It’s the New Year—a great time to reevaluate your website. Is it up to date and accurate? Do visitors find it easy to use? Does it welcome and capture your visitors’ attention? Is it interesting and engaging? Does it reflect the nature and character of your business? If you answer no to any of these questions, you may need to spend some time auditing your website and making some modifications.
An outmoded, badly-organized website reflects poorly on you and your business. Even if you do not have an e-commerce site, the design and functionality of your website effects how visitors view your business.
So take a few minutes to take a look at these 4 questions to see if you should audit your website to ensure that it is serving your business needs.
1. Is Your Website Findable? We have all heard of SEO (search engine optimization) but how well do you understand it? Basically, you want to make sure you have taken the steps necessary to allow search engines such as Google or Bing to find you. You can’t just take these steps once and then sit back and expect your website to fly on automatic. You need to continually monitor and work on your SEO. You should be using relevant keywords consistently and preparing effective title tags and meta descriptions.
Do you have analytics in place? Do you review them regularly to find out which pages are viewed most frequently? Are you considering how to modify the pages that don’t attract or hold viewers?
Do you have social media share and follow buttons so that your viewers can not only follow you on your social media sites but also share your content with their friends?
2. Is Your Website Easy to Use and to View? If visitors can’t find what they want quickly, they will move on. So you should make sure that your website
- Loads fast
- Is responsive (i.e., looks good on mobile devices)
- Looks good on multiple browsers
- Is easy to navigate
- Is secure
Also evaluate your website host, platform and template. Are they easy to use? Do they create the design and flexibility you want?
One way to get a better perspective on these issues is to have potential site users try out your website. Having others critically look at your site can help you spot everything from misspellings to problems with design and functionality.
3. Does Your Design Reflect Your Brand? Your marketing and branding may have evolved since you initially developed and designed your website. Has your website kept up with these changes? For instance, your website should use fonts and colors that are consistent with your other marketing materials.
Have you changed your marketing goals or strategies? If so, your website should reflect that. Make sure you are not confusing your customers by failing to provide them with a consistent look and message.
4. Is Your Content Current and Useful? Take a step back and take a look at your content. It should reflect your current business and services. It should be accurate and easy to read. It should be coherent, i.e., do not group disparate information together. Check for grammar and spelling errors. Images should be attractive and engaging and be correctly sized and proportioned. Sloppy content—whether it is ungrammatical structure, misspelled words or distorted and low resolution graphics—will distract the reader and won’t instill confidence in your business.
Content should not be one long sales pitch. Be sure to offer value to your viewers in addition to opportunities to purchase your product or services. Think about providing advice, instruction, or free downloads.
Make sure to have clear and attractive call to actions. Your audience needs clear directions about what you want them to do. If you want them to opt-in to your newsletter, read your blog, download a free giveaway, or buy your services, make it clear and simple to do.
Your website is a key component of your business image. Take time to make it a strong business asset rather than allowing it to deteriorate into a liability.