Companies take pride in their websites and it’s usually really hard to accept criticism from outsiders or complete strangers. After-all you’ve invested a lot of time and money to create your virtual space (a.k.a. your website). Anytime you’re given feedback you gotta remember that this is not an “I” or “my” moment. Don’t take it as a personal attack when you receive negative comments about your website. It’s won’t be a master piece to everyone.
Your website’s primary purpose is to reach online prospects and if it doesn’t capture their attention, what’s the point of maintaining it? Why go through the hassle if you’re not converting leads? If you’re not open to criticism and you don’t really care about your visitors’ online experience you may want to stop reading.
As a designer, I get judged and critiqued each and every day because the work I’m doing for my clients has to go through their approval and we don’t always have the same vision. Even when we get website review requests, it can be an uncomfortable situation telling a complete stranger that their website may be falling short of what it was created for. It’s never easy no matter how many times we do it.
One of the documents we provide with our free website reviews is a checklist of improvements that can be made. In this article, I’m going to provide a checklist of things you can do to ensure that your website is working for you when you’re actual office is closed for the day. Now this list is general because I haven’t seen your actual website, for a free customized review, you’ll need to complete the form found here.
Tip #1: Keep it simple and structured
Website trends (like everything else) are always changing. If you don’t have a substantial branding budget, you may not want to try to keep up with the latest, greatest, hot thing in web design. Over the years I’ve noticed that the websites that are able to hold their own are those that keep things simple for their customers.
You don’t have to have a hundred moving parts on your website in order to make an impact or to attract an audience, but what you do need is a strong message and proof you can do what you say you can do.
Your website needs to be simple enough for people to navigate through it without having to contact you for instructions. If the content is good, they’ll stay even without all of the fanciness.
Tip #2 – Make it easy for people to connect with you
Sometimes no matter how simple your website, people just need to call you or send you an email. Your contact information needs to be visible and easy to access. Make it easy for prospects to ask questions, get quotes or schedule consultations.
Tip #3: Showcase your results
Nothing screams, YES YOU’RE THE COMPANY I WANT TO PARTNER WITH, better than proven results and client praises. Now the best way to showcase this is via case studies and video testimonials but if you have written reviews, it’s a good idea to post customer pictures, information about their company and links showing that they are real people.
Tip #4: Make it mobile friendly
Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day and so it forces people to get things done at very unusual times like in a doctor’s office waiting room, in the line at the super market or at your son’s baseball practice. People often use these short moments to surf the web and because it’s such a sporadic event, they’re probably using their mobile device. If you want your visitors to have the best possible experience on your website, it’s important to having a functional mobile version.
Tip #5: Search and repair or remove dead links
This sounds easy enough but you’d be surprised at how many companies don’t do this. As you make modifications to your website, it’s easy to forget about old pages or links. Dead links hurt your search engine ranking and it is a complete turnoff for your visitors. Here are some handy tools that make it easier for you to check your website for broken links.
- Online Broken Link Checker: http://www.brokenlinkcheck.com
- Dead Link Checker: http://www.deadlinkchecker.com
Have you had enough or are you thirsty for more? Stay tuned for part 2 of this series.
To Your Success,