How Effective is Your Website?
It seems like everyone and their mother (and grandmother!) has a website these days. That’s why it’s important to be able to build a quality website to help promote your business and represent you and your service with flair. Here are nine tips to help you determine if your website could use a makeover.
- Know your audience. If you watch the latest hot sitcom and then watch reruns of shows from the early 60s, you’re going to see commercials for different products, but they’re going to produced in a totally different styles. In the same way, a website whose audience is older shouldn’t have things that will appeal to teens or a younger generation. Knowing your audience is the first step to meeting their needs.
Question: Is your website generic, or was it developed to satisfy the interests of a defined niche audience?
- Keep it simple. Simple websites are easier to navigate and they load faster so your customers don’t become frustrated waiting to find what they’re looking for.
Question: How easy is it to find answers on your current site?
- Ask for feedback. You are definitely too close to your site. You probably love it, but it was not created for you. Always have a way for your users to send you feedback. This will help you make changes your customers want to keep them coming back…and hopefully, recommend you to their friends. You can put feedback boxes and questions on different pages, or you can add a message board with a feedback section.
Question: Do you feedback devices on every page?
- Don’t branch out too much. This loops back to our designated niche. It’s best to focus on one segment, area or service. If you offer a number of “products” or types of service, you would be wise to use several websites to promote them accurately so visitors don’t become confused and bombarded with information that is of little interest to them.
Question: Is your website focused and clear to navigate?
- Be consistent. Make each page “feel” the same way…format, font, color, etc. to keep visitors from getting confused about where to find what they’re looking for. Two font choices (maybe three at the most) will add enough variation without appearing too disjointed.
Question: Does your website pass the “3-Font-Max” Test?
- Be readable. Not only do you need a font that’s readable and colors that don’t hurt the eyes, but it’s extremely beneficial to have correct spelling and grammar. Customers aren’t likely to stick around if they think you’re lazy or don’t know what you’re talking about.
Question: Is your website easy to read and, thanks to your clean copy, do your readers stay on topic?
- Keep it current. Besides the danger of having out-of-date information, pages that are updated more often are more likely to be visited more often. This gives you a better chance of keeping your customers zeroed in on your content.
Question: Do you visit your website regularly in an attempt to keep its content fresh and up-to-date?
- Make things easy to find. Everyone wants things fast, and adding a search box or an easy site map will help your visitors find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. Too many drop down menu choices will not do you any favors in the long run. I won’t go far as to say “less is more,” but I will remind you that “just enough may be just enough.”
Question: Are your links easy to interpret and placed in appropriate spots? Are there “just enough” to convey the information you want to make available to your visitors?
- Have fun. Ultimately, if you do everything right but your site looks just like every other well-made site, you still may not be in position to benefit. Your site needs to have something unique that reflects who you are and what you can provide.
Question: Have you introduced your true personality to your website? Does it clearly depict a quick idea as to who you are, how you work and just how much fun you can be?
I rest my case. Having a website to just be able to say ”me-too” is a waste of your time and money. Unless visitors find you and explore your website you have nothing more than another useless tool in your marketing arsenal. With these tips as a guideline, there is no need for this to happen.
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