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Apr 24 2019, by Sheldon

Is your website lightweight, middleweight or heavyweight?

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A well performing website is something that can really take your business from zero to hero, if done right. There’s no simple formula for this, but ultimately it’s the culmination of many smaller factors that makes a website into a heavyweight contender when it comes to competing in your industry.

Are you feeling like your website might be a “lightweight”, maybe it’s lacking something you can’t put your finger on? Below, we’ve compiled a checklist of essential functions your website should possess if you want it to be a heavy lifter. This is a great starting point to see exactly where your website stands, walk yourself through each section and take notes as you go!

Lightweight – your website needs a little, or a lot of love!

Your website is not responsive. It does not resize or display a unique layout for phones and tablets. If a user sees the desktop formatted website on a smaller device, it makes the site hard to use. Often, users will have to zoom in on text and/or scroll to the left and right to find content. Users don’t actually use sites like these and often will immediately navigate away to another website to find what they’re looking for. There’s no excuse for not having a mobile friendly website in 2019!

You have no ‘social proof’. Visitors may not know if you are a reputable organization or not, and there is plenty of competition out there. If you’re lacking real testimonials, client lists, accreditations or awards, people will hesitate to trust you. You also should link to your social media accounts as well, people use these as a gauge to see how active you are in your online community. All of these various tactics work to build trust amongst your audience.

Your contact information is buried somewhere weird and isn’t clickable! A common goal for your website is to have your visitors get in touch with you to some capacity. Some websites may just have an email or phone number buried on a contact page somewhere. Ideally, you want your contact information in the footer of all your pages at the very least – this makes it globally available and easy to spot.

You haven’t given a lot of thought to your messaging. You welcome users to your website, and maybe you have some copy about your history and a few bullet points about your services. If you haven’t spent quality time developing great content that speaks directly to your target market, you may not know the best way to communicate to them. Are you delighting them and making a memorable impression? Or falling on deaf ears? When you appeal to your user’s emotional side with smart and thoughtful copy as well as solve problems, you do so much more than just offer services. You offer confidence, hope, relief and build trust.

You have no idea how users navigate through your website. You’ve most likely heard of Google Analytics but you don’t really know what it is, if you have it, or how to use it. You haven’t created any funnels or calls-to-action to push users to commit desired actions on your website. You don’t really have a clear path to a goal.

You know for a fact that you haven’t gotten a client through your website.

Middleweight – Your website has a few things going for it, but still needs some work.

Your website is responsive… mostly. It’s a good start! Your website displays well on a tablet or smart phone and the text is big enough to read without a bunch of pinching and scrolling to the side. However maybe you have a few images that push out off to the side making a horizontal scroll bar appear, or for some reason big empty gaps show up in the layout. You’re off to a good start, but it is worthwhile to fix up all these little issues in an effort to provide a better user experience. More and more traffic on the internet comes from mobile devices, and it’s arguably important to have a pixel perfect website on all devices – not just desktop – if you want users to buy into your messaging and business!

You have a few instances of social proof. You might have your social media pages linked to because you only update them a handful of times each year. That’s not great, but it does help! We recommend creating and updating a Facebook page (at the bare minimum) as well as a second relevant platform like Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn. There’s no need to have everything, but a little goes a long way. You may also have some reviews, testimonials and client logos displayed on your website. Keep working towards upping your instances of social proof and you’ll be on your way to a Heavyweight website!

Your contact information isn’t too hard to find. You probably have a contact page with a simple form on it. That’s actually an amazing start! Contact forms are an easy way to let users get in touch without ever leaving your website. Make sure you also have a clickable e-mail address and phone number to reach you at.

You have invested some time into your messaging. You know who your core audience is, but you haven’t gone over your website copy with a professional, fine-tooth comb! You’ve made a good effort to understand who you are talking to but aren’t entirely sure how that translates into your messaging and how to present it. You offer solutions to your audience’s problems but still focus on your business rather than highlighting their pain points.

You have Google Analytics installed on your website, but you aren’t sure how to really make the best use of it. You also have some good calls-to-action on your website enticing users to perform a desired action and you can see that a few users are! However, it’s not really resulting in real world conversions for your business.

A few visitors have explored your website, but they did not convert to sales even if they showed interest. You feel your website is more of a directory to show that you exist and less of a selling tool.

Heavyweight  – Your website is a powerhouse! Good job!

Your website is fully responsive and without glitches! When a user opens your website on their smart phone or tablet, they get a pixel perfect website that looks (and is) specially crafted to meet their device’s requirements. This means there’s no horizontal scrolling, nothing is broken, and it is easy to navigate menus with your chubby little human fingers instead of a mouse. This is a great way to ensure your visitors won’t leave your site and will consider your business up to snuff in your industry!

You’re a social proof master. You’re displaying testimonials on your website from real clients at real companies. You have a great list of your recognizable clients. And not only do you link to a few social media accounts, they’re also updated and (gasp!) you even have a feed or two on your website for your visitors to view. Awesome job, this will keep your visitors perusing your website for longer. You know better than to push users to outside websites!

Your contact information is on every page, in a clickable format with your address as well as social media links. You also have a great contact page with an easy to use form as well as an embedded map, so people know where you operate from. Even if you don’t often have clients come to your office, showing a physical place is a great way to prove to your audience that you are indeed a real company.

You know how to communicate with your ideal audience. You know who they are, how to appeal to their sensibilities, and you understand their pain-points and you offer genuine, sought-after solutions for them. You have no trouble convincing your clients that your services produce real, tangible results.

You understand how Google Analytics is useful and thus know the many ways users are flowing through your website as well as your traffic sources. You have your funnels mapped out from landing pages to conversion points.

Consistently, when you talk to clients, they tell you that they browsed your website and were immediately interested in your products/services. You have the in-bound e-mails and messages to prove it.

We know websites can appear to be a complicated tool, but a heavyweight website is designed to accomplish numerous tasks and goals on your behalf. The benefits of investing the time to get it right is immeasurable, with a well defined audience, brand, messaging, conversion strategy and much more. That’s why we work hand-in-hand with our clients to help them identify pain points in their existing online presence while providing tailor-made solutions that fit their needs.

Ready to find out more?

If you are struggling to figure out what to do next, or simply don’t have the time to sit down and analyze your website or target audience, you’re not alone. Fill out this quick application form and we will be in touch. If we’re not a good fit for you, it’s no problem – so don’t hesitate to get in touch. Start reaching for the top of your game today.

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