Start the Year Right, Audit your Site

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Here we are – 2018. It’s time for new beginnings, new strategies and the creation of new impressions that will last. When people conduct a search, your website is the first thing they see. Based off its’ looks, viewers will create a first impression and remember it. So whether your site needs a few tweaks or a total reconstruction, keep these tips in mind to optimize the face of your company this year.



The first thing anyone sees, whether they realize it or not, is the layout, color scheme and organization of your website. People want to feel comfortable rather than overwhelmed when they enter your site. Too many contrasting colors, movement or even too many options can discourage people from digging deeper into the content of your site; this creates a higher bounce rate. Nobody wants that! Huffington post suggests that the use of concise wording is the best way to get your message across. Take the Goldie Locks approach here- not too much, not too little, just right.


A lot of times, students are instructed to not use a website before 2006 as a credible source because it’s outdated. Don’t let this happen to your site! It’s important to keep your content, text and media up-to-date. claims that updates are a sign that your website is active and alive, versus abandoned and forgotten. Every website is different, so there isn’t a correct answer as to “How often should I update?” Just consider your audience and remember that new information doesn’t hurt.


Responsiveness and Mobile Compatibility

People don’t want to look at your website if it doesn’t work on their phones. More likely than not, people are searching on smartphones, tablets or other mobile devices. In 2016, found that mobile usage overtook desktop usage worldwide. Therefore, mobile compatibility is important for the majority of people visiting your site. If your website is not com in 2018, UPDATE! This is crucial for search engine optimization (SEO).


This is an instance where less is more. emphasizes that your short-term memory can only retain so much information and too much information will likely be forgotten. Entering a website is like walking into a new house for the first time. What do you see? Is it clean, put together, decorated nicely, can you move around comfortably? If your website is always clean and well-kept, the more often people will want to visit. Simple.

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The quality of your website images say a lot about your company. Irrelevant photos may lead viewers to think your content is outdated and encourage them to conduct another search. There are many free sites to collect high resolution images that look great on websites such as, or you can use stock images. Google is a good spot to find inspiration, however try to avoid downloading images for direct use because you may run in to some copyright issues. Hiring photographers for promotional photos is a good investment if your budget allows, or if you can capture the images on your own, that is highly recommended.


Every hear, “Dumb it down” or “In English?” This usually happens when someone has no idea what you’re talking about. Your jargon, a.k.a, your vocabulary may be targeted towards a particular topic in which not everyone is educated. It’s important to use simple terminology on your website that everyone can understand. The Writing Center at the University of North Carolina says not to throw in words just to “sound smart;” make it logical.

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Overall, simple is better when designing a website. Make it fresh, clean and pleasing to the eye. Remember, if you’re a good host, people will want to re-visit.

Karen Leonard
December 29, 2017

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