A bulleted list—how effective is your small business website?
It’s unusual to find a small business that doesn’t have a website nowadays. This has in effect helped and harmed some small businesses; the sheer volume of websites and content on the web is staggering now, and it’s easy to get lost. Ten years ago the question most small business owners would ask me is “Can you build me a website,” but now it’s “We had some guy build our website, why isn’t bringing in sales or doing anything for our business?”
Here’s the catch to websites—to create an effective one, one that REALLY works, there’s a lot more to it than adding some text and pictures to a Front Page template. There’s a real art and science to it. Smart business owners that know this are winning the battle. How’s your website doing? You’ll find a number of insightful questions below that are concentrated on getting you to think outside the box when it comes to your website.
At the end of the exercise sum up how you did, is there a correlation between your answers to the questions and the effectiveness of your website? I bet there will be. Good luck, and let me know if this was helpful to you.
Value: Remember That Dollars and Sales Always Follow Value
* Is your website about solving visitor problems or an electronic brochure/resume about your company?
* Visit each page on your website; can you explain what the value is of each page – in terms of your prospects, not you? What value does the visitor get from reading that web page? Hint: If you can’t answer the question maybe you remove that web page.
* Look at your website’s content, are there more “I’s, we’s and our’s” than “you and yours”? Who is the website about and for, you or your visitors?
* What will visitors have learned about solving their problem/challenge after visiting your website that they didn’t know beforehand?
Speed and Efficiency: The Quick and the Dead
* When first visiting your website, can the visitor discover what you do and how you help your online traffic within 3-5 seconds?
* Is your website and website navigation clearly and logically designed? Have you tested them with your target market?
* Is there a flow to your website, a path that you take your visitors on in going through your website? Have you logically planned out how visitors will use and navigate your site?
* Is your website design or navigation confusing or overwhelming to people?
Personal Branding: People Do Business with Those They Like, Know, and Trust
* Are you making a personal connection with your visitors on your website, or is it just a collection of text and pictures?
* Is your website geared towards informing people or establishing a personal and meaningful connection with visitors? Is it both?
* Do you think more people would do business with you if they felt they had a personal connection with you? How important is personal branding?
Marketing Focus: Are Your Words Giving You a Chance to Succeed?
* Are you conveying a clear, action-oriented marketing message? Are you sending the most effective message to the right people at the right time? How will that affect your sales?
* Did you have a marketing expert and copy editor assist you in writing your content? If you’re not a marketing expert, are you the best person to be writing the website’s content?
* Are you potentially losing sales because your web content isn’t persuading visitors to get interested and take action?
* Do you have a call to action? Is it effective? Do you know what makes a strong and weak call to action?
Uniqueness: Is There Anything that Makes You Special?
* What is special or unique about your site that your visitors would find interesting?
* How does your website compare to your competition? How will that affect your sales?
* Would you get better results, more credibility and more confidence if a professional designer created your website?
* If you were a prospect, would you want to visit your website? How would you feel about it?
* Have you ever asked your online visitors how they feel about your site in a questionnaire or interview? Have you asked them how your website looks compared to your competition?
* Are the videos, graphics, photos, and images you have on your website compelling and visually interesting? How do they support and reinforce your marketing message?
* How often do you update your website? Do you give visitors a reason to come back or does the website just sit?