February 1, 2019

Is Your Website Current?

Your Website Could Be Chasing People Away

We’ve all clicked on websites that were so dated that we feel like we’re taking a tour through the history of the internet.

These sites aren’t necessarily bad at all. In fact, they were the bomb in their day (in fact, that expression was probably in style when the website was built!)

But, are they really doing what we need them to do now.

In today’s world of digital marketing, your website is the hub of all your marketing. It’s where people go to get a feel for what type of business you are and whether they want to contact you further. It’s still the front door of your business. But, is it a front door that your customer still wants to enter?

That’s why the staff at Make It Loud has developed a quick checklist that allows you to grade your website to see if yours is doing what it’s supposed to. So, let’s get started. By the way, this list is not prioritized. It’s in the exact order we thought of them:

  1. What Do You Do? With all the websites we see on a weekly basis, sadly, there are still a lot that we look at and just can’t tell what they do. We’ve all heard of the 3-second rule when we drop food. Well, this should apply your business website. If your customer can’t immediately tell what your business is or what you do, that’s not good. Your site should tell your story, but tell it quickly.
  2. Data Or No Data: Do you want to make data driven decisions with your marketing? (Psst, the answer is always “yes”!). Having actual metrics on your site can tell you how well your site is doing. This is why you want to have at least Google Analytics if not some other ways to measure browser behavior (we’re looking at you conversion optimization tools. Ask us more about that one!).
  3. Got A Chatbot?: At one point, having a chatbot on your website was a nice dream, but now, it’s a reasonable option for any business. Chatbots help your business in a variety of ways- engage your clients faster, provide better customer service, convert browsers into customers faster, etc. (We can add those for you!)
  4. Have an SSL: It used to be that only websites that sold things online needed a SSL certificate. These days, Google basically requires them. Not only is having an SSL a ranking factor, but Google labels your site as “unsecure” without it. This makes people question whether being on your site is safe, and that’s just bad juju.
  5. Website Design Updates: If you’ve conceived and started raising a child since your last website update, it’s probably time. The average website design is good for 2-3 years before it starts looking dated. Remember when denim leisure suits were in? Yeah, neither do we. Don’t let your business website get to that level of out of style.
  6. Your Logo: yes, you need a logo. Real companies have them (and good ones!). If you only have your business name up in the left corner of your site, this can bring into question the legitimacy of your business. Having a logo is not only a good business decision; it inspires trust in your company.
  7. Color Scheme: It’s standard design practice to take the colors in your logo and use them throughout your site. Far too often, we see websites that look like an artist’s palette exploded. This can confuse the browsers- not to mention turn them off. Just say no. Stick to colors that make sense for what you’re trying to do.
  8. Pop Ups: This can get tricky because there are popups that really help with conversions, and there are those that really irritate your browsers. Use them carefully, and remember, generally speaking, Google doesn’t like to see popups on your site, so consider using them with caution.
  9. Call To Action: Like all of us, your website has a purpose in life. First, think about why you wanted a website to begin with. Next, think about what you’d like your website’s special purpose to be. Now, go look at your site and see if it takes the browser by the hand and leads him/her to do exactly what you want that person to do.
  10. Phone Number: You’d be absolutely amazed at how many websites we see where the business owners wants more phone calls but doesn’t put the phone number on the home page. Enough said.
  11. Clear Navigation: Your menu needs to be simple and easy to understand. It has to have a natural flow. The more complex your menu, the more likely you are to lose people.
  12. The Design Of The Site Is For The Boss: This is a common mistake that a lot of business owners make. They hire a designer or worse, design the site themselves to make it attractive to themselves. Having a good looking website is important, but if we’re being honest, it’s way more important that your target market thinks your site is attractive than the boss does. The checks he writes depend largely on the checks your new customers write first.
  13. Mobile Friendly: At this point, we shouldn’t even have to say this, but since roughly 60% of all browsers are on their cell phone, if your website doesn’t look good on a smartphone, you’re losing business. Period.
