I get asked to look at a lot of websites and it’s pretty rare to find one that isn’t doing something wrong. Sometimes it’s a simple thing like poor navigation preventing website visitors from finding their way to your best content. When your website is driving clients away though, it needs to be addressed immediately.
But how do you know which are the worst problems? Luckily for you I’ve put together a list of the top six problems (in reverse order) so from now on it should be easy for you to avoid or repair. Of course, you have to read them first before you can fix them. So, what are you waiting for?
6. More Clients
Want more clients? Wondering why your website doesn’t generate enquiries? It may be high time you had your website looked at. Firstly, get a business-savvy web designer to give your site a design audit right away. Then act on their recommendations quickly before they get out of date. Nearly everything has an expiry date on it nowadays, so why would good ideas be any different? In our experience, a website under performs for one of two main reasons. Either it needs intensive care or your use of it does. Often it’s a mix of both things, so get cracking and find the answers quickly.
CLUE: what measurable objectives have you set for your website? You have set some, haven’t you?
5. Customer Care
In the past, companies that didn’t care about how their clients felt about their products or services could survive. Some even prospered. Happily, those days are gone now. The balance of power has shifted from the seller to where it ought to be: into the hands of buyers. The Internet has helped that process and the arrival of social media accelerated it. If you care about your clients’ opinions, your website could be your greatest asset. Give them access to you via your website as well as telephone and you could be creating a multitude of opportunities for your business to help your clients. Before and after the sale. Don’t forget to add your social media contact points too. Not everyone wants to send an email or pick up a phone.
CLUE: get an impartial person to try and contact you from your website.
4. You Look Out of Date
When we see a website that looks out of date, we perform a simple calculation. If your site looks out of touch, we think it equates that your business is also out of touch. I know you spend your spare time keeping up with the latest trends and developments. Hours of work and research. Why do you spend all that time and effort? To give your clients the very best service, right? So why not make sure your online shop window projects that? Right.
CLUE: Look at your website now and answer this question honestly: does it look behind the times?
3. Look More Professional
It may be a cliche, but it’s still true that your website is your online shop window. Potential clients are looking for what you sell. They’re looking 24/7 every day of the year. If your website makes you look like a bunch of amateurs, clients will simply avoid you; but if you look professional online, they’re much more likely to stop a while and maybe even send in that all-important enquiry.
CLUE: maybe it’s time to get some professional photos taken and get a copywriter to rewrite the text on your website?
2. Google SEO
The Yellow Pages have faded into near invisibility. The primary way people find businesses now is through online search and we all know that means Google. If you’re not visible on the largest search engine you need to do something about it. Whenever we are asked to examine a new client’s web visibility, the problem nearly always lies in the fact that they have a poorly optimised website. Sometimes the best thing you can do to improve your SEO (search engine optimisation) is to give your site a complete overhaul, with SEO designed into your site structure.
CLUE: have an SEO audit conducted, but only from a professional who knows the difference between SEO and Search Engine Marketing. Adwords aren’t a substitute for a well-constructed website and could be a complete waste of your money.
1. Get More Social
Properly integrate your social media activity with your website. If you think that means just slapping on a Twitter and Facebook feed, you’re wrong. You’ve got to be smarter than that, because your clients certainly are. If your website isn’t social enough, you’re missing your best chance of attracting them. Good use of social media can help keep your website fresh, improve your SEO, get your potential and existing clients talking and give you fantastic opportunities to improve customer care. Do I really need to say more? If you want to find out how to integrate social media into your website more effectively, drop me an email or join our free mailing list (see below).
CLUE: choose your social media consultant wisely; most are amateurs dressed up. Look below the surface: how many followers do they have, and has anyone ever used them before? If so, are they happy to recommend that consultant? Do they ‘walk their talk’, is their social media activity respected?
The Next Step
The next thing you should do is get your site independently reviewed (i.e. not by you or one of your friends or relatives – they’ll just tell you variations of “it’s very nice, dear, now how about that game of Scrabble?”). Ask a few of your friendly neighbourhood web designers and a few business owners you know to tell you straight what’s right or wrong with your website. After that, leave a comment below with a link to your website and I’ll take a look for free. I’d love to hear from you with any comments about this post too. What do you think are good reasons why a company should upgrade their website?