Does your website work effectively for your business?
The points in this post overlap and influence each other so they are co-dependent, but we will split them out to make them easier to assess and work on with your own website. Each one contributes to an effective web site marketing strategy.
Look and Feel
This goes beyond the aesthetics, the “feel” of your website will determine whether visitors stay or go as well as whether they buy from you and whether they recommend you to their friends. Remember that your visitor always has other options, search for what you do in Google if you don’t believe me, and they will generally choose one that makes them feel good as well as feeling that you are a good fit for them.
Ease of Use
Can they see and get to what they need quickly and easily? Design your website for your customer, don’t fall into the age-old trap of designing it for you Remember they don’t have (or need!) your understanding of what you do, they just need to know how you can help them and how to get started. Fast!
The “what” here depends on your business, but are you clear on what that function is? How well does the site perform the function, or functions, you have assigned to it? Whether it’s brand awareness, lead capture, selling products or services or taking bookings (just for starters!) the better it performs that task the more return you’re going to get on your investment. Can it earn you more money or save you more time?
Closely related to function but worth looking at separately. Is your site effectively getting your customer from first landing point to the goals you’ve set? Could you improve on current results?
Is your site making people want to stay or go? I dare you not to sing it!
Is your website being found in search, and when found is it making people want to click and visit? This is affected by many of the other factors here, along with some more technical details. This is one that we will expand on much more as this series progresses, so stay tuned!
How do you look in search and shares?
Do you know what your website looks like when it appears in search listings or when it’s shared to social media? A preview appears in both cases and you have full control over how that looks. Make sure it’s clear and appealing to increase clicks and shares!
Does your site load fast enough? Both user experience and search results are massively affected by your site speed.
Does your visitor get the same experience, as much as possible, on any device or browser? Have you checked? Screen size will affect experience and look of your website, but the difference in effectiveness can be minimised. If most of your website traffic is one mobile devices then the mobile experience deserves more of your attention, but your website should work on any size screen.
Is your content changing regularly and up to date? Google can detect when changes are made on a website and will prioritise more relevant, fresher sites (partly as it can tell that those businesses still exist if their website is up to date). Updated content also makes your site more useful and will increase visits and shares (which will further increase visits!)
Do you test it?
Any good website developer will test a site pre (and post!) launch, but regularly using your site makes sure you know what your users are experiencing and that it works – both things like site flow and that your contact form sends the expected email (you’d be surprised how many don’t, for various reasons!)
This list is fairly thorough but not entirely comprehensive. Some issues and factors that can be improved only become obvious when we look at a site as we have seen a fair few at this point and know what we are looking for!
If you would like us to check out your website (and social media) in a full audit and review check this out. We provide a full report on how you are doing online, along with our recommendation. It’s then entirely up to you to decide whether you’d like us to help you with applying them!