Website reviews are a straightforward, cost-effective way for businesses to discover how they can improve their websites and achieve the return on investment they wanted.
When you originally had your site designed and built I imagine you had some expectations of what the new site would achieve for your business. Even if you didn't write it down and quantify it I'm confident that you anticipated that it would more than pay for itself in increased sales, new clients, donations etc, i.e. you would get a decent return on investment.
Many website owners do not have clear, quantified objectives for their websites but, despite this, they know their site is not bringing in the business it should but they’re not sure why or what to do about it. They’re unwilling to pay for a new website as they may just end up in the same situation.
A useful step to take in these circumstances is to commission a website review which will examine all aspects of the site and make recommendations for improvement so that your site can realise its full potential.
Our independent website reviews provide a prioritised list of actions that a business can take to improve its website so as to bring in more business and achieve the desired return on investment.
To improve the returns you achieve from your website, clearly, there are two areas that must be addressed:
- you must attract more visitors to your site
- you must ‘convert’ those visitors into customers/donors/patients etc.
Let’s look at each one in turn.
There are many ways to draw visitors to your website; social media is one useful way of doing this but it depends, largely, on the posting of good, shareable content and engaging with your audience on the social platforms you have selected. Online (or even print) advertising could bring in a stream of visitors to your site, however, I am going to focus on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) as that is often not well understood by business owners.
Search Engine Optimisation refers to actions that can be taken to improve how the pages of a website rank in Google, Bing and the other search engines for particular search phrases. When we carry out a review, we start by working with the client to determine the top search phrases, i.e. the search terms that the client wants their site to rank well for. We then look at how the site performs for these phrases currently and that’s our baseline.
Following this, we assess the content on the site, look at who links to the site and assess competitor sites to decide what can be done to improve matters. This may involve making changes to text and other items on the pages of the site or building up incoming links from other related sites. Changes to social media policy and the nature of blog posts may be recommended. We look at broken links, redirects, pages that can’t be found, page titles, page descriptions and so on to look for opportunities to improve the search engine ranking of your pages for the phrases you have specified.
This recent article shows how it is possible to quantify, in cost terms, the benefits of some search engine optimisation work.
Having attracted visitors to your site you need to make sure that what they find looks good and inspires confidence and trust. Some designs can look quite dated and this can have a significant negative effect on the conversion of visitors into customers. In addition, if your design does not work well on mobiles and tablets, again, visitors using those devices will find your site off-putting. We can recommend specific changes to help in this regard. Site structure and navigation may also require attention in order to improve the experience of visitors to your site.
Visitors to your site need to find content that meets their need and expectations and they must be able to access this content easily. Contact details need to prominent as well as opening hours, if relevant; the tone of voice of the content is important and should be consistent. This also links with your social media content and we will review consistency of tone as well as the content itself. Your ‘calls to action’ are vitally important in encouraging visitors to take the action you want. Placement, wording, colours, typeface and spacing of the ‘calls to action’ are all significant factors in the success of your website. We will review these and make recommendations for change where necessary.
Page load speed is another important factor in retaining visitors on your site so they can engage with the content. If pages load slowly, visitors lose patience and abandon your site, a situation that is often more acute on mobile devices. Sadly, page load speed is something that is not given enough (or any) consideration when some websites are built despite it being a major factor in the experience the visitor has of your site. There are some statistics and other details in this blog post I wrote back in March. Our website reviews assess the page load speed and offer actions that can be taken to speed up your site.
Return on Investment
There are many activities that can be undertaken to improve a website both in terms of its ability to attract and convert visitors but, in many cases, business owners are uncertain which activities will have the greatest effect. A website review is a clear, impartial assessment of what should be done and all items are placed in a prioritised list in order of effectiveness. Contact AttractMore Web Design for more information if you would like to get the return on investment in your website that you anticipated and which it is capable of achieving.