Your website design says a lot about your digital marketing. Some companies realize the importance of online presence and reputation; you know they're serious about it the moment their website is loaded (and hopefully fast!). But during my research on the companies providing commercial, industrial, and even residential services like heating, garden landscaping, textiles, construction, and others, I found dozens of websites that placed a tremendous focus on the product, but not on its marketing.
So now, the moment I see your website, I can instantly tell if it was handled by a professional web design team, a web design team and content or SEO experts, an entire marketing team, or it was not handled at all. So, open up your website right now and let's run it through my super-short checklist below:
1. Your Website Doesn't Tell Me What It Wants from Me
It is important to attract the right kind of traffic, so you generate leads that are genuinely interested and will most likely become customers. If a visitor signs up or contacts you because they were mislead or confused, chances are both of you are going to waste some time and resources on it. So, skip the headache and tell your users what exactly you want them to do and wait for the interested ones to respond.
Now, open your homepage, the most important page on your website. Don't scroll, don't click, don't take any action just yet. If you were a new user, would you understand what this company wants from you? If yes, then good job! Give your designers a well-earned bonus. If not, then ... we have a bad web design case.
Your homepage should always make the next step clear. Don't expect the user to read your entire website to understand that, give them the answer right away, above the fold, highlighted ... you get the point.
Do you want me to contact you? Do you want me to download your new offer? Do you want me to forever remember your brand name or simply keep reading your content? Tell me, what I am expected to do to move forward with you. If there is absolutely nothing, no action words, buttons or scroll arrows, I might go to an entirely wrong place and miss your mark. On that thought, maybe you need a re-design, and that's a whole different story.
2. How do I become a lead? No conversion channels.
Successful marketing always has a goal, the reason why you and your team spend hours on the tasks that you do. That goal is usually conversion. We won't talk about conversion here; instead, we'll talk about the conversion architecture of your website from a practical viewpoint.
If I open your website and don't notice any forms, calls-to-action, or at least a contact button, I assume you don't want any customers. Don't keep publishing great content without any opportunity for the user to convert. You are not a news magazine, you are a business—the existence of which depends on sales, and sales depend on leads, and leads depend on ... well, you know the rest.
3. It IS impressive ... but where is the information I came for? No text, design only.
What? You don't believe that there are websites that are comprised of ONLY design and have almost no text? In fact, the only few sentences of text they have are part of the design. Look, everyone wants to make a good impression, we all want our websites to go viral and have killer animation and visual effects. If we could get our users to wear 3D glasses when clicking on our website, our entire homepage would be the new sequel of Terminator!
But guess what? Your users also want to learn information about you and your products. If you don't have enough and useful content on your website, it will look more like a billboard ad on a highway (the highway ad might have more info!). So, don't be fooled by the looks, take proper care of the content to make your website more efficient.
4. So, where do I go next? Bad user flow.
Not having well-planned and smooth funnels is equal to keeping your user in a room with no doors and only one open window. Guess what exit they will take after a few moments of boredom.
Never design pages where your users can't navigate forward from. Add a link, a button, anything that can be a good next step for that specific content. Prolong your user's time on the website, or they will find a way to exit if they don't want to stay.
Finally, make the user flow logical and in tune with your overall digital marketing strategy. Where do you want them to start and where is your finish line?
5. What do you mean I can't read it from my car? It's not Mobile-Friendly?!
If your website doesn't work on mobile, it tells me that you not only didn't finish the design work that your website required, but you're also struggling with SEO. You're lucky if you're still ranking on the first 3 pages of Google.
Users might not contact you or make a purchase on a smartphone, but they will start browsing their options on mobile. When your user is waiting for a meeting, is stuck in a traffic jam or at a movie theater pretending to be watching a romantic comedy his wife made him go to, they won't mind doing some light research to get a problem solved.
And we're done! So, what's your score? Did your website have all it needs to fulfill your digital marketing purpose? That's great! Now start reading about attracting the right visitors and guiding them down the funnels. If you scored an F on this, I suggest you take the time and research the rest of the website optimization techniques below. It's free, we promise.