I’d like you to check your website links — it’s the New Year and it’s always a great idea to make sure everything’s working on your website.
I’m talking about this in my Podcast today because I often come across links on websites which take me to unexpected locations, or take me nowhere.
Transcript of Podcast 012 : Check your website links
Hi, this is Teena Hughes of the “Build a Brand: Not Just a Website” Podcast. And today is the 2nd of January, 2014.
So, Happy New Year. I hope you’ve got something fabulous planned for this year and I also wish that all of your dreams come true.
So, lets get started with a tip for today. I would like you to think about your website and the links that you have on there. Now, I’m particular interested in this today because I’ve just been to a very well-known website that’s in my local area and I tried to sign-up for their newsletter and I clicked and I clicked and I clicked on the newsletter button and I was not taken to a form.
So, this was a little bit frustrating but you know these things happen. So, I waited for a while and went back to the website and tried again, and again I wasn’t able to click the link. So, I hovered my mouse over the link so that I could look at the bottom left corner of my browser window and see what the link actually was going to.
Now, this was the bit that really surprised me because they had the link going to the same page that the link was on, which actually wasn’t a newsletter page. So, I did a quick bit of research on the website. I found their sitemap. I couldn’t find a newsletter page, but I did find a contact page and I thought fantastic, I’ll just ring their office and I’ll let them know that there’s a problem.
Now, that sounds good in theory. When I went to the contact page they had a whole slew of phone numbers to call for different things, for different events that I could arrange or all kinds of things that I could do, but not one of them was actually just for the office or a way to contact the webmaster, or just a basic phone call.
So, I ended up calling one of the other numbers that was listed on the page, which took me through a series of steps that I didn’t really need to go through because I didn’t want to follow-up on any of their offerings. And I finally got through to someone and I passed on the information and she thanked me very much.
What the lady then told me was a bit of a surprise. She said, “Oh, yes, we do know that that link is not working and someone will be looking at it soon.”
And I suggested that they might want to just pop in to the site and turn off the link. Remove the word. I said that will only be a 5 minute job and that will prevent people from clicking on it and becoming a little bit frustrated.
And she said to me, “Well, it’s the beginning of the year and as you can understand, we’re extremely busy. So, the likelihood of someone doing that is actually nile. And they won’t be able to get to it for quite some time.”
This was also a bit of a surprise, so I felt bad for her and I thanked her very much for her time. But it made me think about my website, your website and all the other websites we land on.
And so as this New Year starts, and this is only the second day of the New Year. I thought it might be a great idea for you to go to your website and click on every link on the home page. Click every single link and make sure it goes to the right page. There are no problems anywhere and that you actually land on whatever it is you expected to land on.
Now, if every link works, that’s fantastic news.
But, I do have another step for you. Do you have any other links on the other pages that might be different from the links on the home page? They could be buttons in your sidebar, they could be all kinds of things. So, if you do and most of us do, I’d like you to just take another step and go and test those links as well.
Just make sure that when you click on any link or button that it actually takes you to where you expected to go. Now look, this whole process depending on how big your site is of course, but for your most important pages this should take no more than a half an hour.
So, if you spend about 30 minutes today or at least one day this week just checking your links, it will give you peace of mind to know that everything is working the way it should. And also what I like to do on my 404 page, which is the error page on every website.
I like to put more instructions on my 404 page by making a bit of a joke and say something along the lines of, “Sorry, gremlins must’ve eaten that link that you are looking for. If you’d like to contact us, please fill in this form. Here is the sitemap.” Or there’s a whole host of things you can put on your 404 page to let people know that you want to know where there’s a problem.
So, you can ask them to please let you know which page they were on and which button they clicked and that way you’ll be able to track down the mistake or the error in the link immediately and get that sorted.
Now, its only a little task. I’m not asking much, so please go and do that. And if any of you pop over to my website, and click on any link that doesn’t work, please, please, please let me know ASAP.
Ok, well that’s it for today. Happy New Year from me to you. I hope that you had a fabulous holiday season, wherever you are in the world. And I look forward to hearing from you, so don’t forget to pop over to the website, BizmarketinginaBox.com or the YouTube page, or the Facebook page, or the Twitter page. Whatever you do, just reach out and say hello. I’d love to hear from you and if you have any tips or questions or suggestions you’d like me to share with everybody that’ll be fantastic.
So, this is the end of today’s message. This is Teena Hughes from “Build a Brand: Not Just a Website,” brought to you by my website BizmarketinginaBox.com.
Ok, bye, bye. See you soon!
Thanks for listening, I hope you find some time in your schedule to visit your site as a “newcomer” and see it through the eyes of your web visitors – click what they’d click, did your webpage answer questions they might have asked?
Has anything like this happened to you when you did check your website links? Would you like to share that with the listeners? If you do, many thanks in advance!