HELP! DOES MY WEBSITE NEED A MAKE OVER? – 10 QUESTIONS TO ASK
Your website is your virtual store front, and just as a store needs to change it’s window displays regularly and keep it modern and appealing so too does your website.
You set up business, you get a website and then you get busy running the business. But do you regularly look at your site and ensure it’s current? Technology and marketing trends are changing every couple of years, but have you kept your website and business up to date? Just as retailers test the effectiveness of displays and in-store offers, do you test your offers and analyse your website traffic and visitor behavior?
What goes into making a website and homepage effective? Here are 10 questions to ask yourself to determine if it’s time for an update or an overhaul.
1. Is your website mobile-friendly?
Is it responsive to the device it is being looked at on? Easy way to test this is use your phone and visit your site. Is it easy to read the text, does the navigation work? Can the whole site be seen in the screen? If you can’t it is not what is referred to as responsive. This is important as over 60% of Internet users use a handheld device.
2. Is your homepage eye catching and appealing?
The homepage is the most visited page on your site so it should be captivating and accurately represent your unique brand, and voice. You have on average 6 minutes to communicate what you offer, how and whom you help. You communicate this through the layout, branding, colours, typography, visuals and words. Does it look bland or amateurish? Who are you trying to attract and would your site appeal to them in its current form?
3. Is the information prioritised on the homepage?
This means that the headlines and sub-headlines need to be clear, and communicate what your business offers and how you can help prospective visitors. Are the features listed of your offering and the benefits of working with you clear and easy to find? The eye is drawn to the most prominent element on your pages, make it the headings that communicate to the prospective customer.
4. Is navigation logical, easy to find?
You don’t want to make people hunt as they will only leave your site. Use easy-to-understand language as Navigation titles, not obscure quirky titles. It might seem fun but your customer will get irritated and click away. If you have many pages on your site, try to group them logically and give them a ‘banner name’ to fall under and use that as the title on the navigation bar. Less is more.
5. Prominent call-to-action visible on each page?
A ‘call-to-action’ is what you want a visitor to act on, such as Contact you, Sign up for your newsletter, Request a free consultation or quote. If your website doesn’t include a call-to-action you are missing out on business. Majority of people need to be prompted or they will do nothing.
6. Enticing Opt-in offer?
An opt-in is a box that pops up while you are on a website. It includes a free offer to entice the visitor to hand over their email address. You get to increase your ‘list’ and the visitor gets some hopefully useful, inspiring information. Win-win. The opt-in is part of your sales funnel, your captured audience to sell your services to.
7. Are you using video on your homepage to communicate your offerings?
Recent changes to the Google algorithms means that video is the new ‘blog post’ in terms of helping your site rank better. Make sure they are well-thought out, and you look fresh and professional. Take time to consider your background and what the viewer will see. Make it tidy, interesting but not busy and if possible relatable to your offering. Some people use a backdrop of their branding colours, other their home lounge (organising or interior services).
8. Are your testimonials prominently displayed or easy to find?
Testimonials help your prospective customers get an insight into what you are like to work with, what kind of businesses you have worked with and which will influence their purchasing decisions. Check out my article on tips for getting great testimonials here.
9. Are your social media icons visible and easy to find?
Social media is useful to feed back into your sales funnel, which is your site. You can put your blog posts on social media, share to your hearts content but makes sure it’s relevant to your customer and drives them back to your site. Have your social media icons on every piece of content so visitors can share it also. The more people are talking about you, your content and your site the better.
10. Has your site got an SEO plugin for keywords on each page and for each post?
Are the keywords people use to look for you when they search you and your business service mentioned multiple times throughout your website?
Each page must have a keyword for that page so that search engines can register it when people search. If you don’t the search engine will ‘skip’ past your site and you will never get found.
If you have answered yes to all 10 then congrats you are doing well. If you said no to 4 or less then you need not only an updated website but may need some marketing help as well.