Is Your Website Set for 2017? Here’s a 9-Point Checklist

This blog post is a non-technical business person’s guide to evaluating their website.  Although I won’t be writing a lot about Search Engine Optimization, or SEO,  some of the elements I discuss do have a major impact on your site’s SEO.

  1. Understand your visitors

I’m sure each of you have multiple audiences, each with their own concerns. But it’s important to identify your ideal clients – the ones most likely to use your products and services, and most likely to be satisfied and profitable clients or customers.

Describe those buyers in detail. Create a buyer persona that describes their age, their situations, the concerns that your product can solve. Then  create language  that helps them envision what’s possible.

For example, we did a website for NuVo Aesthetics and Wellness (www.nuvoaesthetics.com), and the Home page starts by addressing the concerns of  various audiences:

What are YOU seeking?WEBSITES

–  To be beach-ready with laser hair removal?
–  To lose a few extra inches with Laser Lipo or Ultrasound Cavitation?
–  Reverse  brown spots and large pores from sun damage?
– To smooth out those lines between your eyes and your crows feet?

2.  Let visitors know who you are and what you do

After asking these questions, we outlined what NuVo does:
At NuVo, we listen carefully to you to find out how we can help you to look and feel your best! Then, after our free consultation, we’ll customize one or more treatments to help you achieve your goals.

Don’t meander down the  path to explain what you do – let visitors instantly know that they’ve come to the right place!

  1. Establish credibility               

There are a number of ways to establish your credibility, expertise and trustworthiness.  It could be educational credentials, such as a Master’s or PhD, professional designations,  organizations to which you belong, years of experience, the number and types of clients you’ve worked with, and of course testimonials.

Here’s one on Little Sparkie Electric’s site:

“Catherine knew what she was doing – I didn’t have to worry about anything – she did a wonderful job for my client.” — Jean Wright, former General Manager, Regus Business Centers

  1. Content is (still) King

Content is still the long-time king in the SEO world; Google likes to see lots of relevant content, with keywords used in context. Other tips on your content:

  • Be human and conversational.
  • Talk less about you, your products and services and lots more about how you can improve your clients or customers lives.
  • Be relevant.
  • Be clear and consistent.
  • Be yourself.

Use your keywords wisely, but don’t “stuff” your page with too many keywords used in spammy ways, or Google will penalize you.

  1. Create a design that’s clear, not cute

Insist on a design that’s clean, not cute or cluttered.  Don’t keep adding and adding things to the Home page because they’re “important.”  Design websitescreep can destroy a once effective Home page.

Incorporate  web-wide conventions into your design, so people know where things are, and don’t have to look for them.  The logo should be in the upper left hand corner, have six to seven main links in the header, and any that didn’t fit there in the footer.  Also:

  • Make sure your phone number is clearly visible
  • Use back buttons for easy navigation
  • Don’t muck things up with flash or moving images
  1. Lead visitors where you want them to go

When visitors land on your site, do they know how to quickly find the information they want? Gone are the days of little tiny buttons buried in  the upper right hand corner.

You may have noticed your bank’s and credit card company’s websites have been vastly simplified with a big fat Things you can do button, with a drop-down menu that leads to the most likely things you want to do, like look at your statement or pay your bill.

Klaar College Consulting has a number of audiences, so when we created their new website, we made it easy for people to know exactly where to gol websites

 

 

  1. Include multiple calls to action and contact information

Make sure you have contact information or a clearly visible link on every page.  Also include newsletter sign-ups, offerings and specials.  If you’re a professional services company, create a sign-up to a lead magnet, such as a downloadable white paper.

  1. Ensure your website has a responsive design that adjusts to each device
  • More than half of websites are viewed on smart phones and tablets
  • April 21, 2015, Google started penalizing sites that are not mobile optimized.
  • Your website should adjust to whatever device it’s being viewed on
  1. Track your visitors

At the risk of alienating those who love Google Analytics, I will say I’ve noticed a lot of problems with the accuracy of Google Analytics when compared to analytics programs that are a feature of hosting companies.

Generally the numbers of visitors are much lower on Google Analytics than on the hosting site.  There are a number of reasons for this, and then there’s the pesky “Vote for Trump” messages and gobbly gook that started showing up on analytic results last fall.

Explore alternatives such as Gauges, Clicky and Woopra.

Are you thinking your website needs a refurbishing  or maybe a complete re-vamping?  Give us a call – we’ll meet with you to discuss your site, understand your website’s goals, and  make some recommendations.

Diane DeMarco, 301-696-8886 or diane@dianedemarcomarketing.com/

 

 

 

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