Evaluating Your Utility’s Website (Part Two)

June 14, 2018

Note: This is the second article of a two-part series on practical ways a utility can consistently keep their website looking professional, on message and helpful to customers.

If you’ve begun applying the steps in Part One of this series, you have formed your website committee, mapped out your current site and come up with a plan to simplify and reorganize your content. This alone will give you the foundation for a website that is more easy to use and will better serve your customers or members.

However, there’s more still to do, and your committee will continue to play a central role in crafting your website’s message and value.

Your next task will be ongoing for as long as you’re dedicated to having an excellent website: reviewing, updating and improving every page on your site.

Have your committee dedicate time to discussing and upgrading a set number of pages per month. Break down the number of pages on your site and give each page a certain time of year to be reviewed.

Be mindful of when it is best to update certain pages. If you have a scholarship page, for instance, place that in the committee’s calendar when those scholarships have just been awarded. Other pages, like special policies or services, can generally be updated any time.

Your goals for each page should be to:

1. Make sure the page is factually accurate and current. Often your customers may stumble on outdated information because a certain page has been allowed to collect dust for too long.

2. Make sure the page is well-written, with language consistent with the rest of your website. Examine the brands you interact with every day, such as Apple, Microsoft, Facebook or Amazon. They all have distinct voices that affect every communication they have with their customers. Your electric or telecommunications company should strive for the same effect. Find a voice and be sure every page of your website speaks in that voice.

3. Make sure each page is easy to understand, using graphics where possible. Sometimes a simple image or infographic can convey more information to your members. Oftentimes trade associations, other local groups or just a Google search can help with this. Be sure not to use any copyrighted photos without permission, and be sure what you’re posting accurately reflects what is happening at your utility.

If you follow these steps, and the ones from last month’s article, you will have an excellent, customer-focused website that can deliver positive experiences 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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