Is Your Business Website Efficient?

Does your website function in all the common browsers?

The most commonly used internet browsers in the United States are Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox. For any one of these browsers that your website does not function on, you are closing yourself to an entire market. Ensure that your website has enough bandwidth to support your visitor load, that all of your menus work correctly and your pictures load. Your website may be your first impression, and new customers will take these details into account as an indication of your attention to quality assurance.

Does your website work on mobile devices?

It is increasingly common for people to access the internet through mobile devices, especially when shopping or doing research into products and services. According to the most recent federal government Digital Analytics Program survey, nearly 36% of internet traffic is being conducted by mobile devices. By having a website that responds effectively on desktop and mobile platforms, you inspire confidence in younger, tech-savvy customers that your company is able to perform in today’s high tech economic environment. You also create opportunities to capture customers who are searching on-the-go for a quick solution to their needs. Optimizing your website for mobile access may be the key to greater lead generation and walk-in business.

Does your website have all the pertinent information on the main page?

Visually oriented websites are a positive growing trend, but you can’t let your beautifully crafted imagery replace the essential information a visitor needs to know about your business. If they can’t figure out what you offer right away, they will likely navigate away from your site. If they can’t find your contact information immediately, they may move on to a company that is easier to contact. If you have a business where customers come to you, you must have your address and hours clearly listed, readily visible in the first moment they visit your page. Retain more visitors by removing obstacles between you and the customer. Does your mobile site allow customers to call you directly? Does your desktop site allow customers to contact you through company email or a contact form? The easier and faster it is to find your information, the more likely you are to capture their business.

Is the information in your website arranged in a simple and clear way?

You may have a lot of goods/services to offer, but too many links can clutter a page, make it slower to load, and make it harder to use, all of which could lose you customers. Ideally, you could simplify the amount of information on your page to only what is pertinent to your visitor’s interest: your offering. If you have several options to navigate, utilizing drop down menus could not only make your website easier to navigate, but more pleasing to use. If you have multiple linked offerings, consider breaking them into different websites. This removes distractions for potentially focused visitors, allowing them to get the information they need easily. A clear website creates opportunities to start the conversation with your visitors. Your contact form should be readily apparent and quick to fill out. Labor intensive first contact forms will deter people. After you have verified their email address with a quick thank you email, you can contact them to schedule an appointment or supply them with your quote generation metrics. Do not load down your webpages with these details because your potential customers may decide to “come back later” to figure out your questions and move on.

Does your website allow flexible communication to start the next step?

Often times, people are performing research into products in a few spare moments and don’t have the full amount of time it would take to call you to start their quote or scheduling process. By allowing your visitors to contact you via a simple form, they can essentially ‘bookmark’ your business for future review. Getting the process started over email gives you a solid connection to the customer while allowing them to be as flexible as needed in the modern busy schedule. If the customer is more comfortable talking over the phone, you can establish that in your primary email communications.

Does your website have a way to reach out and share with the community?

What is your company doing to benefit the community, and how are you letting them know that you’re doing it? It may be tempting to try to tell the customer “too much” on the main page, but remember, they are visiting your site because they are interested primarily in your offering. The correct place to share details about company events, goals, successes and side projects is in your company’s blog or articles. This creates a community around your business and generates interest in those who may look forward to working with you.

Does your website have a mailing list or product sign up club?

No matter what kind of business you have, you will have news, sales or promotions that you will want to share with your community. Having a simple sign up option on your website to be included in this news stream helps generate positive word of mouth and keeps your business in the minds of your community members. Allow positive word of mouth to be passive advertising for you, while creating opportunities for new lead generation through exclusive deals only available to your contact community. The more benefit a potential customer gets from being part of your community, the better. Having a product delivery club not only generates repeat income, but it gives you the opportunity to be a positive event in their lives. By making every delivery a beautiful and joyous occasion, you turn a “purchase” into a “present”.

Are your product lists or catalogs readable and searchable?

Perhaps you have a vast inventory, or you have a beautifully photographed brochure that you want to showcase, and you are tempted to simply display .pdf images of your offerings for customers to peruse. However, this will ultimately end up hurting your business; Inventory lists must be at once human readable, computer searchable and available for easy copying into another document. Any obstacles between your visitors and a purchase should be removed, and this extends to difficult to search inventories. Commonly, your visitors will be using search functions both on the internet and inside your webpage, and if those don’t turn up the result they are looking for, they will move on.

Are you measuring the effectiveness of your website?

Determining the effectiveness of your website is more than counting the number of hits. Distinguishing unique visitors, how they are coming to your site and how many pages the visitor sees before entering their information into the contact form is a key part of determining if your website is providing the information your visitors are looking for. By examining which pages are receiving the most traffic, you can reduce the time it takes for your major audience to get to those pages, increasing their likelihood to contact. You can also determine whether your audience is passively engaging with your blog, giving you a better idea of your ‘broadcast audience’. If the percentage of visitors who leave before contacting you is high, its time to re-evaluate the presentation of your website. It is also important to consider how many internet leads are converting to sales, and what path your visitors are taking through your website to get there. Increasing the percentage of people who take this path can be a major boost to your income.

posted on August 17, 2016 - permalink


About the author

Justin George

Principal, software developer, and process manager at the Alder Point Group.

Prides himself on a hands-on approach to understanding business needs, involving learning as much as possible about the business before attempting to reach any conclusions.

Over 10 years of small and medium business experience with startups, sole proprietorships, and multiple different subject areas.

Has led and mentored other business people, development staff, non-technical colleagues, and has helped managers understand technical and business process analysis results.

Personally sets standards of excellence for all work produced by the Alder Point Group.

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