5 Signs Your Website Needs Work …
Over the last who knows how many years, you have spent a lot of time and money on your website, but you feel it is starting to look a little rusty. You just added a few new plug-ins and widgets to spruce things up hoping it would solve the problem, but it still doesn’t look like all those awesome websites out there. So, you then took some time to rewrite some of your content and upgrade a few images. Perhaps even added some social media icons and feeds but something is still not right. So, once again you dove right in and increased font sizes to accommodate individuals with larger screens, but you now have all this extra white space on the sides and when viewing on a mobile device, things are just not functioning properly. Your readership is down by a long shot and your website is feeling like a tank! You just want to propel your website into the modern mobile age, but things aren’t panning out that way. You think to yourself … what could be the problem?
Have you considered a redesign?
The problem may just be that you are hanging onto your old, out-of-date website like it’s your favourite worn out pair of shoes. Well, it’s time to throw out those shoes and upgrade to a new pair!
Here are a small handful of tell tale signs that your website needs work …
- Being responsive is key.
Your website not only needs to function beautifully on a laptop or desktop computer, but it also needs to work well on mobile and tablet devices. More people nowadays use their phones to find your website and if it is not mobile friendly, your visitor will not be able to read your text or navigate easily thus resulting them to move on. To find out the nitty-gritty on responsive website comes back this Thursday as I’m going to dive into what a responsive website is and why you need it for your businesses website.
- Being user-friendly is extremely important.
People browsing the internet have notoriously short attention spans and at most – only stay on a webpage for a few seconds before moving on. Your visitors need to be able to find what they want, and fast! Your visitors should know within a few seconds of landing on your website, what your business is about. Sometimes the name of your business makes this apparent, but if not, your homepage should have a simple statement near the top of the page that draws the eye. Don’t leave this to just your logo or a business-related image. Another key element here is your navigation. It should follow standard conventions so that when visitors cruise through your site they can do so effortlessly. Place navigation links along the top of each page. You may also consider adding them to the side bar. Your visitors should know exactly where they are going. With logical navigation you leave no room for drive-by’s and dropouts as this will keep your visitors engaging longer. Remember, you only have a short window of time to get your visitors to engage so make it easy for them to find what they want.
- Being design savvy is crucial.
Your front end is just as important as your back end. Text is boring. Especially if you have a lot of it. Keep your visitors engaged by posting compelling images that will help build an emotional bond between them and your mission/vision. Try to add just enough text to tell your story but keep it short and sweet. Now back to those images … if you know your photos are quite old or your using clipart and copyright search engine stock photos this is going to cause you a lot of problems in the long run. It’s time to REFRESH! Try including images that tell your story and are visually stimulating. This means no overexposed, underexposed or blurry photos. And I cannot stress this enough … NO CLIPART! Ensure your text is in an easy to read font and not brightly coloured so that your viewers have to struggle to read it. You message (written and visually) is important so make sure people read it!
- Being secure is important.
An unprotected website is not only a security risk to you but also to your customers and other businesses. It allows for the spread and escalation of malware, attacks on other websites and even attacks on infrastructure. Your website is your brand and often your first contact with customers. If it is not secure those relationships can be easily compromised. A single breach could be a death-knell for a small business. No industry is immune, and hacking is not just about stealing data. Hackers want to create watering holes where they can hide malware to spread the malware to any visitors to your site. To dig deeper, you may have heard the terms “SSL” or “SSL Certificate” used interchangeably with HTTPS. For the most part, these are the same. An SSL certificate is the product that you are purchasing and installing on your server and HTTPS is the result of having that certificate on your server. HTTPS protects your visitor’s information as well as your information from all the dirty hackers out there. It keeps everything safe and being more secure is simply a better option for everyone.
- Being visible to search engines is a must.
The internet can be a clustered place and anyone doing business online knows how crucial it is for people to be able to find your website. In reality, search engines are the vehicles that drive potential visitors to your website. If your URL shows up way down the list of results, the chance of them finding your site is remote. To get search engine traffic, your webpages should use keywords in the content, image descriptors as well as in their titles. The URL of every page should contain legible words, some of which are keywords. For a simple breakdown, check out this infographic curtesy of RedAlkemi
- Being on top of your analytics is more important than you think.
People today want everything at their fingertips. If your visitors cannot easily navigate your website, then they will simply find another site that better suits their needs. No matter how you look at it, website maintenance will be an ongoing project and using your analytics will help you determine how many users are on your site, on which pages and for how long. Having this information will help you better determine where your website needs improvement to convert more traffic.
Now of course there are many other factors to help improve your website for better optimization but if you start with these few important notes you will be well on your way to growing your business in the direction you want.
Looking for help in this area?
Feel free to drop me a line.
We can review and discuss your website together and figure out what you need to do to improve the quality of your business through online means.
Or, if you have yet to build a website I would love to help!
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