It should be a potent marketing tool that attracts customers and drives sales, but your website could be making your business look unprofessional and old-fashioned. So how can you tell if your website isn’t up to scratch?
1. Your website isn’t generating sales or leads. If so, you have a major problem. Business websites shouldn’t be a vanity exercise. They should bring sales or at the very least generate leads.
2. Your website generates bad enquiries. Whether by email, phone or in person, having to deal with people who won’t buy from you just wastes your time. This can happen if your website doesn’t represent your business properly.
3. Your website contains inaccurate or outdated information. This could be things you no longer sell, contact details of ex-staff members, long neglected news or redundant links. It looks unprofessional. And if you omit information about your full range of products or services you could be losing sales.
4. You’re embarrassed to give out your web address. Perhaps you avoid telling customers about it or try to soften the blow with excuses (“It’s not very good. We’re thinking about changing it, it needs updating…”). You might even deliberately omit your web address from your emails, business stationery, leaflets, etc. All are missed opportunities.
5. Your website commits crimes against design. Examples could include: too many/brash colours; too many fonts, ill-advised choices (eg Brush Script, Comic Sans, anything that resembles handwriting, etc), drop-shadowed text, BODY TEXT IN CAPS; and poor photographs. Clip art, animated type (particularly flames), visitor counters and ‘muzak’ are all serious misdemeanours.
6. Your competitors’ websites are better. Come on, admit it — do your competitors’ websites put yours to shame? Are they winning business from you as a result?
7. Your website confuses visitors. Potential customers must be able to find the information/products they seek within a few clicks. Pages taking forever to load will also work against you. Your site navigation must be quick and logical, with pages containing clear calls to action.
8. Your website is costing you a fortune. Possibly because you have to pay a designer/developer every time you want to make a change.
9. Your website ignores online social networking. Your website should allow visitors to conveniently recommend you via Facebook, Twitter and other popular social networking websites.
10. Your website doesn’t show up in popular search engines. A sure sign your SEO (search engine optimisation) needs work.