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Is Your Website Achieving Your Goals?

How effective is your website? 

It’s easy to get so busy with the day to day activities of running your business that you overlook maintaining and updating your website. But if it’s been more than a couple of years since you took a good look at your website, it’s probably time.

The first thing you want to do is to ask yourself if your website is accomplishing what you want it to accomplish?

There’s a great book by Steve Krug titled, "Don’t Make Me Think." If you do nothing else but apply that title to your website, your site visitors will be better off. Don’t get me wrong, the book is a great read and worth buying - it takes a commonsense approach to web design that anyone can understand. And there’s humor, too! 

The idea is this - if people can navigate your website without having to think hard about it, your goals for the website are more likely to be met.

Here are some things to think about: 

  • Is the look compelling or outdated? 
  • Are the images current and relevant?
  • Is it user-friendly? Can things be found easily? Can users go to where they want easily? If it is an e-commerce site, is it easy to make the purchase?
  • Is it friendly for people using devices, such as phones and tablets? Note: I don’t mean, is it responsive? I mean, is it friendly? There’s a difference.
  • Has your company evolved since the last website design? Do you offer new services, have new information to present?
  • Can people find your address, phone number and hours of operation easily? 
  • Are you utilizing multi-media well?

Sometimes questions like this are easy to get bogged down in. Here’s what to do:

Get fresh eyes on it - get several people to look at your site and give you the true nitty-gritty on their perspective. Make sure they do so on a variety of devices, as well as computer screens. 

Look at other websites, especially, but not exclusively in your field, to get ideas. What do you find attractive or hokey? Do those websites make you think too hard? How do those websites look on your phone? Take notes. Draw out sketches. 

Consult with experts - and not just a website programmer. Basically, you need four kinds of experts to do it right: 1) A graphic and layout designer, 2) A programmer to tell you if what the designer wants to do is do-able, and 3) A usability consultant. 4) A search engine and social media consultant. If you find someone who says they can do it all - be wary. Usually, that kind of person can do one of the items well, but not all of them. There are some out there that can pull it off, but those people are rare. 

You may be thinking, "I’m on social media. Do I even need a website any more?" 

Congratulations, and, yes. You still need a website. But that’s a topic for another article.

 

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