Let’s have some fun and figure out the seven things your website is missing!
I’m willing to bet that your website is missing at least 2 of the 7 items below.
Now, before you start skimming the headlines, stop and bookmark this article for later if you don’t have the time to read through it fully. It’ll be worth your time and the headlines just won’t give you enough information.
If you really want to get something out of this article, read the entire article and take notes!
Ready? Let’s go!
1. Clear Call to Action
What is it that you want your visitors to do?
The biggest mistake we see when looking at existing websites is clarity of what the website wants the user to do.
Do you want the user to call your office and schedule an appointment? Then say so. Ask for the sale.
Do you want them to fill out a questionnaire so you can place them in the correct sales funnel? Then let the user know that’s what you want them to do.
Whatever your goal is, make sure that the hierarchy in your design supports this goal.
Don’t make the mistake of asking for 10 things at once. We’re all overwhelmed with information as it is, and your 10 offers aren’t helping the matter.
One goal, one offer at a time.
2. Unique, Quality Photos
The almighty stock photo. The internet is plagued with them.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are good stock photos, but 90% of them are generic and just weird. They tell the world that you’re not taking your business seriously and are hiding behind a veil of fake actors.
All of the photos on your website should be unique to your business. You should hire a photographer or take these photos yourself. A photo that’s personal and unique to the company beats out a professional stock photo any day. Just grab your smartphone at the very least.
For your team or about page, you should include pictures of your staff. It helps the user relate more to your business and brings a face to your business. There’s no reason to hide, it’s becoming more common that this is more suspicious than anything. Transparency is the norm and you’d better adapt or be thrown to the wayside.
3. A Branded, Unique Website
Grabbing a template online for $40 and plugging in your content is one way to get started. But, once your business is profitable and doing well, it’s time to take your business to the next level.
All too often, we speak to companies who have a website template and they wonder why their website isn’t working.
The short answer is: you’re putting the cart before the horse.
As described in Step 1 from our 10 Things We Need Before Designing Your Website, we describe how we start with content before anything else. It’s actually quite logical. If we started with the design, not only would we be in the dark and create something entirely different than what your company needs, we’d force you to conform your content to our design. It’s akin to your doctor taking one look at you and then prescribing you a pill. Sure, they could guess right, but the overwhelming odds say they won’t, and your problem will still remain. Same thing here! Sure, you could create content around a design and plug everything in, but is it going to solve your unique problem or your customer’s problems? Not a chance!
4. A Nice Logo & Brand
We often talk to prospects who want a nice website, but they have a logo that looks like it was made by their kid brother in ’96.
It’s crucial that you have a nicely designed logo (and brand if possible) before you hire a professional designer. Have you ever seen lipstick on a pig?
Make sure your logo and brand are in order before moving forward.
I know what you’re saying, I’ve heard this a thousand times but I don’t know what to write about and I don’t care to write.
Let’s change your perspective on that.
You enjoy what you do for a living, right? If you don’t, learn to or get into a different business.
Every business owner that I know could talk endlessly about their business. The trick is, to talk about things your customers actually care about and they find valuable.
Are there things that your customers need to look out for before hiring a company like yours? Can you help them choose the best company and avoid the mediocre ones? Pick topics like these that are valuable to your customers.
We have one customer who analyzes crane accidents and provides his opinion on how that accident could have been prevented. This is extremely valuable to his customers and acts as a refresher and also keeps them abreast of industry news. For our customer, he gets to stay in constant contact with his customers and he also keeps his customers aware of his safety training dates, to which they can sign up for.
Not only do you become a trusted resource for your customers and prospective customers, but you are putting content out there to be indexed and searched by Google. All of the keywords you include in your articles are all indexed and can be found by anyone in the world. Plus, Google ranks websites in search results higher than those who don’t update their website and have less than helpful content.
6. Up-to-date Information
Has your website been sitting idle for the past three years?
Details like that speaks volumes about your company. If you’re leaving your website untouched, what else aren’t you maintaining in your business?
If your most recent blog post is from 2012, what does this tell users of your website? Is this company even in business anymore?
If your website looks the same as it did 5 years ago, your customers will notice. Your business should be constantly evolving and improving, not sitting stagnant. Plus, you’re leaving the door wide open for your competitors to pass you by.
7. A Fast Website & Hosting
When you click on your website is it actually responding to your clicks within a second or less? Does it drag? Be objective and don’t provide excuses.
Hosting is often an afterthought after a website is complete. A quick search for “cheap hosting” and you’re off to the races. The problem is, if your website is slow, people won’t stick around. Not to mention, Google has been factoring speed in their search results since 2010.
There is a direct correlation between page load time and abandonment by a user. The longer a page takes to load, the larger the droves of people that are hitting that back button.
Your website should load in no longer than 1 second and if you click between pages, that should be 1 second or less.
Here’s a more practical test: The next time you’re browsing online, pay attention to when you search on Google and click to a website. At what point do you just hit back and give up? When you’re on a website and click around, do you find yourself leaving that website after it takes too long to load?
Now, go back to your website and do the same test. I know it’s hard to be objective but try it. Act like you are in a hurry, looking for information and just keep clicking. If it’s taking as long as your previous test, then your website is too slow. Quit ignoring reality, speed up your website and your hosting. We offer services for both.
That’s a Wrap!
Now, of course, there are exceptions to all of these rules. It depends on your specific situation and scenario, but for the most part, these are very much common mistakes to which the web is chock-full.
It can be difficult to analyze these things on your own and to get an honest opinion from your friends/family/coworkers.
If you’d like an honest opinion on anyone of these points, give us a call. We’ll go through your website with you on the phone for 15 minutes and give you a straightforward assessment.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “15 Minute Assessment” or give us a call at (360) 450-3711 and mention this article.