Your website is one of your business’s most valuable assets. It has the potential to bring in new customers and new opportunities – but to do that effectively you need to keep it in good shape.
Use the 10 points below to work out where your website is on top form and which areas could use a little TLC.
Is your website doing its job?
I like to think of a website as a member of the team. You wouldn’t employ somebody without thinking about what you wanted them to do – and the same is true for your website.
1. Are you clear about the main thing you want people to do when they visit your website?
E.g. I want them to sign up for my email list, I want them to book a table, I want them to read my latest blog post.
This first point might seem a bit obvious but knowing why you want people to visit your website and what you want them to do when they get there underpins all the work you can do to improve your website.
You need to get super clear on the ‘why’ before we can talk about the ‘how’.
2. Do you know how many people visit your website each week and how many of them take the action(s) described in 1?
If you want to improve your results and get the best from your website, you need to know what’s happening. I recommend Google Analytics for tracking your website statistics.
Get the basics right
3. Is your website responsive (mobile-friendly)?
The number of people accessing your website via their mobile phone is likely to be upwards of 50% whatever industry you are in so it’s important that it works well on mobile (and tablet) as well as desktop. (If you’ve got Google Analytics set up you can find out exactly what devices your audience are using.)
The best way to check this is to get your phone out and look at your website. Does is look right? Is it easy to use?
Useful tool: Google’s Mobile Friendly Test https://search.google.com/searchconsole/mobile-friendly
4. Is your website fast?
What counts as ‘fast’ is quite subjective but what you can guarantee is that most people will not wait around for a slow website. You can use the free tool below to get a time for your website.
I’ve heard 1.5 seconds as a recommended max time, which can be hard to achieve. The faster the better of course, but give yourself a tick if you come in at under 3 seconds.
Pingdom website speed test https://tools.pingdom.com/
5. Is your website is up-to-date?
This question refers to the content, not the technology. Does the header on your home page say Happy New Year in April? Are you advertising summer specials in the midst of winter? Is your events page stuck in 2015? Out of date websites are a big turn-off.
6. Is your website safe and secure?
It’s hard to give a clear cut yes or no when it comes to security, it’s a matter of degree, but here are a few points to guide you:
- If you use one of the well-known hosted website providers like Shopify then you should be okay (as long as you haven’t used an obvious password!).
- If your website is regularly maintained, you take regular back-ups and you know you have put things in place to protect it then the answer is probably yes.
- If you aren’t sure then answer ‘no’ because it’s a good idea to at least review it.
7. Is your websites easy to find?
This is related to how well you rank in search results. Try some searches* on your company name or brand and your main services and location and see where you rank.
* Search results are personalised so to get more objective results you should do your searches using a ‘private browsing’ window (or ‘incognito window’ on Chrome).
8. Are there good reasons for people to visit your website?
Off the top of your head can you list 2-3 reasons for people to visit your website? E.g. information about your services, entertaining blogs posts, useful articles, inspiration.
9. Is your website easy to navigate?
Try to look at your website with fresh eyes. Are things easy to find? Is the menu layout clear (on mobile as well as desktop)? Is there a search box? It can also be useful to ask a couple of your customers how easy they find it to use.
10. Does each page on your website serve a clear purpose?
Look through them. Do they? Ask yourself what you want people to do on every page. Do you make it easy for them to do that? Again, you could ask some other people.
How did you website score?
Whatever the score, well done! You’ve now got a plan for making improvements 🙂
I purposely put the points in what I judge to be their order of importance. So, start from the top and work through any you answered ‘No’ to and make improvements, one thing at a time.
For example, if the first question you answered ‘No’ to was number 3 then your first job is to improve your website so it is mobile-responsive.
Take the improvements one step at a time like this and you can avoid overwhelm while knowing that you’re always working on the most important thing.