It is that time again! The snow is rapidly melting and the sun is shining for a lot longer than in recent weeks. With Daylight Savings only a few weeks away now, we can officially look forward to Spring, which means it’s time for the annual Spring clean. Of course it’s necessary to perform a thorough spring cleaning of your office, your desk, and your computer, but what about your current website? How often do you go in there with a broom and dustpan ready to sweep up all the dead links, old news, and even older imagery? How long has it been since you’ve even thought about it? If the answer is a month or longer, it is definitely time to get out all the necessary cleaning tools. Your website not only plays a crucial role in connecting your practice to your existing patients, but also to those potential patients you’ve been waiting for. However, to really utilize this connection properly, it is important to focus on and continue to update your website. Below are just a few suggestions to get you started.
- Remove old and expired content
The whole point of having a website is not only to connect and engage with your existing patients but also to market to potential ones. However, in order to do so effectively, the visitors to your website need to have confidence that the information they find will be relevant and useful. According to nine10.ca, leaving events up on the site that have long since passed as well as leaving dead links, old imagery and promotions that are now expired “reflect poorly on you, your business, and your attention to detail.” But that’s not all. With this website, time has been spent building your authority with patients. Without regular updates, expired content left up on the website too long can severely damage that authority and potentially lose you those new patients you’ve been waiting for. This is why it is so important to check your website and update it regularly.
- Provide new and relevant content
“A website is a process not a project.” Building and maintaining a website is more than just putting up content and images and letting it go. This process takes time, and there is no end to it unless you decide to take it down. But remember, as much work as it might be to maintain, it is worth it as a way to build your authority in the field and market to new patients whether by providing them with promos or drawing them in with advice they can use in their daily lives. Now that you have removed all the old content, it’s time to replace it with all new content, and this includes imagery. If you still have winter imagery, swap it out for fresh Spring imagery. Haven’t written a blog post in a while? Now’s the time. Read the news and use it to educate your visitors on the latest oral health issues. Trust me, the people coming to your website notice it when you don’t update. By providing fresh and relevant content regularly, you will always give your visitors a reason to keep coming back again and again.
- Test your forms
Have any forms on your website, such as a medical questionnaire for your patients to fill out before they arrive at the office? If so, test them to make sure they are functioning properly and there are no errors.
- Double check backups
So many people worry about malware on their computer, but what about the website? If you haven’t thought about your website backup in a while, just remember that if the site goes down, you won’t be able to recover it, which may mean a lot of lost content. As part of your Spring cleaning, check and double check your backups. Soundwebsolutions.net suggests that “if you don’t have a backup plan, consider one. It will eliminate the heartache of losing your website content and make it so much easier to recover when an issue arises.”
I’m sure you’ve noticed a pattern in this post by now when it comes to maintaining your website: Update regularly. It will make the cleaning process quicker and easier and will help bring even more traffic to your website. The truth is that sometimes we use the concept of “Spring cleaning” as an excuse to wait and put off necessary maintenance. However, today, I encourage you to instead use it as a chance to get into a regular routine, not just with your website, but with your office, your desk, and your computer.