Get 30 & 60-Minute Fixes to Your Website Woes

Working on your website? Take a break and picture your filing cabinet. There are drawers and files. Maybe you have a lock and a key. Your files (or most of them) have a label or title on it with documents crammed inside. While file cabinets look pretty simple, it’s your information warehouse and can be complex.

For example, mine is a commercial-sized cabinet with three large drawers that holds my life inside. Only one drawer opens at a time so that it won’t topple over. Beyond safety, my drawers are organized into five sections. Personal, Professional, Gift bags/cards (I like to give thank you gifts), Past accomplishments, and a ‘To-be-filed-one-of-these-days’ section. It also holds a large four-in-one printer on top with a few inspiring, quotable magnets strategically placed on the outside.  

Like that cabinet, your website is complex too. It holds heaps of information, it presents your business to the world, and it does some heavy lifting.  Here are four things you might find are broken and how to fix them, today.

1) Non-specific page titles

A website is like that filing cabinet and the files inside tell you where to go. Can you imagine having a perfectly clean, fully organized filing cabinet? (Me either, but go with me here.) If you opened this so-clean-it-must-be-a-unicorn-cabinet but there wasn’t a single tag or label, how would you find anything? How would you direct your spouse or your staff to find an important document?

Like that filing cabinet your website has several important elements. The most important are the title tags. These tags sum up the content inside your website or webpage and they tell Google or other search engines what they can expect to find.

To check yours, do a name search as “site:yourdomainnamehere.” While it’s common to find page titles that say: Home, Product, Contact, Services, is there something more specific and relevant you want to tell Google or your visitors?

Here’s the 30-minute fix.

Let’s go back to the uber-organized, unicorn-level file cabinet. How would you fix the missing labels? I picture you’d open the file, determine what’s inside and jot down a relevant, descriptive label that helps you (or anyone else) know what they’ll find. That’s the same idea with your site. Open your most popular and helpful web pages. Look around. Picture yourself as a potential customer. What’s the most helpful word or two they need to know about that page? Jot down that word or phrase, open your web editor, type it in and click to update your site.

Don’t have access to your web editor? You’ll want to send an email to your tech team or marketing agency and asking them to update each page title and title tags to the ones you’ve chosen. While you’re chatting with them, ask for feedback on the titles you chose. As an outsider and an expert who visits your site often — they’ll have an idea of what’s most helpful for your visitors and search engines.

2) Broken links

Imagine one of your paper file folders, ripped, leaving papers scattered in the drawer or on the office floor. How long would you leave it like that? You’d likely pick it up the moment you found it.

Broken URL links on your site might not be as obvious as scattered papers on the floor — until today! These links will break for various reasons, but when left broken they impact the quality and usability of your website. Leaving your visitor (and Google) kinda frustrated. Worse part, they’ll make decisions about your business because they’ll think you’re not updating your site.

Here’s the 30-minute fix.

With this free link checker, it’s super easy to fix all of your broken links in one sitting. Type in your website and they’ll report back which links are broken. There’s a chance your first try will need more than 30-minutes. Suggest setting a recurring monthly calendar reminder to keep this task manageable.  

3) Unclear Audience

Go to your homepage. Ask yourself, who do I want to attract to my website? Who is this page for? And no “people with money,” isn’t the best answer. Can you narrow it down a bit? Is it for moms, dads, student, athletes? Where do they hang out, how do they spend their day? If you’re a restaurant, do you cater to a particular crowd? Or maybe you’re a dentist who specializes in pain-free treatments for nervous patients. Look around, is it clear who your site is for?

Here’s the 60-minute fix.

If you haven’t already, check out step one in my 12 Step Media Plan here. (Spoiler alert, Step One works for anything in marketing…not just social media.) Jot down who your target audience is and come back to your homepage. Is your site speaking to that person and others like them? Can a first-time visitor understand if they’re in the right place? When a visitor figures that out, quickly — they’ll stay on your page longer. Which communicates to Google that you’re offering relevant, timely content.

For most websites, there’s an opportunity for you to re-write your web copy. Get started by setting a 30-minute timer and type out all of your ideas. Don’t self-edit. At the end of the 30-minutes, organize and narrow your ideas to the best ones. Choose the best, most impactful spot on your site for those words and phrases. Edit the pages or contact your designer for help.

BONUS: Get valuable feedback! After the edits have been published, reach out to a customer in your target audience (customers love giving feedback when they know it can help!) They say 65% of all people are visual learners, so having your edits in place will help your customer give the best feedback.

4) It’s not mobile friendly.

   Have you stood in line anywhere this week? The train, the pharmacy, Starbucks? Look around. What did we do before we had these rectangles to stare at all the time? We probably stood straight and made awkward eye contact, sure, but we also struggled to get some of our to-do list done. Now I can order a birthday gift while standing in line at Starbucks. #handled  It’s so important your website is available and ready to do the same for your customers.

Here’s the 2-minute decision OR several-minute fix.

I wanted to give you a silky smooth, Easy As Sunday morning 30 or 60-minute fix. I did! Comment with your website URL and I’ll still try! But without knowing your site, I don’t know how to give you a time estimate. But I do know how to help you make a two-minute decision or begin a 30, 60, 90-minute (or more) fix.

Start by searching for Google Mobile-Friendly Test and drop in your website URL.

Did you get Page is Mobile-Friendly? Or does it need some work? To you, this last step will feel really big. But it’s not. The tools available in WordPress or Wix or Weebly or Squarespace are all designed to make this easy for users. While I prefer to design in WordPress, I’m familiar with the options (and limits) of other platforms — and guess what? They all have one thing in common: video tutorials! Google “Video tutorials on [insert any topic from your Google Mobile-Friendly test results].”

Block out thirty minutes and watch a few of them. You’re bound to find what you need.

Website still wonky?

If you’re on an older platform and you failed the mobile-friendly test. You have a two-minute decision to make. Switch platforms or lose customers.

Here’s why. If your test results returned a broken, mobile experience, your customers (and Google) will get frustrated. You’ll be an obstacle in their to-do list.  And Google has told us it’s time to get mobile issues worked out. So yes, your fix will take longer. Maybe a week, maybe a month. But it can be done, quickly, smoothly and mobile-friendly. Get with your designer or hey! Send me a note. I’d love to give you feedback and offer ideas to get your site back on track.