Take a self-guided test-drive and see
NASDAQ estimates that by the year 2040, 95% of purchases will be through eCommerce. Whether it’s from a smartphone, tablet or computer, your website is currently where over half of all your potential customers go first to find information about the products and services they are looking to purchase. With this in mind, when was the last time you took a good, hard look at what your website has been doing for you lately?
You know your website’s main purpose is: to sell your services and products, build your credentials, and engage and convert potential clients but how do you go about best ensuring that your site is accomplishing all of this for your business? Let us take you on a self-guided test drive through your site and see for ourselves:
Mile-marker #1: Compelling Content
Road Signs. A strong, viable, researched content strategy should be mile-marker number one on your website audit journey. Content should be the very first thing you think of, not the last thing you design. If you struggle with strategy and creating content around it, a strong web development partner will be able to either suggest a competent strategist and writer for you to work with, or have some on staff who can help.
Don’t go it alone if this is not your strength, strong strategy and compelling content which supports it are simply too important to skimp on.
Mile-marker #2: User Experience Focus
Auto-pilot. Understand that your user’s primary goals when arriving at your site are likely one of the following; to find your number or location, buy your products, or contact you for help. Users should be able to easily find and navigate a pathway of least resistance to satisfy their primary goal. So, though it is great that your CEO has 5 degrees and is a technical genius (and we agree that this information can help qualify you as experts) it does not need to be front and center on your site.
Each and every decision regarding your site architecture phase should meet this qualifier: “Does this help my user achieve their goal(s)?” This qualifier applies to navigation design, information/site architecture, and ultimately design and development.
Mile-marker #3: Well Planned, Simple Navigation
Nav. System. The bottom line is, make absolutely sure that all users can easily get to everything that causes them to convert to a client/customer from your main navigation. Yes, we realize we are repeating ourselves a bit here however, this is too important to miss. Your sire navigation must be easy to navigate and include easy to find contact information or users will go not linger!
Mile-marker #4: Responsiveness
Roadside Assistance. 60–75% of your potential customers are accessing websites from a mobile device these days. Your site needs to be accessible from anywhere, on anything, at the drop of a hat. If your site is not responsive then you are absolutely losing out on potential sales and customers.
Mile-marker #5: Fast Load Time
Mile-marker #6: High SEO Rank
Quality pit stops. If your rank is not good, customers will not even see your site as an option on their search page. Your site should use SEO, links, page names and videos to ensure that the right people find your site. If not you are missing vital opportunities to create customers and make sales.
Mile-marker #7: High Conversion Rate
Miles per Gallon. Are you noticing a high bounce rate, or less page visits? Typically, this is an indication that users are likely underwhelmed by your site. It may be time to look at a redesign with specific customer goals in mind so you can convert those potentials into actuals.
Mile-marker #8: Strong Branding
Ferrari or KIA. The important questions to ask here are:
- Do you have a clear understandable web address/domain name?
- Does current message and content strategy offer a clear description of who you are and what you do
- Remove all irrelevant messaging and content.
- Have your industry’s technological standards and customer expectations evolved since your last web update? How does your site stand up against your competitor’s?
- Does it engage/convert potential customers through strong and appealing visuals, relevant content, customer testimonials/case studies, and a call-to-action or CTA?
Mile-marker #9 Easily Update-able Content
Frequent Oil Changes. Users prefer good wayfinding and consistently applied content strategy. The average American reads at a 5th grade reading level, and the average college education American reads at a 9th grade reading level. Content should be served in bite size chunks, and easy to find. It’s important that you easily, and regularly update your site’s content.
Web platforms abound these days with options and considerations. The web is meant to be used by professionals, it’s not an amateur’s game. It’s not helpful to imply that “anyone” should be able to manipulate their web, content or otherwise without first consulting with someone who knows what they’re doing. I mean, you wouldn’t change your own car’s transmission, would you? It’s important to partner with a well-rounded agency who focuses on the web as a living breathing organism – branding, SEO, strategy, design and development are all necessary skills for staying relevant.
Mile-marker #10: WCAG Compliance
Accessibility. Last but certainly not least, this topic is more important than ever before. We invite you to read our recent blog post devoted entirely to this concern here.
How well your site ranks on each and every one of these markers is an overall indication of how well your site is actually working for you. If your site lacks any marker, or any are performing at a less than optimal level, then it is likely time for a visit to the site mechanic. With over half of your potential customers going first to your website to find information about the products and services they are looking to purchase, a savvy business owner will make sure their site is operating at full-throttle.
Ready to trade in the jalopy for something a bit sleeker? Contact SeaMonster for a consultation and they'll get you into a new model in no time.