You invest time and money to attract potential customers to your website: search engines, directories, social media, online and print advertising. But did you know that, on average, websites lose 50% of potential sales because Internet users can’t find the information they’re looking for?1
Here’s and eight-step test for evaluating your website’s performance. It will likely indicate aspects where improving your site could be very profitable.
1. Does your website leave a better first impression than those of your competitors?
Being as good as your competitors isn’t enough: you have to be the best! Depending on the nature of your business, you’ll want an image that’s more professional, more cool, more sophisticated…
2. Can web surfers find the pertinent information easily?
All the basic information should be easy to find and visible at all times: your phone number, street and email address and hours of operation. Some restaurants, for example, invest a lot of effort in presenting the menu well but require people to click on a tiny link that’s difficult to find. People are lazy: these restaurants lose maybe 5% to 10% of their web traffic to competitors who have their telephone number clearly displayed from the home page onward.
3. Is the text easy to read?
People don’t read starting from the first line. They quickly scan the page and go directly to what interests them. Here are a few tips to facilitate reading.
- Avoid long blocks of text. Remove any useless text, and separate the rest in paragraphs of less than 75 words.
- Use subheadings and bullet lists.
- Read your text out loud. If you get stuck on a passage, rewrite it.
- Black letters on a white background read much better than light letters on a darker background.
4. Are you presenting the characteristics and benefits of your products and services?
For example, “made of titanium” is a characteristic and “lighter and more resistant” is the benefit (the positive consequences of the characteristic). Both are important.
5. Are your forms as short and simple as possible?
Each non-essential question that you remove from your form will increase the percentage of potential customers who’ll fill it out.
6. Do you present testimonies and endorsements?
Your customers trust external sources more than they trust you. Publish testimonies from previous customers, or endorsements from an external authority.
7. Does each page include a call to action? Are they easy to find?
The goal of a page is for a potential customer to click on a call to action (email, call, reservation and so on). If finding it takes more than a second, change the layout.
8. Do your calls to action include both the concrete benefit for the potential customer and a time-related pressure?
An example: “Save 10% on your next heating bill.” Not only will the user recognize that it’s in his best interest to click, but he’ll also feel that it’s in his best interest to quickly make a decision. If your link is “To find out more,” you’ll lose sales.
If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, your company is scoring well on the Internet. But most sites from small businesses (and many sites from very large companies, even though they have considerable resources) will get several “nos.” Use these negative answers as opportunities for improvement that will allow you to make more money.
Need advice on this topic to see how it can help your business thrive? Click here to talk to an expert.
Want to learn more? Enter your email address to be notified about our recent publications on digital marketing.