Are there moments in your digital day when you need to send your website link to a customer and you cringe with the thought – “They’ll never find what I need them to see.” Or maybe – “This site is such an embarrassment, I’d rather snail mail the info to them.” Does your website break in different browser? Or God forbid – does it still look like it was built in Microsoft Publisher and has clipart on it? Wow! You need a better website! It’s time to get rid of that flash intro and move into 2014!
HERE’S SOME REASONS YOU NEED TO ACT FAST & TELL YOUR BOSS TODAY – “WE NEED A BETTER WEBSITE!”
- You could be losing customers. If people visit your website and find out-of-date information or are completely unable to view your website because of browser breaks – this needs to be fixed!
- Google may have forgotten about you. If your website hasn’t been updated for a year or more there’s a good chance that Google might think you’re out of business. With things changing so fast these days with technology, Google expects you to keep up!
- You might be losing employees. If you’re hiring and someone visits your website to check things out – they may opt to not even apply depending upon how wonky your website looks. They may be unimpressed and leery that your company is even real. Or your current employees may be too embarrassed to mention where they work at a dinner party for fear that their friend may Google them on their cell phones and check out the company.
- You might be losing referrals. I don’t know about you, but I don’t send my friends links to weird looking websites. If customers can’t navigate through your website why would they refer their family or friends to it?
- Competitors out-ranking you. This is key! Every day new websites are being launched in your industry. If you’re not constantly keeping up with your website, these latest and greatest sites will very likely out-rank you in the search engine results.
HERE’S SOME CRAZY STATISTICS THAT MIGHT CONVINCE AS WELL
- 94% of your users find their first impression in your website’s design – Source “Kenesis”
- 75% judge your business’ credibility from your website’s design. – Source “Kenesis”
- 40% will abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. – Source “Econsultancy”
- Almost 50% of any mobile user landing on your website that has a bad experience feels as though you don’t care about your customer. – Source “Margin Media”
- Google gives preference to sites that are built with Responsive structure. – Google
If you’re even looking up topics like this we know it must be pretty bad! These days a website can be the first impression someone has of your business. It’s got to impress them or they’ll move on and never look back. You’ve got to have social media and fresh content. If your website hasn’t been updated in the last year – Google could very easily think you’ve gone out of business. So how do you take this news to your boss and get the results you’re hoping for?
HERE’S 10 THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN YOUR WEBSITE EVALUATION
Go through you website looking at each of these points, then take this list to your supervisor or boss and share what you’ve found.
1. IS THE INFORMATION OUT OF DATE?
There’s nothing worse than a customer calling up and asking for a product that you no longer carry, or asking for a coupon deal they found on your website that expired in 2008. What about your “About Us” page? Does it have team members photos still there that have long since moved on? Do you have a photo gallery that shows your staff but you don’t even recognize them because they’re all from 10 years ago? Uggh!
One of the worst things to have out of date is your address or phone number. These types of updates are serious and need to be addressed today!
2. SOCIAL SIGNAL?
Google announced last year that if you do not have a social signal you’re dead to them (paraphrased). This simply means that if you don’t use Facebook and Twitter, Google+ and YouTube (or other networks) you’re not up-to-date and you must not care about being where your customers are. You need to use these networks weekly and link them on your website. Check out this article to show your boss – “Is facebook and other networks profitable for a company?”
3. RESPONSIVE / MOBILE FRIENDLY?
When you view your website on your phone or iPad do you have to zoom in and pinch the screen to see text or images? That means your website is OLD! These days we code websites to be “Responsive” to any device, any size. If you can’t see portions of your website on your phone because they’re Flash- let your boss know this is really bad for your customers and needs to be fixed ASAP.
4. BROKEN IN BROWSERS?
Have you noticed that when you’re viewing your website in IE 8 or Chrome that things overlap each other or elements may even be missing all together? This could be a scripting error that is causing a break inside of that internet browser, and you can bet that customers are experiencing this break as well. You can check to see how your website looks across all new and older browsers using a resource like BrowserStack.
5. TRAFFIC? GOOGLE ANALYTICS
Do you know how much traffic actual visits your website? You should be using Google Analytics which is a free tool. Using this tool will help you show your boss not only actual numbers of visits seeing your site, but you can also show him/her an average age, what type of browser they use, if they visit often, what pages they visit most, how long they stay on your website and so much more! This is a online marketer’s heaven!
6. COMPETITORS ALWAYS OUT RANKING YOU?
When you search on Google for your service – does your website show up on page one? Do competitors constantly out-rank your website? How frustrating! There are many factors to this ranking, but making sure that your website was built correctly is the first step.
7. BROKEN LINKS / MISSING PAGES
Does your website have broken links or missing pages? This could be something that is caught inside of your Google Analytics. You can use other resources to check like BrokenLinkCheck.com If you’re using a Mac – check out this really great app called Integrity that you can use to check our website.
8. FRESH CONTENT? BLOG?
One of the key things that Google is watching for on your website is something new! It’s a signal that tells them a few things – 1. That you’re still in business 2. That you want to stay current for your customers 3. That you want to stay current in your industry.
One easy way to add fresh content to your website is by including a blog type feature where you can add resources or helpful articles for your customers. You can also use blogging architecture to archive your press releases, testimonials or reviews. Fresh content is important and there needs to be a way that you can add it easily and quickly to your website.
9. CAN YOUR COMPANY’S TEAM USE THE WEBSITE AS A RESOURCE?
Sometimes using your website as a company resource gets over looked. But the truth is your sales team should have pdf files bookmarked on your website so they can easily and quickly send them to your customers. They should have videos that showcase how to use your products, or that show how your products are made. These can be used to sell your products!
Your team might even need an area on your website that they can give login permissions to a select client and allow them to see secure files, details about their purchase, or even the status of their order. Are any of these tasks occurring? Why not?
10. IS IT CONVERTING?
Ultimately this is really where your boss should stand up and pay attention. Is your website converting visitors to customers? Is it keeping your existing customers loyal and causing them to return weekly, daily?
If your phone is not ringing, if your “check out” button never gets clicked on, if your sign up form never gets filled out – your website is broken in many ways!
“DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY?”
Let’s start off by telling you what NOT to say. Don’t say, “Our website sucks and I’m embarrassed to even say I work here.” Don’t say, “Let’s look on craig’s site for a cheap design company.” And definitely do not say, “You know we can use a free program called Wix and get a great website up and running for free!” These are random “solutions” that will not solve or improve anything.
Ultimately, you know your boss. We don’t. You should know if they are approachable and what really gets their attention. Think first though of why they’ve allowed their website to get to this obsolete state. Is it because they don’t know how to fix it? Is it because they just don’t realize it’s broken? Is it because their nephew built the website and they helped design it so they think it’s just AMAZING? Or maybe they think it will cost too much money to fix it all?
Some of our clients have come to us with a story like this: “We haven’t been able to get a hold of the guy that built our website six years ago. He doesn’t answer his phone or emails and his website went off line. So I think he moved to Costa Rica. We don’t have access to anything!”
There’s a reason that they’ve put off updating their website. Try to approach them with humility, first asking if they realize that the website could be improved? Mention only a few of the major issues that could be resolved to help increase traffic, drive sales and improve quality leads. All of these phrases tickle a boss’s ear!
Mention to them that you have done some research online and have a few ideas of local web design companies who can help. Ask your boss if you can reach out to a few of these companies and get some free quotes and advice on ways to improve your website. All of these suggestions should be said with a heart of humility hopefully showing your boss that all you care about is the success of the company and the impression that you make on your clients or customers.
So – Get started on your research and get ready to say, “Boss, we need a better website!”