The Website Review You Need Now

Your website has served you well for a long time. But even if a website doesn’t change over the years, the world around it does, including your own company.

Take a deep breath. The following basic steps for a website review will help you evaluate the relevance and consistency of your existing website:

  1. Compare your website content to your corporate goals and values. Have your goals for your business changed? Have you said what you meant to say? Have you said what you need to say in the best words to capture and keep the interest of customers?
  2. Check the navigation. Are you lumping everything you do under one generic “Products” or “Services” page or does the navigation help customers find what they are really looking for? Is your navigation easy to follow and understand? Are the links working?
  3. Really look at your pictures and videos. Are they professional and representative of you and your company? Have you included pictures of actual projects you’ve completed, customers you’ve served, products you sell and staff your customers will relate to?
  4. Check the dates on your testimonials, case studies, blogs and articles. Are they reasonably current (in the last 5 years) and are they still relevant? Do they represent your proudest moments now?
  5. Compare your website to the competition’s. Has your website design kept pace with the designs your competitors are using? Is your differentiator still valid? Are you missing a vital piece of information (for example, conformance to new regulations)? Have you overlooked an opportunity to provide customers with information that other sites don’t carry?
  6. Print out the entire website (every page!) and proofread for grammar, spelling and consistency. The proofreading stage of a website review catches those inadvertent changes and typos that occur over time, especially when multiple people have access to a website’s content. The style used for numbers (0.05 or .05 or $4B or $4 billion), the presence or absence of a serial comma, the reliance on bold or italics for emphasis all need to be consistent. Those details are easy to miss when you proofread online.
  7. Evaluate the ease of use and responsiveness of your contact information: phone number(s), email(s) and forms. If you were a customer, would you feel welcomed?  Are your forms properly set up to qualify potential customers without frustrating them?

Repeat each of these efforts regularly. If you need professional help, please contact TWP Marketing & Communications for an affordable website review or an entire website makeover.

Technical Manuals: Why a Final Review-and-Reorganize Is Essential

When technical manuals are written by a team of engineers, developers or project leaders, organization is often by default. Each person or group is assigned a chapter or topic and then the manual is stitched together. Before your manual goes to your customers, make sure one person is assigned to review and reorganize the whole. If no one is assigned to that critical role, the following problems are inevitable:

  • One chapter contains 10 pages of overview and the next chapter runs to 300 tightly packed pages of information, detailed to level 1.9.8.15.23.
  • References to further information in one chapter are never delivered in the following chapters. But some information is repeated, again and again, in every chapter.
  • The same figure appears in multiple places throughout the manual–and it’s slightly different each time.
  • Answers to the client’s most pressing questions are overlooked or buried so deeply in the text that they might as well not be there.

Installation and operating manuals are usually organized from first step to last. But without a review, that first step in the first chapter may begin too far along in the procedure (“everyone knows to flip the on switch”); may contain two or three paragraphs of information that should be broken up into smaller steps; may overlook important exceptions and warnings; and may be set up in a completely different way from the instructions in the next chapter.

Unless you enjoy forcing customers to struggle or having your technical team and help line overwhelmed with customer questions, you should insist on that final review and reorganization step by one person. The time it takes will be more than made up by the time and customer goodwill that it saves.

Do you have a writing emergency? TWP Marketing & Technical Communications is great at writing, editing and reviewing triage. Contact us today.