THE END OF THE YEAR is a good time to take stock of everything, from waistlines to websites. So while you're thinking about resolutions and diets this holiday season, don't ignore these seven signs of a web presence that has been ignored for WAY too long.
Your content is so last year. It's a little thing, but a 2016 copyright date and the absence of any new content this quarter shrieks “ghost town” to visitors. So do expired offers, blogs confined to a single one-off post, and links leading to “404” messages for defunct web pages. Is this your site? Welcome to the ranks of the Undead.
Your content shows who you were, not who you are. Has your business or target audience changed since your website launch? Are you showcasing departed employees, old equipment or discontinued products? In today’s online world, it’s all about now. There’s no excuse for failing to stay up to date.
Your content snubs mobile users. Responsive design sites for both desktop and mobile devices have been the norm for several years. If you want to see how easily all those millions of smartphone- and tablet-addicted users can access your content, test your site in seconds with Google’s free mobile tester. You might find that you’ve been turning away a lot of potential customers.
Your content is isolated on social media. All of us have seen companies with a Jekyll & Hyde web presence. These schizo outfits bore us to tears with dull, outdated websites, yet maintain bustling social media pages that engage customers daily with photos, posts and testimonials. If your website is a hassle to update, dump it already! Today there are many web platforms that make it easy to repurpose content from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the rest, so you can grow site traffic and engage customers without additional hand-holding from Mark Zuckerberg.
Your content lacks appealing offers. People ultimately respond to offers, not web pages. Have you acquired new articles, product literature, samples or case studies since your last update? These can be great opportunities to build traffic and generate leads on your website. A button with “Download our free report” or “Send my free sample” is vastly more effective than a generic call to action. To get something, give something.
Your content slows visitors down. With online attention spans getting shorter all the time, your site must load within five seconds or so to keep impatient visitors from leaving in frustration. Old content and image files are often sluggish, sending your “bounce rate” skyrocketing. To evaluate your site’s speed on mobile and desktop devices, try Google’s free PageSpeed tool.
Your content doesn’t generate responses. There are many analytical tools that can help you measure visitor behavior on your website. But if this article has already raised red flags, talking about unique page views and conversion rates might be academic. Simply put, when did you last gain customers or leads from your website? The answer will probably tell whether your site needs a mild winter shape-up regimen or cold-hearted euthanasia. | DC |