learn how to convert to a secure site, here.

3. Optimized local searches. If you have a physical location, signing up for Google My Business (GMB) is a must. GMB is free, and easy to set up. It allows you to manage how your website shows up in Google Search and Maps. The biggest benefit is how much it increases your search visibility. Let’s say you are a CPA in Fort Lauderdale, FL. If you sign up for GMB, you might show up on the top of the first page of Google search results when someone types in that search:

Map

Amazing, right? If you haven’t signed up for GMB yet, you can get step-by-step instructions on how to do that, here.

Looking Forward

The changes you make during your annual website spring cleaning will serve you well for the rest of the year. Here’s hoping that you’ll clean up in sales and profits!

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Ramon RayAbout the Author: Ramon Ray is the founder of Smart Hustle and Entrepreneur in Residence at Alice, a free platform to help you start and grow your business. Ramon has started four companies and sold two of them. Learn more about Ray at www.ramonray.com.