Website not working well for your business? – 20 quick questions you should ask yourself
How a website is designed, and its overall look is only one element that affects how website visitors will react to your business. Your website is your face to the world and it must make a great first impression as the saying goes “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”. Many parts of how your website should be created and designed will either persuade or ‘turn off’ a user.
Most factors are really simple to understand and can be addressed by quickly reviewing your site and by answering a few simple questions.
Here is our quick overview of why your website may not working well for your business, divided up into twenty questions that you should ask yourself.
1. Can someone tell what your site is offering within 4-5 seconds?
If your web pages can’t answer this question fast, a visitor will likely hit the back button and look elsewhere. Being able to get your message over within a few sections or answering a question that your website visitor had to find you online in the first place is critical to being successful online.
2. Does your web pages have strong CTA’s (Call to actions)?
Call to actions offers a clear choice to a website visitor of what to do next. They include things such as “request a free quote” or “buy now”. Without them, your web visitor will be expected to make their own decision of ‘what to do next’. They could end up doing nothing or leaving your site without them taking the appropriate action you wanted them to.
3. Is text on your homepage clear and concise?
The easier someone can read text on your website homepage, digest it and decide, the better. More explanatory and longer paragraphs should be deeper in your site once you have initially captured a visitor that wants to understand more about you. For instance, we all know how great blogs on your website are, but you wouldn’t except to see that level of text or content on a homepage.
4. Does your website build trust?
Offering guarantees, free shipping, a telephone contact number and certifications etc. on your website are some of the ways that help a visitor get a feeling you’re a good company to trust. Think about it, how many websites have you been on that simply don’t feel right? You could have the best website in the world, one that looks amazing and is as fast lightning, but without giving a visitor key information that builds trust it’s all wasted.
5. If you use social media, are there links to it and an easy ‘share’ function?
Using social media is a great way to market yourself and build loyalty. Produce the right content and people will want to follow and like your offerings. Likewise, make sure your website content and pages have an easy to share function at the click of a button. People are social now days and will happily click a ‘like’ on your social media profiles and posts. All this social interaction is a sign to Google and search engines that people are love your content, it will help with the rank of your website also.
6. Do you update your site on a regular basis?
No one likes or reads ‘yesterday’s news’. Give your website visitors fresh new content, offers and news on a regular basis. This will show that you’re an active company with recent information and give them a reason to come back.
Also, adding new web content on a regular basis has another benefit, extra content will mean that you’re adding more keyword rich information that is great for website SEO.
7 Does your website talk only about you, or how you can help your website visitor?
People don’t want to be sold to, you may be an awesome company and want to tell a visitor but that’s not what it’s about. Try and offer a solution or satisfy a need your audience may have. Solving a problem or educating them will give you a much better result. Your content should always be helpful to its audience, it should never be a platform to just say how great your business is.
9 Can a visitor find what they want on your site easily?
This is both true for online shops and brochure websites, no matter what the industry. Don’t think your website user they will dig around looking for a product or solution that is hard to find on your website.
Give them clear navigation or a search function to find exactly what they need within a few clicks. If not, they will hit the dreaded ‘back button’.
Logically search engine results do this too, you type in what you are looking for (your search term) and search engines offer results that would be of interest to you.
How many times have you gone to page three on Google and said, “aha that is exactly what I’m looking for”. Normally if you don’t find something on the first page of the search results you’ll type in another search term – people don’t want to work to find things!
10. Does your site utilise video?
Many visitors will want you to ‘spoon feed’ them relevant information without doing too much mental work themselves.
If your business, products and services can use short easy to watch and entertaining video then it’s a sure-fire way to get your message across. Video on your website has many benefits.
11. Can you tell what pages your visitors are using and how they interact with your site?
How can you improve your website, its content or SEO if you don’t know what they are up to! Make sure you have ways of monitoring user movement, entry pages, time on your site and bounce rates etc. It’s one method to understand whats working and whats not and ultimately improve on what you currently have. A really user-friendly method of easily doing this is to use Google Analytics.
12. Is your site secure?
Internet fraud and data crime is a major issue on every site. Make sure you protect yourself and your customers with first-grade security. Your site ‘going down’ is bad enough but losing your customers trust will have a long-lasting impact on your bottom line.
A simple way is to look at your web address, does it have HTTP:// or HTTPS://? That little ‘s’ is important is shows that your website is using an SSL certificate to help secure your website and customer data.
13. Is your website competitive against your rivals?
Do a few quick searches for what your company should be found for in search engines (your keywords and not your business name). Understand how you are placed in the rankings against your competitors. Do this on a regular basis – you don’t want to lose valuable positions. You should be constantly looking to improve your rank.
14. Do you know how well your website SEO is?
It’s a simple fact, if you can get found highly in online searches for your keywords and rank in the top three positions you will get more traffic on your web pages. One of the main things (there are a lot of factors) to achieve a good position is to look at how optimised your website is.
15. Is your website perfect for mobile device screens?
Mobile responsive websites are commonplace now, if your website is old (or not) you should view it on a smartphone and a tablet.
If you must scroll around the page to view text, zoom in or out or things seem to be missing off the side of the screen then it probably isn’t mobile responsive. Bad news as most people view websites now on these types of devices.
16 Do you need a magnifying glass to read your website text?
Again, this harks back to user experience. If you make people work hard to read and look at your website text, it’s another way to increase a bounce away from your site.
17. Do your forms ask too many questions?
Website visitors do not like to fill out field after field of questions asking for information to just get a simple quote, have an enquiry or register on your website
The less information you can ask the better. Which is why a lot of websites today that have ‘login’ sections allowing you to register using a Facebook or Google+ account. It’s easier for the visitor and reduces the number of ‘I can’t be bothered’ then leave scenarios.
18. When you built your site, was its intended audience central to everything?
Remember your site is not about YOU. Its main function is to attract people (your perfect customer) and appeal to their wants, needs and desires. If the look, feel and content is off how will it achieve this goal! A pink fluffy website design probably won’t work well, that is intended for CEOs and Managing Directors for instance.
19. Is your website over three years old?
The internet is no different to any other form of technology. It’s constantly evolving and at a much faster rate than ever before.
What was ‘in’, ‘cutting edge’ and ‘superfast’ a few years back may not cut the mustard now. If you don’t move along with the changes you’ll get left behind.
For instance, taking payments on your online shop has normally been by credit card or PayPal. Cryptocurrencies are now huge and are predicted to increase massively in the next few years, many online stores are looking to adopt these in currencies such as Bitcoin, Ripple and Electra. Always look forward to what will happen in the future and make the change.
20. Have you done anything to improve your site lately?
I’ve saved this to last as it’s probably one of the most important questions.
If you haven’t looked at your site, it’s content, how well it’s ranking, user numbers, adding new content or making changes recently, then it’s probably fair to say you may not see it as that important.
By not being active and looking for constant improvement you will eventually let your ‘savvy’ proactive competitors become very strong right under your nose and leave you in the dust.