I`m often hired to evaluate people`s websites, because they`re not performing as expected. Most of the problems I find are elementary and can be easily fixed with little to no expenditure. Listed below is a basic, website analyzation template I created, that will quickly and easily enable you to analyze and fix your own website.
1. Does Your Website Have A Purpose? The number one thing your website must do is have a purpose.
It doesn`t matter how well-designed your website is.
It doesn`t matter how easy it is to navigate.
It doesn`t matter how attractive it is.
If your website doesn`t get your visitors to take a predetermined course of action, it`s a liability.
And according to the dictionary a liability is "something that works to one`s disadvantage."
Unfortunately, there are far, far too many websites on the Internet like that.
To be successful, your website must have a purpose.
If the purpose of your website is to make sales, then your copy should be compelling and persuasive, your offer should be unmistakenly clear and your ordering process should be as simple as abc.
If the purpose of your website is to collect your visitors names for your newsletter or future follow-up, then your copy should clearly emphasize that, and give your visitors a compelling reason to leave behind their name and e-mail address.
2. Is Your Website Focused? Too many websites "muddy the water," so to speak. In other words, they try to be all things to all people, instead of focusing on a specific theme or function. This is a mistake. First-time visitors to your website need to have their hands held. They want clarity and direction, not confusion and wishy-washy mission statements. Your website should be focused on a singular function.
3. How Functional Is Your Website? Websites should be easy to use, easy on the eyes and easy to navigate. Your website should be quick-loading and you shouldn`t need a road map to maneuver your way around a site.(although sitemaps aren`t a bad idea.) Make sure there aren`t any dead links, and all links go to the pages they`re supposed to go to. It`s important to understand, your website is a communication tool, and if your website doesn`t work properly, well...You know the old saying..."First impressions are everything!"
4. Make Your Website Attractive. The appearance of your website is the first thing visitors notice. So make your website is attractive. Use a design and colors that are appealing and pleasing to the eye.
The look and/or funtionality of your site sets the tone for potential future visits. People will immediately judge whether your site is professional or amateurish, and whether or not they want to return.
5. Does Your Website Brand You? Marketing is all about effectively communicating who you are, what you do, and why you do it better than the competiton. Marketing is about image building, positioning and branding. Branding is the foundation for all successful marketing.
Branding is not only about getting your target market to choose you over the competition. It`s also about getting your prospects to see you as the only one that provides a solution to their problem.
6. I`m sure you`ve heard the expression "content is king." Well, I disagree with that expression. Content is not only king. "Content is king, queen, prince and princess." Yes, content is that important. Now when I refer to content, I`m not just referring to articles, press releases, reviews and things of that nature. I`m referring to all of the content on your website. Does your website clearly and adequately display and explain what you do and how you do it... what products you sell, and what services you provide? Are there examples of your work? Are there "real" testimonials from your customers? Do you have an "About" page? How about an FAQ page? Have you provided information on on how to order, refund policy, customer service, etc?
7. Does Your Website Have A Distinctive Look? While it`s okay to model your site after other successful sites. You ultimately want your site to have its own unique look and feel - something that truly reflects your business vision and personality. This is important because the more you can inject your own personality into your site, the more people will get to know and trust you.
8. Do You list Appropriate Contact Information On Your Website? Websites are all about opening up and connecting you to your clients - not hiding from them like some sort of phantom. Post your full name and picture and the full names and pictures of your employees. Post your e-mail address or use a contact form. Post your telephone number and street address (or at the very least a mailing address.)
While the above template should help tremendously in fixing and improving most websites, it`s not intended to be a" be-all-end-all" solution by any means. Your particular website may require the evaluation of a professional.
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