There are hundreds of museums, galleries, stately homes and historical sites in the country, all facing the same problems – how to secure funding, how to attract more visitors and how to stay relevant in the digital age.
Your website is one of your most important assets when it comes to marketing and promoting your site or venue. Members of the public will visit it to see what you have to offer, and potential funders will use it to learn more about how you operate and past successes.
Your home page needs to be compelling and professionally put together, as it’s often the first place visitors come to. The rest of the website needs to showcase what you have to offer and highlight what’s unique about you, whether that’s a rare artefact, a battle location or somewhere royalty once stayed.
Whether you’re just putting your first website together or if you’ve had one a while, getting it reviewed and refreshed is a good idea. Firstly, a review will spot any typos or grammatical errors that you and your team may have missed while proofreading.
While there’s nothing wrong with this, it can be worth having your website content reviewed, or at least your homepage, to check for errors, jargon and ease of reading. One of the problems many businesses have is that because they’re so close to their subject, they don’t explain it in a way that customers or visitors can understand.
Why Heritage Organisations Need a Website Review
This is particularly common for heritage organisations. Perhaps one of the curators wrote a lot of your web copy, or you referred to an academic text to help you. Being accurate is essential, but for anyone not familiar with your site and its history, they’re going to be confused, and potentially put off.
Website copy needs to be accessible, jargon-free and help the reader to get a clear picture of what their experience will be like when they visit your site. If you think your website doesn’t do this, find someone who’s not an expert in your field to look at it.
A professional copywriter can spot things you may not realise aren’t quite right and rearrange information to make it more compelling and encourage the reader to want to visit. They’ll also help you weed out anything that’s not important to the average visitor. And, if you’re an international heritage site and you’ve translated your copy into English from another language, getting a native speaker to look it over is helpful.
Make sure all the information on your site is up to date, too. Are the key contacts listed still employed? Have you got the correct opening hours, winter closures and holiday information displayed? Has anything changed since you last reviewed your website – is the café closed or has a restaurant opened, for instance? And make sure your blogs are regularly updated, too, so that people know you’re still open and have exciting things for them to see.
If you’d like to have a website review for your heritage site, click here for more information.