Your website needs to be vibrant, current and useful.
For most consumers, it’s what they see before they even meet you – whether that’s in real life or online.
For many business owners, once they get their website designed and running, they check on it in the beginning (because it’s exciting!). Then other priorities take over.
The website slowly slides into the background noise.
The result? A website that looks out-dated or irreverent. It offers a terrible impression to the consumer.
In fact, I’ve clicked away from websites that looked neglected.
Why? The unspoken, and likely unintended, message is the business owner isn’t reliable or doesn’t care.
So, to avoid any misunderstandings and to help you get on track here’s a few suggestions for a quick check-up for your website.
Two tech tips
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with technology and it’s jargon.
Here’s a quick and easy checklist of two tech issues:
- Mobile users: Is your site 100% mobile friendly and are you on board with the next step – Mobile-first?
Mobile friendly one part of the user experience, you’ll benefit by having mobile apps which is to core of Mobile-first.
Maybe that’s on your to-do list, but here’s 3 statistics that might encourage you to get moving on developing your website for mobility-first:
According to BrightEdge (2017) “69% of smartphone users also say that they are more likely to buy from companies with mobile sites that easily address their questions or concerns.”
In 2018, Google research showed “80% of smartphone users are more likely to purchase from companies with mobile sites or apps that help them easily answer their questions.”
According to Statista (a major research company) “in 2018, there were around 1.56 billion smartphones sales worldwide and 52.2% of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones.” Statista also reports there are “2.71 billion smartphone users in the world today (2019).”
Mobility is the taking the lead on how consumers are using the internet. If you’re not ready for this, you’re going to be left in the dust.
- Internet searching: As technology changes, so does searching. A while ago the use of voice search was fun, and now there’s visual searching and the arrival of BERT from Google.
What’s all this? Who’s BERT?
Visual search technology lets the consumer use pictures to find information. It’s similar to Google-Lens but better. It’s a fabulous app for goods like clothing or furniture.
Here’s why it’s good.
The SEO tags for visual search are created by AI. When tags are created by humans there’s a lot of personal interpretation used.
Using AI standardizes much of the information allowing for more consistent search results.
BERT is Google’s shift to a more intuitive search method. Traditional search looks to match words, more than meaning.
BERT’s using natural language. This means the technology is better able to interpret the ‘intent’ of the search question and then searches for the answer.
As BERT evolves over the next year, how it will impact SEO methods will become clearer.
The idea is shorter documents (possibly 300 words) will have the same impact, and possibly better, than a 900-word document.
In the meantime, the advice is simple: provide high quality content to answer your readers’ questions.
It’s a good idea to periodically check in with BERT and SEO changes over the next year.
The key take-away is these changes are improving the ease of searching for the consumer.
Two timeless tips
Ok – technology is amazing. But there’s more to your website than technology.
So, let’s shift to the human side of your website.
Your website is built to bring clients to you. This means your content needs to be relevant.
Does your content need a rewrite to be current with changing cultural norms?
For example: the growth of the gender equality movement is changing the use of pronouns. And, there are trends in email signature lines to include gender identification as a way of showing inclusion.
Will that one change matter to you? Maybe yes, maybe no.
As our world changes, and as the internet brings us closer together, it might be more challenging to segment your audience.
There’s a ripple effect as cultures shift.
For example: Is your practice still relevant to the changing needs of your clients, or are their needs staying the same?
If you’re staying up to date with your with your target audience, you’ll already know the answer.
However, given the quickness of change it’s worth checking that your website cannot accidently be read as being as offensive, deliberately exclusive, or socially irresponsible.
What can you do – the rest of the human experience
Regardless of the platform (desktop, tablet or mobile) your website is the invitation to connect with you.
If you’re uncertain of how your website is performing – ask your clients. Find out what they liked about it and what puzzled them.
And, you can gather some friends together. Ask them to use your website and ask for their honest feedback.
Better yet, if you can, gather 3-5 strangers together and do the same. Perhaps you could ask your colleagues or networking group to help you with this.
4 things you want to learn from people:
- Visually – is your website appealing, why or why not? This includes your choice of colours, fonts, and visuals.
- Content – is your content easy to read, are your ideas clear to your reader? Are the benefits your offer clear to the reader?
- Technology – aside from what we’ve just talked about does your website load quickly and easily, do all your links work? Is it secure for payments?
- Emotionally: are your testimonials well-crafted and easily found, is your bio and backstory friendly and encouraging, are you showing you’re trustworthy and safe to your readers?
Your best learning will happen when you check-in with the users of your website.
Wrapping it up…
Your website is your link to the world.
As technology changes, your website needs to be able to be easily found by new search techniques.
Your website needs to be inviting and easy to use.
Staying current is good for your soul, too!
Remember, you’re here to help. You can help your clients by ensuring your website’s content is relevant.
And you can reassure future clients with your website content.
You can highlight the successes of recent clients with new case studies. And, you can show your ongoing expertise with quick snapshots of your achievements. Maybe you’ve won an award or were recognized for volunteer work.
You’re doing a lot of great work. It’s worth it to make sure your website is doing it’s best work and bringing clients to your door!
Ms Charron is a certified copywriter with more than 35 years experience in a variety of industries. She’s a copywriter who is focused on remembering the human heart in advertising and enjoys working in self-improvement and personal growth.
If you’d like to connect here’s your warm invite www.copywritermarketer.com/cheryl-charron