Is it time to give your business website a new look? If you haven’t updated your website in a few years, the answer is probably “yes.” A study earlier this year by Online Marketing Coach found that the vast majority of small business websites aren’t effective at driving business because 70 percent have no calls to action on their home pages.
Common mistakes small business websites are making include:
- 82 percent don't reference their social media profiles on their websites;
- 27 percent don't include a phone number on their home pages;
- 70 percent of websites with a phone number don't display it in a prominent place; and
- 68 percent don't include an email address on their home pages.
Take a good look at your website and enlist some friends and family members to help. (Make sure they can be objective!).
Does your website look outdated?
For instance, is it still using Flash animation, which is no longer supported by many Web browsers? This can cause problems when viewing the site. Is the color scheme stuck in the 80s, or do your stock photos show outdated fashions, hairstyles and technology?
Does your website still reflect what you do?
Have you added products or services that are not represented on the current site? Can a potential customer clearly understand what you have to offer from the website alone?
Is your website cluttered?
Effective websites today tend to be clean and simple, so as to not confuse or repulse your visitors.
Can visitors easily tell what you want them to do?
This ties in with the previous question. Does your site include clear calls to action that direct them, such as “Click Here,” “Buy Now,” or “Sign Up”? Give your visitors direction, without it they might just leave again.
Is key information visible “above the fold”?
Above the folder refers to anything that is visible without paging down in the website. Many visitors will not take the time to page down beyond the initial view if they don’t see anything catching their eye. So make sure the most important stuff is at the top.
Is your website quick to load?
This is especially critical on mobile devices, where more and more users are viewing your site today.
How does your site look on a mobile device?
Use tools like Brick & Mobile or MobileTestMe to see how your site serves up on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. Mobile usage has spiked, so having a website that performs well on mobile is a huge asset. Consider a site redo using responsive design,
Still not sure if your website needs updating? Check out your closest competitors’ sites as well as the industry leaders in your field. If your site doesn’t measure up, it’s time for an upgrade.
Photo Credit: ronstik/iStock/Thinkstock