If you ever watched ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," you know that makeovers are about much more than a few surface changes. Families' homes weren't transformed simply so they could show off their shiny new digs to friends and family. Instead, it was to give these families a new lease on life.
The same concept applies to your website. While a common assumption is that web design is all about how a site looks, that's actually just one component of the web design process. Good web design evaluates every aspect of your site and focuses on how to make each part as effective as possible.
Because web design is such a holistic process, it can have a significant impact on the bottom line of your business. If you have a sneaking suspicion that your website isn't living up to its full potential but aren't 100% sure, here are the top ten concrete signs that your website is in need of a makeover:
You're Not Collecting Leads
If you want your website to have a positive impact on your business, it needs to be able to make people who come to it more than visitors. The most common way to accomplish this crucial goal is by collecting lead information. Once you have someone's name, email address and any other required information, you can build a relationship with them and ultimately close a sale. But if your website isn't collecting any of this information, you're missing out on this opportunity to increase sales.
Your Website Takes a Long Time to Load
When dial-up access was the only way to get online, people accepted the fact that using the Internet was an experience that required patience. But now that high-speed access has become the standard, people expect sites to load instantly. If your website doesn't load right away, potential customers are going to head off to Google and ultimately end up on the site of one of your competitors.
It Doesn't Include a Blog
Blogs have evolved way past the days of individuals sitting in their pajamas and typing out their thoughts. Blogs have become the standard for businesses to communicate with potential and existing customers. A blog allows you to keep current customers in the loop, as well as give prospects more insights into why your business is the right fit for their needs. Not having a blog on your website prevents you from being able to create these communication channels.
No One's Sticking Around to Read Your Content
If you already have a blog on your website, you can look at your analytics data to see how long visitors spend reading it. If this process leads to you discovering that most visitors leave your blog after just a few seconds, it means the posts you're publishing aren't connecting with your target audience. It probably also means that your blog is lacking powerful visual accents like strong titles and interesting pictures that can grab visitors' attention and get them to stick around.
You Don't Know How Long Visitors are Staying on Your Site
If you have a blog but can't look at how long visitors are reading your posts, it means your website doesn't have an analytics program installed. Because this data creates the backbone for being able to improve your site, not having analytics is a problem that you need to remedy ASAP!
Visitors Have to Jump Through Hoops to Contact You
When someone comes to your website and wants to contact you, what steps do they need to go through to get in touch with you? If the answer is scour your site for an email address or fill out a form with eight mandatory fields, chances are your site is turning away a significant number of people who would otherwise be very likely to make a purchase from your business. Since you never know when someone's going to want to contact you, it needs to be dead simple for a visitor to contact you regardless of where they are on your site.
When Prospects Type Searches Into Google, Your Site Doesn't Show Up
Think of a few phrases someone might type into Google when they're looking for the product or service your business offers. Now, actually type those phrases into Google. When you look at the first page of results, do you see a link to your website? If not, it means your website hasn't been properly optimized and promoted. It also means quite a few prospects are checking out your competitors' websites instead of yours.
Your Site Can't Be Accessed from an iPhone
Thanks to the sophistication of mobile browsers like Safari on the iPhone, "mobile versions" of websites are a trend that has peaked. While your site doesn't need a special version for cellphones, it does need to be accessible. Since mobile browsing continues to be the fastest growing area of Internet access, if you type your URL into an iPhone and don't see key parts of it or any of it, chances are it's the result of your site relying on Flash. Since Apple sold 35 million iPhones in just the last 3 months, you don't want to leave this problem unresolved!
You Don't Have a Way to Connect with Prospects on Other Sites
Just like people expect businesses to have an active blog on their website, they also expect businesses to have a presence on Facebook and Twitter. If your website doesn't link to your presence on these social media sites or you don't have one at all, it means that your site is once again holding you back from connecting with prospects who are very interested in what your business has to offer.
You Always Include a Disclaimer When You Give Someone Your URL
If you're so embarrassed by your website that you always make excuses about it when you give someone the URL, it's a definite sign that your site needs a major overhaul!
As you can see, there are a lot of problems that can plague a website and ultimately hold back your business from its full potential. Although it can be discouraging to realize that your website has multiple issues, the good news is there are solutions for every problem on this list.
If you want to say goodbye to your lackluster website and hello to a new version that consistently brings in new business, get in touch with us today to discuss how we can transform it into a site that moves your bottom line!
About The Author
Brian Waraksa, founder of Raxa Design in Houston, Texas has been in marketing and small business branding since 2002. He writes the Raxa Design blog on issues affecting small business marketing and corporate brands.
Posted on Mon, August 27, 2012
by Brian Waraksa filed under