How does your website measure up? Does it do its job well, or does it need to be upgraded?
What are the specific elements which make a business website successful…and does your website have what it takes?
In this post, we’re going to show you a fast analysis that you can do yourself to determine how good your website is. It will take you about 10 minutes and can make a massive difference for you in generating new business from the web.
Our experts can always do a more detailed Free Website Evaluation if you want one, but the DIY analysis below should tell you most of what you need to know.
The Importance of Your Company’s Website
First, let’s get this out of the way: Why does your website matter? This is a big question, but something most people miss entirely.
In today’s digital economy, practically everything is done online. Like, literally everything. We do our banking, attend business meetings, order toilet paper, buy concert tickets, hang out with friends, read books, watch movies, and have dinner delivered.
And while you can’t go to the dentist virtually or have a plumber unclog your drain virtually, the internet is just as vital for these businesses.
Your website is your virtual storefront. Your website is now where most people go when they want to know more about you or your company. In fact, for some people, your website could even be the only interaction they have with your business.
Today’s Digital Economy
The world has been increasingly trending toward digital interactions over the past several decades. However, that trend was tremendously accelerated by the pandemic. Businesses which had been quite comfortable doing business the way they had been for years were forced to come up with online solutions much sooner than they would have otherwise.
Within the span of a year, suddenly everyone knew how to use Zoom. Workers who never dreamed of life outside an office building started expecting to work remotely. Everyone figured out how to mute themselves during business meetings. Even funerals were held on Zoom.
A cultural shift is afoot.
For just one example, think about restaurants. In the past, you’d have to go into a restaurant, sit down, and order a meal. Today, many people expect restaurants to have online ordering options, with DoorDash becoming a regular part of life.
Right or wrong, good or bad, it’s happening. Therefore, it’s critical for businesses to be on top of this trend, especially traditional brick-and-mortar companies—because they’re the ones most likely to be outpaced by savvy online competitors.
What About Brick-And-Mortar Businesses?
Industries with a heavy in-person component, such as dentists and veterinarians, may feel like this doesn’t apply to them. However, their methods of getting new clients or patients still operate like a virtual business.
When was the last time you used a phone book? Heck, when was the last time you’ve seen anyone use a phone book?
The world has gone digital and it’s absolutely vital for every single business to embrace it if they want to thrive in the years ahead. And the first step of this starts with having an excellent company website.
Test Your Business Website for Today’s Best Practices
To generate the leads or sales you want from your website, it has to measure up to today’s best practices. But how can you tell if it does? The list below offers you 14 points you can check right now, regardless of your level of technical know-how.
Is the site visually attractive and appealing?
Does your site attract the eye right away? Are the colors harmonious and do they represent the image you want to create for your company? Is your site clean and modern or does it look outdated?
Is it relatively free of typographical errors?
Typos, poor grammar, or other errors give site visitors a bad impression, regardless of your business’ quality standards. To inspire confidence in your site, having error-free text is a must.
Is the phone number featured prominently on the home page?
This might be the only information a person is looking for when they visit your site. It’s probably the most important thing you can tell someone. When your site generates that first spark of interest, your phone number should be accessible in an instant. The best place to feature your phone number is in the site header or footer, so it is easy to find on any page.
Are there prominent calls-to-action that direct people to reach out for your products or service?
This isn’t the time to be shy. Your website is there to create new customers. To maximize your website’s value and effectiveness, there should be multiple calls to action—clear instructions to do something such as “call for an appointment” or “submit the inquiry form”—throughout the site.
Does it have a prominent lead-capture device to gather contact information for email marketing or other promotional activities?
These days, site visitors expect to provide an email address or other contact information in exchange for a company’s valuable content, such as blog articles, whitepapers, coupons, or a company newsletter. It’s important to realize this person was adequately interested in your products or services to browse your site. You got them to arrive at your site somehow, so now you need to capture and retain that prospect’s contact information in your database for further marketing activities. Building “lead capture devices” into your site are vital to encourage visitors to sign up for your mailing list.
