4 Key Items Your Next Website Assessment Should Include

Micah

These days, companies know that if they don't have a website, they might as well not exist. But in an increasingly competitive market, having a website isn't enough; you need to make sure that your website is effective. A website assessment takes the guesswork out of managing your web presence, and can help you edge out your competitors in the recognizability and trustworthiness of your brand. Be sure to take these four aspects of your website design into account when you get a website assessment for your company:

1. User Experience

If your customers find your website frustrating, they won't spend time on it. That means that your website will do next to no good; it won't deliver information, it won't leave a positive impression and it won't compel sales.

Make sure your website makes a good impression and visual design is attractive, easy to navigate, and easy to read. Avoid bloating your pages with too many images, videos or other media files. Unless you have large documents like whitepapers, avoid forcing users to download files to access your content. Keep accessibility in mind, not just for mobile devices and varying screen sizes, but also for disability concerns like colorblindness or screen readers.

2. Marketing

Do your visitors know how your products or services benefit them? Is there a clear flow from learning about a solution to their challenges to getting in contact with you and purchasing your product or services? Your website should have all of the information a customer or client needs in order to take the next step along the path to a purchase. Consider how you can support this: it may be as simple as a "purchase" link, or as powerful as a 24/7 online chat desk.

3. Goals

Know what you want your website to accomplish. Is it a resource for your current customers, or a point of entry for new ones? Is it an online storefront or a place to raise awareness about your company? Websites can fulfill all of these aims, but having a clear focus and a firm grasp on your online marketing goals can deliver a smoother and more memorable experience for your customers.

When you've decided your goals, determine which metrics measure them. Do you want to see longer page views, indicating that people are reading the content you offer? More visitors coming in from referrer addresses outside your website, indicating that your search rankings have gone up? More transactions through your online store? Fold these metrics into your next website assessment.

4. Content Analysis

Visitors may find their way to your website for any number of reasons, but they become engaged over a longer period of time when you offer them valuable content. But what makes content valuable? To determine this, you have to know what your customers are looking for.

Keep an eye on what areas of your site get the most page views, the longest visit times, or the most responses. Communicate with the people who handle customer contact and ask them what types of questions they field. And visit the places your customers visit. Then tailor your content to offer solutions to the problems they face. They'll be grateful and return again and again.

Sum it up...

If you keep user experience, marketing, website goals and content analysis in mind when you perform a website assessment, you'll have the tools you need to make your web presence a functional and powerful part of your overall marketing strategy. Don't be afraid to pull in industry experts when you're evaluating your site. A well-designed website is worth its weight in transactions.

Originally published March 8, 2016 at 5:10 AM

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