  14. You Don’t Have Enough Content On Your Site: While it may be true that a picture is worth 1000 words, Google is paying more attention to your words than your images. This means you have to balance your pretty pictures with text that explains your business in quick, simple terms.
  15. A Blog: It’s a great way to add keyword rich content, and depending upon what you do, it’s a great way to put content out there that helps people find you before the understand they need you. But, here’s the problem with having a blog- you have to maintain it. If you don’t and your next customer clicks on your “ever so helpful” blog page to find that the last blog post was in 2004, your next customer just bounced away to your competitor. Don’t be that website.
  16. Page Load Speed: If we can roast a turkey in the time it takes your website to fully load, you can bet it won’t be a happy Thanksgiving. These days, we all have the attention span of a goldfish, so if you make us wait to see your beautiful website, we’ll just move on.
  17. Your Site’s So Ugly… Let’s be honest, there are some websites out there that are just ugly. Ask your sales team for honest feedback. You’d be amazed at how many sales people steer potential customers away from their company website because of how dated or embarrassing it is. If your site is ugly, you’re just helping out your competitors.
  18. Contact Us: It just makes sense that if you want your possible clients to contact you, you have to make it easy for them- and give them different ways to contact you- on their terms. This means, put a contact form in a prominent place, an email address, a phone number, etc.
  19. Audio/Video: It’s been awhile since we’ve seen this, but there are still websites out there that have audio or video that cranks up on auto play. This is just a terrible idea. Don’t start your relationship with your customer by having them dive for the volume control as soon as they hit your website. It doesn’t engender trust. It breeds irritation.
  20. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Being on page one of Google means your business has more visibility and opportunities for more clicks. You may not be an SEO ninja (but we are!), but having your website at least set up for good SEO is a step in the right direction. Not doing any SEO means your site might just not get found.
  21. Website Changes: We get a lot of walk in traffic at our shop, and far too many of our walk-ins tell us they don’t have access to their own business website which means they can’t edit or update their own content. This means they have to reach out to their designer, pay more money and wait for their nerd to get around to it. That’s just no way to operate a business.
  22. Buying A Vowel: Watch the spelling and grammar on your website. Having errors in your content (or anywhere on your site really) can send your browsers back to Google. We’d also warn you about random capitalization. We see that periodically on websites and for the life of us, we don’t know why some things are capitalized.
  23. Big Honking Text Blocks: this one explains itself, but unless your website contains chunks of “War & Peace”, you really want to avoid huge blocks of text. Break it up, add pictures, add titles. Make it interesting.
  24. Copied Content: NEVER (and yes, we’re going all caps here) put an image on your website that you just “found” on the Internet. You are most likely violating copyright law and running the risk of a hefty fine. Also, don’t “borrow” text from other sites. Just like in High School, copying is still not good. Only this time, Google is the one that will send your site to detention.
  25. Watch Your Tone: All content has a voice. Make sure your content has a consistent voice throughout your site. This also has to do with first person content to third person. Generally speaking, we like when you’re talking to us (the reader), so use “you” wherever appropriate.

We’re sure we could come up with more things to think about but we figured you’re tired and want to stop reading.

Last thing- go check out your company website and see how it’s doing along these points. If the news is bad, call us. We’d love the chance to help you get more business. Even if the results are pretty good, we do things like social media marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing and other stuff that can help you get your phone ringing more. Let’s talk. Call us 678.295.9466. We’d love to help.

For nearly 15 years, Make It Loud has been working with business owners of all shapes & sizes to help them increase their revenue. Nothing is as frightening as the sound of your phone not ringing. That’s our goal in life- get you next customers to reach out to you. 

We do this by helping you with amazing looking websites that convert well. From there, we help you market your business through search engine optimization, social media marketing and more. 

Most of our clients come from around the local Atlanta area like Suwanee, Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Dacula and more, but through the magic of the Internet, we can work with any business across the U.S. Call us at 678.325.4007 and let us help you improve your digital marketing.