Does Your Website Work?
Is my website hurting or helping my business? Is it gaining or losing customers?
When it comes to your website, you must think of it as your business in another world or dimension. The people are not the same people who visit you in person as the people are who visit your website. These people have never been to your business (online) whether they have worked with you before or not. Your website is a reflection of who you are and what you do. It affects your credibility and if you don’t appear or perform professionally online, you potentially lose that customer.
There are three factors that must be defined when determining whether or not your website works.
- What is the primary goal of the website?
- How are you being perceived online?
- What are your customers doing on your website (do you know)?
1. What is the primary goal of your website?
The primary goal of your website should be what you want users to ultimately do after they have experienced your online business. If they can order the product online, ultimately you want them to purchase. If they have to call in to place an order, then it will be a phone call. If they have to schedule a meeting with you, the ultimate goal may be a form fill so that you can contact them to schedule that meeting. Whatever the goal is of your website is, it should be taken into account when creating the entire site.
2. How are you being perceived when customers visit your website?
How you are perceived is one of those questions people ask but never really find out what the true answer is. They assume “good” if business is “good” and bad if the sales aren’t coming in or meetings aren’t being scheduled. Unfortunately, this is not the best way to measure success. Customers could be purchasing from you and think you are unprofessional in the online world, but they purchase because they have been with you for years. At this point you are probably thinking well who cares, if that is a lifelong customer then it doesn’t matter. Well according to this thing called “Word of Mouth” it matters a lot. How likely will you refer a friend to a business if your lifelong experience with them has been mediocre?
You should want to be seen as the best in the industry as soon as they get to your website. If you went to drop off your child at a daycare and you pulled up to a house that has been slightly burned down with trash everywhere, are you going to drop your kid off? Probably not, because you do not trust what you see. Customers feel the same way. According to a study 75% of online users will leave a site if it does not LOOK trustworthy. So, how you are perceived is extremely important if you want to experience online success.
3. What are your customers doing on your website (do you know)?
Finding out what your customers are doing on your website is probably the most overlooked and valuable piece of information that every business should have. How do you speak to your customers if you don’t know what they want? Whatever you determined your primary goal to be should lead your customers down that path of completing that goal. If you find the interest of your customer and put that interest in front of them, they are going to be more prone to execute your primary goal. If a high percentage of customers are looking for your phone number to call and inquire about your service but your number is only showing on the Contact page, you are making your it hard for customers find what they want. Give them what they want and you will see your primary goal being accomplished over and over. The way to do this is to track every Pageview and every action that happens through services like Kissmetrics or Google Analytics.
Define a goal, create a website that points to your goal, and track the behavior of the people that visit this awesome website. After answering these three questions, you should have a clear vision as to whether your website is working or not.