We have had prospective clients come to us in the past voicing confusion over the success (or lack thereof) of their website. They often wonder why their website isn’t performing well, asking what they could do differently. What we typically find is that they built a website and then never touched it again, assuming that just having one would be enough. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. Building a website without a digital marketing mindset can actually hurt your business. That is why we have come up with a list of 10 things that could be hurting, rather than helping, your business.
1. Lacks Responsive Design
Beginning April 21st, Google will add responsive design, or the ability for a website to respond and display properly across all devices, to their algorithm (Social Media Today). This means that non-mobile friendly websites will take a hit in search results. In addition to Google penalizing websites, users in general will not stay very long on a website that isn’t mobile-friendly. Nobody likes pinching and zooming to find the information they need and your prospects will opt for your competitors’ websites over yours, if they are responsive.
2. Not Search Engine Optimized
While responsive design falls into the overarching umbrella of search engine optimization, there are many other features on your website that affect your ranking as well. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your visibility in search engines, such as Google. HTML, content, social media, and links all play important roles in your SEO. One of the more important factors is your keywords. When you begin developing your website, optimize it for search engines by identifying target keywords to include in your content as well as your HTML.
3. Too Much Copy
Finding that perfect balance between too much content and not enough can be a challenge for many businesses. While you want a good amount of content for search engines, too much can really clutter a website. We recommend getting your point across and creating good solid content in short succinct paragraphs. If you have a lot to say, allow your users to dig deeper into your site, giving them the opportunity to read as little, or as much, as they would like.
4. Unfamiliarity with Your Audience
Not being aware of your audience (or audiences) is a major hindrance for many companies. Understanding your audience and their tasks will help you streamline your navigation, consolidate your content, and improve your calls to action. For example, if you have a largely senior audience but do not offer the option to change your website’s font size, you could lose a lot of future business. Before you design or redesign your website, take the time to understand your audience and their goals. You’ll be surprised how much this can improve your ROI.
5. Small Photos
Large imagery is a major trend in web design these days. That means that if your site has no photos, or very small photos, it may be revealing its age. Small photos can make a new site appear outdated, communicating to your audience that you aren’t actively keeping up with the trends. Even if your site is a few years old and you just don’t have time to update it yet, implementing large, professional images can drastically change the look-and-feel.
6. Outdated Content
When is the last time you reviewed your content? Go take a look and you may be surprised to find old statistics, outdated recommendations, or even services that you no longer offer. Outdated content can both confuse your users and reflect poorly on your business and its ability to stay up to date. Even if it is just a quick refresh, we recommend reviewing and editing your content every 6 months to a year.
7. Long Forms
How would you feel if you wanted a quick quote from a company and had to fill out 8 line items including your address, secondary phone number, and favorite kind of pizza? You would most likely give up half way through, because let’s face it; we just don’t have the time or patience that we used to! When people go online, they expect things to be quick and easy. If you have a long contact form on your website, it’s time to simplify it. Requiring only an email address or allowing someone to call you directly are two great ways to keep your form short and simple.
If your site lacks security, your users will know it. Have you ever visited a site and had a warning pop up about trusting said website? This is an unsettling feeling that often leaves us afraid to click through. Don’t let this happen to you. If you have an e-commerce site or will be handling sensitive financial information, you will need a secure certificate. And if you’re collecting email addresses, consider installing a Captcha.
9. Missing Call to Action
What is the purpose of having a website if you do not have a prominent call to action? The whole idea of a website is having an online storefront where you can convert users into customers. Identify your call to action upfront (donate, call, purchase, etc.) and make it clear throughout your website. This means featuring it on your homepage, within your content, and in your main navigation.
10. Hidden or Missing Contact Information
If a user comes to your site and wants to learn more about you than what is being offered, they will look to contact you. If your contact information is missing or difficult to find, your frustrated prospect will promptly leave your site and most likely never return. We recommend placing your contact information in your header, footer, or in a main navigation tab, so that prospects don’t have to do any digging to find it.
After reviewing your site, if you found that any of these 10 things could be hurting, rather than helping your business, give Informatics a call. From consulting and digital strategizing, to website design and development, we offer services that can help you get back on track.