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Time for a Website Critique: Put on Your Customer Hat

Time for a Website Critique: Put on Your Customer Hat

When looking at your own site, doing an effective website critique requires some imagination. Take off your marketing manager hat, and put on your customer hat. Think about the reaction you as a potential customer have to a website that’s frustrating to use, not very informative, and well, ugly. You probably don’t linger. You probably bounce, and head back to your page of search results, looking for a business that provides the same service and a user-friendly website, too.

Be honest. Be ruthless. Here are – things to look for during your website critique.

Do you have CTAs?

Calls to action are one of the things many cheap websites—you know, the ones built by your friend’s cousin’s boyfriend—are missing. Yet, they are crucial to your website’s ability to generate leads. If your analytics show that plenty of people are visiting your site, but you’re still not seeing a bump in sales leads, the problem might be your CTAs or lack thereof.  You want to place these CTAs on pretty much every page of your website. At the moment that a visitor to your site goes from “just looking” to “I want to work with these guys,” you want to be sure that it’s going to be ridiculously easy to contact you, from wherever they are on the site.

But wait, I have CTAs!

It’s time to change them. If you’re getting traffic but not leads—even though you have CTAs—it’s time to try shaking things up. We know: it’s tough to say goodbye to that copy you wrote so painstakingly. But it’s not working—the analytics prove it. Cut your old CTAs loose, start over. Move them around. Change the color. Make them larger. Creating a good conversion rate optimization strategy starts with some experiments.

Can people find your contact information easily?

Yes, you can do almost anything online–from ordering pizza to becoming an ordained minister–but unless you’re running a strictly online business, a lot of people still just want to call you on the telephone. One of the first things most people are looking for when they land on your website is your phone number, and if you make it a huge hassle for people to contact you, they’re not going to contact you.  Is your contact page buried somewhere? Do you make people fill out an annoying, 5+ question form to contact you? Is your contact form the only way to contact you? (We don’t have anything against forms, but make your direct contact info available too.)

Do you have capture pages?

Creating service-specific capture pages will help you get a clearer picture of how well your CTAs are working, and also help you filter your leads.   You don’t need a capture page for every single service, but if you can break your services down into a few segments—for instance, if you have both B2B and B2C sectors of your company—it’s smart to create a distinct capture page with a contact form for each one.

Does it look professional?

We don’t mean to be rude but…well, 2002 called and it wants its Clip Art back.

Even if you run your website yourself on a DIY platform like a WordPress template or Squarespace, you can clean it up: no Comic Sans, no Papyrus. No cheesy animations. No auto-play music.  Even if you’re on a shoestring budget, invest in some professional photos, or purchase some stock photos. Better yet, spring for some professional graphic design work.

This is a time when you need to put on that customer hat. You’ve made an important first step in taking a hard look at your website and thinking about what works and what has to go. If your next step is to write a website request for proposal, make sure to check out our post on How To Write a Website RFP. If you’d like some help understanding where to go next and what your options are, drop us a line here or call us at 603-766-1902. We love to talk.

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