A quick checklist - is your website working effectively for your business?
AUTHOR: Tom Perkins
Whether your website is brand new, or you have had it for some time, you need to make sure it is working as effectively as possible for your business and there are a number of simple checks you can carry out to make sure this is the case.
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1. Is your website being found in searches?
There is an easy way to check whether your website is showing up in searches. Firstly, identify three search terms which you would like to be found for, and then enter each one into Google to see how far up your site appears in the results, ignoring adverts. Ideally you need to appear in the first two pages of results. If your website isn’t appearing for your key search terms that means customers won’t find you that way either.
If you are not appearing in the top two pages for your key search terms then you need to assess the content and pages on your website to make sure it features those search terms throughout and has relevant information on there for people searching for those terms. The search terms should appear naturally throughout your site.
2. Is your website making a great first impression?
It’s important to customers that your site works on mobile devices so if you want to check how your website looks, click here, enter your website address and click ‘Run Test’.
If your site is mobile friendly, that’s great and you can move on to the next test, checking how your site performs. Google offers another great tool for this called the PageSpeed Insights tool. Simply click here, enter your website address and click ‘Analyse’ to check your website loading speed.
These two results will tell you how your website is working and appearing to potential new customers when they first come across your site. If it is not mobile friendly, and takes a long time to load, then you need to take action to improve your site.
3. Is the site easy for visitors to use?
There is nothing more off-putting than a website which is overly complicated and impossible to navigate so make sure your website is clear and easy to use. Have a look at your top level navigation or menu for your website – ideally there should be five options maximum. Any more gets complicated and puts people off.
Check the language on your menu as well – are you using language which only industry experts would understand, or could any potential customer quickly and easily understand and navigate your website menu?
You need to make sure that your home page demonstrates what your key services and products are, in a clear and easy to understand way. If it doesn’t, then your website is more likely to put people off, than drive them to do business with you.
The final check for usability is to visit your own website on your phone and look at the size of the clickable buttons, to make sure you can click them easily using your finger. If you can’t, then this could impact negatively on potential customers wanting to access your site using their mobile.
4. Does your website have credibility?
One of the key elements which visitors to your website will be looking for is evidence that your business is genuine and will be able to help them with their particular needs, and one of the best ways to demonstrate your credibility is by featuring testimonials, case studies and reviews from your clients.
So, to test your website’s credibility, you need to ask yourself a number of questions. Firstly, does your site contain testimonials and case studies?
If you do have case studies featured on your site, are they promoted on other pages, or just the case studies page itself? You need to be cross-linking the case studies on other pages, to drive people to read them.
The next question is whether you have any reviews linked to your business listing on Google. Just search for your business name on Google and it should appear on the right hand side in a business listing. This listing has an option for reviews so check to see if you have any there or not.
If you have a company Facebook page, check to see if you have any reviews there as well, as all of these can really increase your company credibility, particularly for new prospective customers who may have never heard of you before.
5. Are website visitors encouraged to take action?
One of the aspects which help to drive business is guiding people to carry out an action once on your website, not just take a look around and leave. This call to action is one of the elements many small businesses forget to include. People need a reason to get in touch or give you their details, so make sure you give them that reason.
Do you have a free, appealing and no-risk offer which customers can take up easily on your website? This could be something like a free review of their services and it should feature prominently so visitors to the site can see it.
Every single page of your website should have a call to action, which can be to phone you, or email you, but it needs to appear on every page and have the correct contact details – so make sure you check this across the whole of your own site.
It’s important to make it really easy for prospective customers to get in touch with you so does your website have a contact form which people can complete to send you their details and request a call back, or further information?
The final check is to make sure that the header on every page displays your phone number so that wherever visitors are on your website, it’s really easy for them to pick up the phone and call you. Does your website have your phone number prominently displayed?
Once you have carried out all of the above checks you need to note any areas where your website failed to meet the requirements, and then develop an action plan to address the particular issues which you discovered. It may be that there was no call to action anywhere on the site, or that you discovered it is not mobile friendly.
If any of these issues cropped up then it’s important to address them quickly to make sure your website is working hard and efficiently for your business. Hopefully the checklist will help you to make sure your website is working hard to bring in new customers to your business. If you have any questions or need any help or advice, feel free to give me a call (01264 735 333) or leave me a comment below.