Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Small But Mighty Important Fixes for Your Website

Your website doesn't have to be an award-winning design delight packed with games and other goodies to attract customers. (Ok; it helps - but it's not absolutely necessary.)

What's essential is that your website is accurate and useful.

Mistakes on your site (or in your business listings) reflect poorly on your business, and they can cost you money.

Be honest - is your website up to date? 
Does it represent your company well? 

Think of your website as part of your customer service team. Is it working for you, or against you? Even if yours is not an ecommerce site, your website is a powerful force that drives sales - or maybe, it drives them away.

Fixing your site may take more than a day (or a week), but you can start now with some very simple steps outlined below. Go to your website, take note of these things - then set aside the time to fix what you can in the next week. A week from now, repeat the exercise. Your site may not look much different, but it will be a lot more useful.

Small But Mighty Important Steps to Improve Your Website

The trick is that you must look at your site with fresh eyes. When you're familiar with a sign, an online or printed page, or even when you read a common phrase, it's easy to overlook mistakes that will throw off someone new to the sight - or in this case, your site.

  1. Look at your home page, contact page, and the footer of every page.  You might be surprised how many footers contain incorrect information. And even though "all" of your customers "know" your address, phone number and hours, your prospects don't.
  2. Check your copyright date. Is it current? (Nothing says "don't care" like a 2010 copyright!)
  3. Is contact information VERY OBVIOUS on EACH PAGE of your site? A customer who doesn't know how to reach you won't buy from you.
  4. Click every link on your Home and Contact pages - they are of primary importance. Broken Links are Bad. Fix them. Repeat: Broken Links are Bad. FIX THEM. After you've thoroughly scoured your Home and Contact pages, move through all the other pages. (Start with those most visited and go down the list from there.)
  5. Out of time? Make note of what you corrected, and where you stopped. Set aside a little time this week to work through the list methodically, correcting what you can and getting help to fix the other errors. Soon, you'll have made noticeable improvements to the virtual face of your company. Pat yourself on the back! But don't stop there. 

After you've corrected the most basic things that are are wrong with your website and congratulated yourself, take a look at your site from a different perspective. Instead of looking at what's wrong, think about the improvements you would like. Maybe you want to add a staff photo or directory. Or a landing page to tout a new product.

I find that most people managing small businesses assume they can't work on their own websites. Or they're afraid to. The fact is, website management tools get easier to use every day. And while overhauling your entire site is a major undertaking, fixing small errors is easy and offers a big payback - fast.

Get started now, before another prospect decides to leave your site for a competitor.
It's hard to see your site with fresh eyes. Need help? Ask me about a Website Reality Check

1 comment:

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