I’ve been busily marking the final projects for my class at Ryerson – their assignment was to assess a Canadian magazine website and suggest improvements, as if they were the new web editor – and it made me think: how often do we actually step back and take a look at our sites?
I’m always in the middle of analyzing statistics, assessing what people click on from the home page, looking at successes in SEO, planning editorial – all the day-to-day jobs. And occasionally, we get the chance to analyze specific ideas or sections of the site and think of improvements. But it’s rare that I have the time to pause for a long enough time and assess the site overall.
So here’s my suggestions: Give your site a performance review. (We all love those, right?) Get together with everyone involved in your site and set annual SMART goals for it. Do a three-month review. Do a six-month review. And at the end of the year, take a whole day together and really think about what you’ve achieved and what you’ve still got to do. Set aside the time, away from your email and telephone and people asking you to do things, and look at your site with open eyes and the perspective of a reader. You may be surprised at what you see when you take the time to look.