Is It Time for Your Website’s 10,000-Mile Checkup?

Jun 1, 2022 | News

Your website is a primary connection to students, both current and future, and a hub of your overall outbound communications. For that reason you’ll want to inspect and maintain it on a regular basis. Website upkeep works on two levels, one being functionality and the other involving content.

The functionality checkup looks for technical glitches and assesses how in synch you are with the big search engines, whose standards are continually changing.

Slow page loading is perhaps the most common technical flaw, and a major frustration for users. Every page on your site should load quickly, so be sure to check them all. Web tools like PageSpeed Insights from Google can guide you through the process. Basic remedies for slow-loading pages include reducing the size of your images and switching to a quick-loading font like Arial or Helvetica.

Broken links and “redirects” are also fairly common—they will often cause a 404 Error message to appear. This irritates users and will also hurt your standing with Google and other search engines. Scout your site for any bad links with the help of a basic website analytics tool. Any pages or links that get flagged will need to be updated or removed.

Another function issue with your site is not being optimized for mobile. Periodic checkups will include a study of your site as it appears on various mobile screens— tablets as well as phones. Check whether your images, fonts, buttons and navigation menu all appear proportionally on those smaller screens.

Website maintenance includes tracking the bounce rate of each page on your site. The lower the better, with anything under 40 percent being excellent and anything over 70 percent being problematic. Either a technical glitch or some unsatisfying content will generally be the cause of a high bounce rate, which, again, will hurt your search results.

On the content side of the ledger, golf coaching websites can suffer from such factors as old staff headshots and other photos that are generally out of date. Program and pricing information that’s no longer current is another common flaw. Above the fold on your site’s home page is where the basic call-to-action should be located—if it’s somewhere else you will do yourself a favor by moving it. (A signup button for a New Student Assessment is likely your best bet for a Call To Action.)  And don’t forget about links to each coach’s social media accounts—display those prominently.

Websites can have “dead zones,” meaning pages that need a lot of updating but rarely get it. That’s usually because no one has the necessary bandwidth. The internet is filled with sites that have a Calendar page but no events listed. Same with pages labelled Blog or News or Media.  It goes without saying that a dead-zone web page is worse than no web page at all, so if you’ve got one it is best to just take the page down.

Finally, take a look at your most basic information, such as your address, contact information, hours of operation and basic services. Help site visitors contact you by including links to this information on your homepage. It’s also a good idea to repeat your contact information down in the footer and link to it from your navigation bar. That way a user can locate it at any point throughout your site.