Whenever I do a marketing audit on a website, I have a list of simple tests I like to put it through. These are 4 basic questions that a lot of web designers and business owners themselves seem to overlook when creating a business website. If you can answer these four questions in an honest, objective way, you will know whether your website needs a little work, or that perhaps the lack of performance is due to some factors outside your site, such as lack of focus and poor consistency implementing your marketing strategy.
Let’s have a look what elements create the basis for a successful business website. I promise by the end of this post you will be saying, “these are so obvious, why did I not think about these before?”
#1: How Fast Is Your Website Loading On Various Devices?
We live in a busy world and in this world, there is little time for hanging around. So if your website is too slow and it takes more than 3 seconds to load, a large percentage of your potential visitors will be gone before they get to see your home page. In fact, 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. That is very, very fast. A 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. Depending on the type of website and the platform it is built on, some websites can be ridiculously slow due to their size. But website visitors seem to care about speed much more than any bells and whistles you might have. On top of that, slow loading times will affect your search engine rankings.
This infographic from Kissmetric illustrates perfectly how loading time affects your bottom line.
#2 Is It Clear What You Are Offering/Selling?
When the home page loads on a computer or phone screen, it is the most important place for you to describe exactly what is it you do or sell. The simpler this message is, the more people will go deeper into your site. The majority of businesses I know tend to overcomplicate their brand message, presuming that their visitors speak and understand the “pro lingo” of their industry. The reality is completely opposite. If you are selling windows, don’t overwhelm your visitors with super technical details on the first banner they see. Tell them clearly, using simple words that your windows mean light, warmth, peace and quiet. Leave the specs for the product page.
#3 Is The Website Packed With Call –To-Action?
Information is an unlimited resource. Attention, on the other hand, is a finite one. We only have a short amount of time to get a visitor’s attention and create a sense of urgency and value. Clarity becomes even more important here. If the visitor understands immediately what is offered to them, you get a chance to follow this up with a tagline or a call to action banner, that will tell them why this product or service will improve their current situation. So if it is dresses you sell, the visitor must know from the first glance on your home page that these dresses fit and look amazing, making you feel like a million dollars! Add something like a limited time offer, and you will increase the chance of conversions.
#4 How Easy Is It To Buy Your Product Or Order Your Services?
So your visitors get on to your home page pretty fast, they know immediately what you are about and they feel the need to get your products or service as soon as they can. They are excited in anticipation of the solution to whatever problem they had that led them to you. So how to buy?
I was recently taken to a product page on a website, it was an offer on Facebook that I couldn’t refuse. I was so excited, I clicked Add To Cart button and….. nothing. I clicked it again… and again… nothing changed. I did not get a message that my product was added to my shopping basket. In fact, there was no shopping basket icon anywhere, I even checked the footer. Because I have a background in web design, it became my mission to uncover it. Eventually, I found the cart and the checkout as links in a drop down menu under the Shop section. This was beyond disastrous, really. If there is an online shop, there has to be a cart button somewhere very obvious. How does one expect to make sales, when they hide the very place where the money is passed over to them? Anyone else would assume the site is broken and would not proceed with the payment. They simply wouldn’t know where to click.
A well-built website will have the shopping cart very obviously present, so even if a visitor does not proceed to the checkout straight away, they can find their way to it in just one click.
Same applies to non e-commerce websites. If the purpose of the website is to generate leads or build a contact list, the Contact Us or Sign Up button should be clearly present and easy to reach, whatever page your visitor is on.
These are just some basic principles of having a good business websites. And this is even before conducting an SEO audit to see if the website is well optimised to be found online.
If you can look at your website and see all these elements in place, well done! Your website is definitely designed to convert your visitors into buyers.
If however some or all of these factors are not up to scratch, you might need some help. Follow our blog and join our Facebook page for the “Uplevel Your Website” weekly videos to help you along the way.
If you wish to get professional help with your website, do not hesitate giving me a shout today and let me help you focus on ideas that will make your website perform its best!