By Tom Warthen – President, ProSite Web Design LLC – www.websitedesignersdc.com
Now is the perfect time to improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and streamline your business for maximum profitability.
ProSite Web Design explores ideas to help you accomplish these goals, starting with a list of questions to ask yourself in order to measure and improve your website’s performance.
Or, let ProSite save you the time and effort by doing it for you. Contact ProSite Web Design today to see how we can help.
Bottom line: Your sales suffer when your website is slow to load, contains broken links, or presents other errors that frustrate the user.
Consider these statistics:
- Even a one second delay causes customer loss—reducing conversion rate by seven percent and decreasing customer satisfaction by sixteen percent1
- Forty-seven percent of consumers expect page load times of two seconds or less2
- Seventy-nine percent are unlikely to return and buy again if dissatisfied by a website2
- Forty-four percent will tell their friends about dissatisfaction with a website2
Now take a look at your site and ask:
Does your site display properly?
Before launching your site, it should be viewed and tested in multiple browsers and screen resolutions. You would be surprised at the subtle (and not so subtle) differences in the display of your site that this can cause. Additionally, with the ever increasing number of visitors that view your site through mobile devices, creating a consistent appearance can be a challenge. The good news is that you can minimize complications if your site is created using code that is compliant with W3C standards.
Once your website is up and running, you can see the actual type of browsers your visitors are using, and other details, using Google’s free Analytics tool.
You can also view projected download times of web pages and graphics you create with most HTML and image editors. Use these tools and optimize your site if you can so that it has the fastest download time possible.
Is your site content readable?
Content is, after all, why a customer sought out your site in the first place. Therefore it should be easy to read. Is the font and line spacing large enough and the contrast between the font and background color great enough so that it doesn’t present a visual challenge to read? If the answer is no, you have lost the potential sale before it even started.
Is your message concise?
Information on your website should first be presented in easily digestible chunks so that a web user can skim to find what they are looking for and then drill down to more detail on the sections that interest them. Allowing the user this choice, rather than force feeding too much information up front, prevents your core message from being lost.
Is your site error free?
Broken links and errors rank right up there with misspellings and outdated content on the list of pet peeves that aggravate users on a bad website. So, check all links from each page to make sure the user ends up where they should be.
Google Analytics or your server logs can also provide an error report that can be used to find pages and links that aren’t working. Correct these issues and make sure that your site has a customized error (404) page that gets the user back to where they should be when they do happen to encounter a broken link or they mistype a url within your site.
Can the user reach you for more information?
Check that contact information is accurate and forms are submitted to the appropriate party. Review any potential incomplete form submission error messages to ensure that they are helpful and informative to the user.
Is your site optimized?
You can also use Google Analytics to view your site’s most popular pages and the top entry and exit pages. With this information you can determine what your users are finding most and least valuable and tweak accordingly. Google Analytics also provides you with the top keywords that users enter into search engines when finding your site. Armed with these insights you can focus your SEO (search engine optimization) efforts on keywords that maximize profitability.
Does your site convert visitors to customers?
People are viewing your website and they have decided that your products or services are the answer to their needs. Now, is there an obvious call to action? Users should not be left to guess. Do you want them to purchase products online or contact you for a quote or a consultation? Make the next step obvious and turn a visitor into a customer.
By giving your website a quick assessment and tune up you can be confident that your online marketing is the most effective that it can be!
Contact ProSite Web Design to see how we can help.
Tom Warthen is the President of ProSite Web Design LLC and has been helping businesses looking for a high return on their online marketing investment since the early days of the Internet in the 1990s. To learn more about how to make your website the best it can be, and to contact ProSite Web Design for a consultation, visit http://www.websitedesignersdc.com.
1 “The Performance of Web Applications: Customers Are Won or Lost in One Second,” Bojan Simic, Aberdeen Group, November 2008.
2 “Retail Web Site Performance: Consumer Reaction to a Poor Online Shopping Experience” by JupiterResearch (now a part of Forrester Research), 2006 and 2009.