Here’s a Checklist to Make Sure Your Old Website is Still Effective
Every day I speak with Small Business owners, who either don’t have a website or have a website they haven’t touched in years. It’s sad really, because if their website was their office it would have at least had the cleaner in to tidy up and sweep out on occasions.
In a previous blog I mentioned that only 56% of Australian SMEs had a website yet 78% of Australians research products and services online before making a purchasing decision. Obviously consumers searching online will take into account your website, or lack thereof, as an indication of your business’ ability to perform the service or provide the product they are seeking.
The old adage “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” is just as true in the online world as in the offline world.
I don’t mean you need to have the flashiest most expensive website to make consumers trust you enough to pull out their wallets, but you do need to make sure your website connects with them and their needs.
Don’t feel like reading? Watch the video below.
If you currently have a website, then there are some simple things you can check to make sure it is making a good first impression:
1. Does your website look clean, inviting and uncluttered?
Your website should make the visitor feel comfortable and at ease, and not feel threaten or confused otherwise they will simply find another website to visit.
2. Is your website easy to navigate?
Is it easy for visitors to find the answers they are looking for with the least amount of effort?
3. Is your website fast to load?
If your website doesn’t load quickly chances are the visitor won’t wait and you’ll lose the opportunity to make any impression. Use Google PageSpeed Insights to evaluate your site’s load times.
4. Does every page and link on your website work?
It’s easy over time for links to break and visitors will easily lose interest if they find errors on your website. Use DR Link Check to check all the links on your website.
5. Is the content and images on your website correct and up to date?
This is especially important for your ‘About’ and ‘Services’ pages which will be the most visited and influential pages on your website, beside the home page. A tip is to include photos (and maybe even video) of you and your team and of your products/services, this will help build a connection with your website visitors (even though you won’t know them, they will feel like they know you.)
6. Is your website mobile-friendly?
Visit your website on your mobile phone and check every page and form works correctly. Is it easy to read and navigate or do you need to zoom in? Use Screenfly to preview what your website looks like on different devices.
7. Is it easy for visitors to contact you?
Make it super easy for your website visitors to contact you. Ideally you should have a ‘click to call’ link on your phone number; a Google Maps link on your address, if you’re a local business; and a link to the ‘Contact’ page, in the header or footer on every page. If you’re worried about spam, a tip here is to provide a contact form instead of displaying your email address.
8. Do you add new content to your website regularly?
This could be in the form of articles in a blog area on your website. (Content gives search engines something to rank you for which is what attracts visitors to your website, and visitors will use that content to decide if they want to do business with you.
9. Do you have a “lead capture” form on your website?
Your website visitors might not be ready to do business with you straight away, so why not give them the option to ‘sign up’ for more information from you.
There are other back-end housekeeping tasks you’ll need to do on your old website, but we’ll cover those in future articles.
If you start treating your website like you would your front office or store front, then you’ll be on the right track to project credibility and influence visitors’ decisions to work with your business.
Post any questions you have in the comments below, I’m happy to answer any and point you in the right direction.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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