If you’re not selling online it’s possible that you haven’t thought about your website for a very, very, very long time. Maybe you had a friend (or a friend’s son) set up a website for you in 2005, or maybe you just grabbed a free template from your hosting company and just put your phone number and email address up and called it good.
If these scenarios sound like you, go online now and take a look at your website. Now Google your competitors and look at theirs – how are you feeling right now? Feel like maybe you need to rethink your website and make some changes?
Can Your Website Hurt Your Business?
A 2015 survey from Software Advice showed that 56% of respondents used online resources when making their decisions about purchasing residential services (plumbers, electricians, house cleaning, general contractors). Online reviews and testimonials are a big part of the decision-making process as well – 68% of respondents said that online reviews were “extremely” and “very valuable” when it came to helping them make their final purchasing decisions.
“But all of my business is through referrals, and I’m busy enough!”
Hey – if that’s you, that’s great, but think back throughout your entire business – are you really saying that you’ve NEVER had to work to get in new business? If you haven’t, then congratulations, you’re one of the lucky 2% – but everyone else, keep reading. 🙂
Business may be doing really well for you right now – but there are still hundreds, maybe thousands, of people right now that are coming across your website and they’re rejecting you for a competitor simply because your website it out of date.
These same visitors are also making decisions about your company…
“They’re stuck in the last century, so their methods must be too”…
“Their website is ‘screaming’ at me with these colors, what must the service providers be like?”
Fair or not, your website is your outward-facing office to the strangers that come by – and since you’re not there to greet them and explain your business, they will gather the information they need about you from your website.
Here’s some steps to take today to see what’s going on with your site and whether or not you need to seriously consider making some changes.
1) Look at your Google Analytics account.
Huh? What’s that?
If you have an Analytics account and you haven’t looked at your stats for a while, log in and take a look.
Are visitors clicking on more than one page?
Are they spending time on your site?
What is the most-visited page on your site?
Knowing these things will help you evaluate what needs to be changed to make your site better.
2) Look at your site on your tablet or mobile phone.
182 million Americans own smartphones, and of those, 25% of Americans use only mobile devices to access the internet.
That’s a lot of visitors that are coming to your site and seeing a mess if your website isn’t optimized for use on mobile devices.
You can start easy with just making sure your site expands and contracts automatically based on the screen size – and if you’re already there, then add a specific mobile-optimized site that shows your important information first – namely your contact information – and then works its way down to your reviews/testimonials, about us, etc.
3) Google yourself
Go ahead, Google your service and your service area and see where you come up in search results.
Use something like “best hair stylists in Southlake Texas” and see where you come up – but more importantly, where you competitors come up.
See what they’re doing right and use their methods on your own site.
Overall you need to think of your website as more than just something you had to do and start thinking of it as the first representation of your company to strangers.
A bad website is the equivalent of having a physical storefront with graffiti, garbage and broken windows – no one is walking in a store like that and spending money and no one will call you from your website unless they know you really, really well and are willing to overlook the site – and that’s not a way to build a long-term business.
Make sure you don’t end up here: Websites that Suck 2014.