How well do you know your website?

First impressions count. Your website is your shop window.  You wouldn’t even consider crossing the threshold of a cluttered, mis-matched and messy shop, so if your website resembles one of these less than desirable establishments, you might just need some help! Your website is living and breathing, it should never be finished or complete, it’s a continual work in progress, so let’s go to work.

Client Website Review

I’ve recently completed a website research project for a new client.  The task set was to review design, layout, ease of navigation, content, effectiveness, comprehension and most importantly the appeal for new customers.  I spent around 2 hours on their site and really dug deep, clicking on every single link and loading every single page!  Then I sat back and reflected.   With no previous knowledge of the client or the products and services they sell, the client was right to think that I was best placed to approach this task with fresh eyes, and was able to give it some real objectivity. It was a pretty interesting review and the client said that my report was “exactly what they hoped for and some of my suggestions will be implemented” which is great feedback.  So, now what about your website?

Your website needs you!

If you’re a small business owner with your own website, ask yourself when was the last time you completed a proper review?  I’m sure you were over the moon with it when you first launched it, but what have you done with it since then? Have you let it fester?  Have you gone back and really looked at it, and I mean really looked at it?  A regular periodic review is so important, especially if you designed or built the site yourself.  If this is you, you will be so ‘in it’ you probably won’t see the obvious opportunities or mistakes.  My advice is to jump in and spend quality time to complete a thorough review, while you’re there you should also be looking at your competitor’s sites too.  Chances are they are one step ahead of you.

So what do you need to look for?

Research shows that 75% of customers judge a business’ credibility based on their website design. It’s so important to get it right. Your website should represent your brand and brand values.  Is it true to you and is your brand well represented?

Another thing to look for is any possible issues which could be slowing your website down.  This really switches people off, with 79% of browsers reporting they will not return to a tardy website. So if your website speedy or not?  I’d advise you to first run a check at Pingdom. If you find your site if chugging along, you probably need to work on clearing your cache, WP Super Cache is the most popular for WordPress sites and look at optimising your images.  Best then to get some tech experts look at your back of house to see where the hold ups are or sort it yourself through online support.

An important factor that can be overlooked is whether your site is fully optimised and mobile friendly.  The number of users accessing mobile content online has now surpassed desktop users, and this isn’t going to slow down, so make sure it’s mobile friendly or miss out.

Website clutter is also a big no no!  Too many pop ups, subscription prompts, and auto-play videos and music can make people click away in a heartbeat.  It’s embarrassing right? if you are secretly surfing on the train to work or at your desk, and some cheesy tune blares out.  Strip it all back, taking out all those mixed up media messages which are shouting in peoples faces and turning your potential customers off.

Call to Action

Even if your site is super stylish, the content is clear, concise and your navigation is the nuts – if you have no call-to-action you are missing a big trick!  Your potential new customer has already spent valuable time lingering on your website, so now you’ve got to let them know just what you want them to do next. You have got to be direct.  Call me. Email me. Buy me. Sign up.  Make it simple, make it clear and you are much more likely to get them to fully engage with you – and convert them!  Don’t lose site of that goal trying to make it look and feel cool.

So now I’ll be direct. If you need that fresh pair of eyes to complete an objective review of your website, call me.  My number is 07399 618 527.  A simple call to action is all that is needed.