You invested a large portion of your fiscal budget into your marketing campaign, and that’s great. But is your web presence reflecting those marketing efforts? Is your design up to date? Are your social media icons actually on your site and linking to the correct accounts? Does your store offer a great user experience? Have you educated your users on your products or services? And can you measure your ROI?
These are all things to consider. Put the buzz words aside and ask yourself this one simple question: Do you users really understand who you are and why they can benefit from your services? Here's a checklist to be sure.
Update your web design.
First impressions matter. Is your site dated? When was the last time you had it updated? Most companies update their website every two to three years. Are you due for a check-up?
Do your homework and research your competitors. Do they have an advantage? When working with the right web design agency, there's a good chance great design could beat out your competitors. If you can't afford a full redesign at this time, be sure you update the site with new information that reflects what your company is doing TODAY (not yesterday). While you're reviewing the design, it is imperative that your site also looks and functions well on a variety of tablets, mobile phones, and even smart home devices. Maybe a website audit would help until the funds are available for a full redesign. Something to consider!
Optimize user experience.
Can your users find what they are looking for? Is it EASY to find the contact link and does the form actually work? Do your all links work? Check for broken links regularly with a plugin for your WordPress site or use one of the many free broken link checkers out there.
Does your shopping experience prove frustrating? Have you personally walked through the process of placing something in your cart and following the process all the way through to the check out process? You may know your site well, so instead ask an employee or a personal friend to walk through the checkout process. If you don’t have e-commerce, it’s still important to have a flawless user experience because frustrated users will leave a site quickly and they may never give you a second chance. Unfortunately, most users will not take the time to let you know their thoughts so it is your responsibility to understand your site's user experience.
Create powerful landing pages that convert.
Are you linking to your site from social media channels? Are you featuring a new product or specializing in one aspect of your business? More often than not, users are arriving at websites on pages other than the home pages. Those pages need to work AS HARD as your home page works to inform and educate your users. Often we budget time and money for a beautiful home page, completely forgetting that landing pages also serve almost the exact same purpose as a home page. Be sure your landing pages stand out and are welcoming to users as they arrive at your site for the first time.
Educate and inform users.
As mentioned above, there’s nothing more frustrating than heading to a website to learn more information and realize your visit was a waste of time. Are you really educating your buyers/users? If you’re selling a product, are you explaining the difference between products? If a user has to call to gain more information about your product (and you’re lucky if they do take the time to call) then your site has failed to provide that information to the user. More often than not, the user will head to a competitors site to find that information and most likely your competitor will win over that user. Be sure you are preemptively answering all questions a user might have.
Do you have Google Analytics set up and do you know what to do with the data? Is your web development agency allowing you access to that data, running reports for you, analyzing the data? Be sure you are communicating with whoever is managing your Google Analytics and that you are understanding the nature of your users. This will help you make updates that directly affect your customers or users in a way that will be beneficial for them, and ultimately your business.
Andrea Zehnder has over 18 years of experience as a UX designer and account manager for local and national brands. When she’s not orchestrating a symphony of pixels, you can find her inventing recipes, decorating cookies or playing football with her 9-year old son. And yes, she can throw a great spiral.more posts by Andrea →