There are so many things to consider when creating your website, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Here’s a great checklist to use as you do a website audit on your existing website to identify your priorities for making updates. I used examples from some of my favorite local businesses. Click them to visit their websites!
• Check for broken links. Customers hate clicking to a dead page and will likely leave your page if they find one. If you’ve had your website for a while, it’s possible you have some dead links lurking on your site. Use a broken link checker to make sure that’s not the case.
• Make sure your site is secure. You can easily check this. Does your website name have http:// or https:// in it? The ‘s’ is for secure. Many people’s web browsers will alert them when they visit sites that aren’t secure, and they’ll choose not to visit the site. If you don’t have an ‘s’, reach out to your web provider to make that change.
• Open external links in a new tab. If you refer someone to another site, that’s great. Search engines like that because it shows that you play nice with others. If you link out and your customers are diverted away from your page and to another, they aren’t likely to come back to your page (think about how you get distracted on bunny trails online. One link leads to another and another and another until half the day has passed). When you link out on a new tab or window, your customer will end up back at your site when they close the tabs after they have finished interacting with them.
If you use stock photos, make sure you have permission! My favorite free stock photo site is Stock Snap.
• Build your website with SEO in mind. This is a whole separate conversation. Let me know if you have questions about this!
Suggestions With Your Customers in Mind
• Get people anywhere on your site in three clicks. People are busy and don’t want to spend time trying to find information. Make sure that people can find anything they want within three clicks. This also helps with your SEO. The easiest way to do this is to create a sitemap.
• Make it easy for people to get in touch with you. Your contact information should be visible and easy to find. Butler Brothers Odd Jobs has this big CTA at the top right of their page; the first place people look!
• Get personal. In whatever way you are comfortable. You don’t have to list your address, the names and ages of your children, but show your customers that you are a human and someone they can relate to. Have an About Us page that tells about your history in the industry, why you chose to start this business, and what you hope to do for your clients.