In many ways, your website is the public face of your business. Thinking of it as a static brochure that rarely needs to be updated or replaced will cost you sales, referrals, and credibility! If it has been more than 2-3 years since your last redesign, take these simple tests to evaluate if you might be ready to give it a facelift or go for a full reconstructive surgery.
1. User Experience Test
Select a small group of people unfamiliar with your site and ask them to find something and survey their reactions.
This test will reveal a lot about your site and should give you the insight on where to start with updates. Here are some things to watch for:
- Too Much Text
- Ease of Navigation
- Outdated Content
- Length of Time to Complete the Test
You have about 8 seconds to convince users to stay on your site and not every user will arrive on the same page. They may find you through a blog post or an organic search leading to your homepage, so try starting them in different areas.
2. Content Test
Try changing some content on your site. Do your updates blend in with the rest of your site? Or did you have to call your developer in order to make updates?
Your website should be built on a Content Management System (CMS) that will streamline the process to adjust content, images, videos, and metadata.There are several platforms to choose from, but do your research before settling on one. There are additional security concerns with platforms such as Wordpress that you should take into consideration.
3. Discovery Test
Map the ways that you want people to find your site and compare against Google Analytics reports.
Everyone wants to be found, but it takes a conscious effort to define your audience and identify how you want them to interact with your site. For example, if you want new patrons to attend a visiting museum exhibit, you need the ability to craft your SEO so that people searching for things to do in your area go straight to that page.
4. Credibility Test
Take another small group of people unfamiliar with your industry and ask them to rank 5 sites including yours based on credibility. Review the results.
Most companies don’t have the instant credibility like Apple or Microsoft that comes from their prolific brand awareness, but you have other ways to show that you can be trusted. For example:
- Is it easy to find and fill out your contact forms?
- Is your design professional and consistent?
- Do you have typos or incorrect information listed?
- Do you display badges from trusted organizations?
- Are there any customer reviews or case studies?
- Does the user feel that they can trust you with their information?
5. Mobility Test
Grab your phone and go. Test the same elements from the User Experience test on your mobile devices.
Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead (Impact). That is the reason that their Algorithm will penalize sites that are not mobile-friendly. Keep in mind that mobile-friendliness is more than just large text and buttons – it means your forms are responsive, your phone number is click-to-call, and so much more.
Each test will reveal different information that you can use to speak with a developer. They can supplement your results with more technical answers. For more information, contact Informatics today to speak with experts in Web Development, Web Design, SEO, and All Things Internet.