Five Important Rules for your Website

When was the last time you took a good look at your website? If it’s been a while, you might want to read the articles below and then take a few minutes to review your site. Quite often, as we review sites with our clients, they mention that things have changed and they don’t provide a particular service anymore. Or they notice that some information is missing. Your website is the hub of all your marketing initiatives; if it doesn’t reflect your business, visitors to your site may not take the time to give you a call. Sometimes, a site just needs a few tweaks. Sometimes it needs to be redesigned. Keeping the information on your site current will help your website last longer.


Does Your Website Reflect Your Business?

Be honest. Try to look at your site with fresh eyes. Does it accurately reflect your company? Even if prospects know you, it would be interesting to hear what they are thinking when they view your site. So often, we hear from clients that the website is only there to validate their company. But you wonder, how many people go to your site and decide not to call you? Usually, there are a few reasons why people leave a site – the design of the site is not appealing, the navigation is confusing, or the content doesn’t explain what you do very well. Take a look at your site and see if you recognize any of the problems below.

Design. One very noticeable design flaw is when your site doesn’t stretch to the size of the monitor that the viewer is using. That usually means it’s an older design. Today’s websites view properly on desktop computers, tablets, and mobile phones. And when I say properly, I mean that the site is usable on all devices. When viewing it from the phone, you don’t have to pinch out to see the menu and then pinch in again to read the text. Most users don’t have the patience to fiddle with your site. Instead, they will look for another site that’s easier to read.

Current site designs usually have longer home pages. Why? Because research has shown that people would rather spend a few minutes scrolling down the home page learning about your company, than clicking through to multiple pages. When we have to keep clicking, we lose our base and getting back to where we were is too confusing. A long home page also tells a story about your company, and people like stories – little by little they learn more about you.

Navigation. Ever go on a site and have to click through several pages to find what you’re looking for? It should be obvious to the viewer what menu to click in order to learn more about your services. It’s not always that way, however. Sometimes there are two menus. Sometimes the menu is hidden within a certain section. Instead of knowing how to navigate your site, your reader is confused. And once again, if the site is not intuitive, your viewer will just look somewhere else.

Content. One quick look at your home page, without doing any scrolling, should tell me what you do and how you are different. Instead, many home pages start in the middle of the story. At the top of the home page, there’s a form to get a quote, or to register for the newsletter. There may even be partner logos at the top. Either way, the viewer should know who you are and what you do before you are asking them to complete forms.

The content also needs to be personal. Many websites give facts and figures, but fail to persuade the user to give them a call. It’s important that the viewer feel an emotional connection to your company. Your content should sound like you are having a conversation with them. Tell your viewers what you do and how you do it well. You want the response from your viewers to be, “I like what this company is saying; I should give them a call!” When that’s the response, your content is working.

Five Important Rules for your Website

  1. You’re the prospect. Pretend that you are a prospect that you recently met at a function. Go to your site and see if it would inspire you to give your company a call. Remember, the customer drives the sale and if you are not convincing the customer that you are knowledgeable and able to solve his/her problems, the prospect will go someplace else.
  2. Visible phone number. The phone number may be on your contact page, but add it to header of your site, so it’s plainly visible on the top of every page. A visible phone number signals your willingness to talk. And while you’re at it, your social media icons should be in the header too.
  3. Content. Is the content on your site still applicable? If you go through the service or product areas, is the information correct? Are there services you no longer provide or products you no longer carry? Make the effort to edit your content so that it reflects your company properly.
  4. Check your links. Every once in a while, go through your site and check the links. Does the Submit button still work? If you sent a message from your contact us page, does someone in your company get it? Try it out. If you are asking people to subscribe to your newsletter, does it work? And if you have a document that a viewer can download, make sure it downloads properly. Any signs that your links don’t work sends a message to the viewer that customer service is not important to you.
  5. Do you have SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. You can find out how good your SEO is by downloading a free application called Screaming Frog. When you load your URL into the screaming Frog interface, the graph in the right hand corner will tell you whether your SEO has been configured properly.

We’re happy to perform a review of our website with you. Give us a call at 202-409-8113 and let’s have a conversation about your site.