As you look at your website so frequently it is virtually impossible to see how your website looks through a fresh pair of eyes. It is good to be reminded of how your website looks, and decide whether it is still meeting the needs of your website visitors. If it doesn’t meet their needs, then it might be time to give your website a refresh. If, after reading this article, you are still unsure about your websites’ best features and worst blind spots, get a second opinion and ask others these same questions.
Write down your answers so you can capture your thoughts as you think them – your first answer may surprise you. There are no wrong answers, but it may enable you to see your website from a fresh perspective.
What is the first impression your website gives to visitors?
All business websites should give the impression of confidence and professionalism. Your website visitors want to know that they have reached their destination and found answers to their questions that will respond to their problem. This is usually achieved through simple website design, easy to use navigation, and visitor-friendly language.
What is the first thing you notice?
Where do your eyes go when they first land on your website? Eye-scanning research studies have found the eyes usually go to the top left corner on a web page, often where your logo is placed. Perhaps a big colorful image has attracted your attention. Whatever your eyes first see, consider whether it attracts or detracts from the overall look and feel of your website and how meaningful this is for your website visitor.
Does a thirty second review of the homepage accurately describe your business?
Similar concept to an elevator pitch – does your website accurately convey what your business does, who you are and how your visitors can contact you? Your homepage is the virtual front door to your website, and although not all your website visitors arrive on your website on this page, your homepage is still relevant for forming that first impression – make sure it feels welcoming, is professional looking, creates trust, answers your website visitor’s questions and provides a clear direction.
Does the website meet the needs of your target audience?
Given that you have a website that is trying to appeal/attract a specific demographic – consider whether this group of people actually likes your website and if they find the information you provide to be useful and relevant for their needs.
Does your website visitor clearly understand what they should do once they arrive on your homepage?
Your homepage should contain text but try to keep it brief and informative. The purpose of the text is to confirm to your website visitors that they are on the right website. Give them enough information to want to navigate through to other areas of your website.
Is the navigation easy and clearly defined for your website visitor?
Your website’s navigation should be so straightforward for your website visitor that they don’t need to second guess the direction they are going in. If the naming conventions you have used in your navigation and on your website buttons have all been written from your website visitor’s perspective, then you have created a site which is user-friendly and written in language they understand – for example: is your website visitor looking for a ‘supplier’, a ‘distributor’ or a ‘vendor’ for your product? Perhaps none of those options.
Are your ‘call to actions’ clear and compelling?
Your website design must clearly drive your website visitors to take a specific action so they can delve further into your website for more information. If your calls to actions are too vague, you’ll end up confusing your website visitors with where they should go next.
Does your website solve your visitor’s pain points and provide a solution?
Your website visitors have arrived on your website usually from a question they have and are looking for answers to solve their dilemma. Your website, if it is successful, should provide a solution to their problem and provide a useful set of recommendations.
Does the website accurately describe your current product and/or service?
It is important that you keep your website up-to-date with your current product and/or services – imagine if your website visitor contacted you to request a specific product and they find ‘it is out of stock’ or you ‘no longer offer that service anymore’. Your website is a virtual online showroom to visitors who automatically assume that what they read on your website, accurately reflects your business.
Is it usable and error free across all major browsers and mobile devices?
Have you tried looking at your website on different web browsers and on a smartphone/iPad/tablet etc? Your content will understandably move, shift and adjust depending on the size and shape of your device. But it should still be just as easy to use regardless of what device you are using to look at your website on. Make sure text doesn’t overlap on buttons, or your forms are easy to complete, the page is fast-loading etc.
How does your website visitor communicate with you?
Is it easy to find information on how to contact you on your website? Your website visitors won’t want to waste their time trying to find your contact information. Take a look at your website to see if the information is still correct. If your website has a contact form, test the form out and check to see whether you receive an email. Is the right phone number listed? Look at the variety of ways your website visitor can contact you, even check the comments customers have written on your social media pages.
Is your website Web 2.0 friendly?
Web 2.0 refers mainly to the two-way interaction on your social media networks. Many people share links, images, videos, discuss their experiences etc on their preferred social media network. It is good practice to integrate content from your social media networks onto your website rather than respond to them separately and not perceive them as part of your website’s overall brand and marketing strategy. Keep your content on target and be careful you don’t mix/combine your personal content with your business offerings.
If you were the website visitor, would you pick up the phone and call?
Based on what you have seen and read on the website, would you contact the owner of this website and buy their product/service? Your website visitor needs enough information to make this judgment. Give your website visitor information that they can trust, confidently believe the content you have published on your website is worth making contact.
Now that you have answered all these questions – do the answers surprise you? Can you see how a visitor to your website uses your website and has certain expectations? Perhaps you can see your websites’ blind spots more clearly and you can now better describe the aspects of your website which need fixing. Ask your website developer to help you turn your website’s blind spots into beauty spots today.