How do you rank on Google?
Search for companies like yours on Google and then see where you rank. This is a basic test of your internet presence: do you show up when people are looking for you? Keep in mind that if you are a local business, such as a dentist or a restaurant, the physical location you search from will have a profound impact on the search results you see. Don’t just search for “dentists near me” while sitting in the dental office you own. You can either go to a different part of town and search from your phone, or you can use a free tool like BrightLocal’s Local Search Results Checker to adjust your exact location on Google.
Is your website mobile responsive?
A responsive website automatically adjusts to the type of device accessing it, such as a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop PC. Since half of the global web traffic now takes place on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), having a responsive site that quickly and seamlessly accommodates all devices is crucial. You can test the mobile responsiveness of your website here.
Does your website load quickly?
A slow website can cost you site visitors and reduce your search engine ranking. If it takes more than two or three seconds for a website to load, people are going to click that dreaded back button and go somewhere else. Plus, Google actually penalizes sites that are slow when deciding who to rank at the top. You can rapidly test your site with this service that combines a number of factors to calculate a total score. Ideally, you would want your score to be above 75 for both mobile and desktop. However, the best test is just to visit your site from a few different devices. If it loads slowly enough that you start getting annoyed, guaranteed your customers are feeling the same way.
Is your site secure?
Does your site have a small image of a lock just to the left of the web address or do the words “not secure” appear there? That lock indicates that your site is secure. This increases your visitors’ confidence that the information they provide is safe, such as a completed inquiry form. And besides the obvious security concerns, it’s important to remember that Google penalizes sites that aren’t properly secure.
Does your site have a blog?
Adding fresh content to your site makes it more appealing to search engines. That’s why we recommend all sites have a blog with regularly published articles. Blog articles also educate your visitors on your products and services and generate interest in them. Consider your blog as a primary method of educating your customer base—sort of like a digital newsletter for the twenty-first century.
Does the site have clear, complete pages which describe your services or products?
This seems intuitive, right? But many business websites do not feature information on all the products and services they offer. Provide enough information that someone can understand what problems you solve, how you solve them, and what each product or service consists of. Inadequate content not only confuses visitors but will lower your search rankings in the eyes of Google.
Does the site focus attention or is the design and content distracting?
Look at your site and pretend to be a typical customer who has no idea what your business does and has never visited your site before. Your site design and text should guide people through the important points they need to know to make a purchasing decision. A well-designed site stimulates a person’s interest, and then builds that interest as they move throughout the site. Unharmonious or confusing elements will do the opposite.
If a business has multiple locations, does each location have a page dedicated to that one location?
Having a dedicated page for each location of your business is essential to rank well in that local area. This is where you provide contact information, photos, and specific information about that particular location. Google is all about serving up relevant content and location is one of the points they are looking for.
Is anything obviously confusing?
You’d be surprised at how many fancy, expensive websites are confusing about really basic information. What type of business are you? What products do you provide? How does someone sign up? What results can someone expect? Get a friend who isn’t familiar with your industry to look at your site. Ask them basic questions about your business and see what happens. You have to ensure that once you get visitors to your site, they instantly understand who you are and how to do business with you.
A good website involves expertise in graphic design, copywriting, marketing strategy, SEO best practices, and, of course, computer coding for web development.
In today’s highly competitive digital economy, having a pretty site isn’t enough—nor is a site that just has your logo and phone number.
If you really want to generate business from your site, you’ll have to make sure it basically follows those 14 points above.
Finally, we do realize this can be a complicated topic. If you have any questions about any of this, or simply want to chat, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help and have the expertise to convert poorly-performing websites into showpieces that produce a steady supply of new business.
Ask us for a Free Website Analysis and we’ll give you a detailed, tailored report of your site’s strengths and weaknesses—and exactly what you need to do to fix them.