Having a web site is irrelevant. Having a good web site is a necessity.

Having a web site is irrelevant. Having a good web site is a necessity.

It used to be said that “if you don’t have a web presence, the chances are high that people who don’t already know you, won’t do business with you.” Now, it’s no longer that simple. With the ever-growing number of sub-par web sites out there (with no end in sight), it’s nowhere near enough just to “have a web presence.” Having a web site is a given, but it’s how useful and attractive your site is that matters. Have tons of tasteless flash or music that plays on it’s own on your web site? Your days may be numbered. Here are just a few signs that your web site needs some serious love.

1. Customers have to click on, or wait for a flash animation to finish before being able to see your site.

annoying animations

This is not attractive, it’s annoying. Customers don’t want to waste 15 seconds of their life seeing a boat bouncing through faux water, or watch your logo spin and land on the page to click on, they just want to get to you and get moving. It’s been said that you only have three seconds (tops) to catch people’s attention before they leave your site. If that’s true, wouldn’t you rather catch their attention with your content?

2. You play music or sounds on your website automatically.

Unless you are a musician (and even then, we’d recommend you make it optional), no one wants to hear your site play music, or sound at all for that matter. 90% of people browsing the internet fall into one of two categories.

  1. They are listening to music/TV already. In this case, now all of a sudden they are listening to two songs at once, and neither one of them sounds good. So what do they do? They immediately close your web site, shake their heads, and continue about their normal business. Your loss.
  2. They don’t want to listen to music. That’s why it’s not on already. Either these people are at work, and don’t want the sound of music blaring through their speakers to alert all those around them that they are browsing the internet, or they have no interest in hearing noise while they work/play on the internet. Turn the music off, or risk turning your customers off.

3. You wonder why no one is calling or e-mailing you.

Visitors are not going to tell you your site is bad, they are just going to go away. If your business has slowed down since the launch of your new web site, or if it hasn’t shown significant gains, the chances are your site isn’t helping you sell yourself online. Take the hard-learned advice to stop relying on your neighbor/son/daughter/cousin/friend to do your web site, and turn to someone who can make your site shine. It doesn’t have to be us, but find someone who will take care of you. It’s too hard to tell a family member or friend when something doesn’t look good, and too easy to accept that often sub-par work as “good enough.” Let that person know this isn’t personal, and take care of your business.

4. You direct a caller to your web site for advice, and they get quiet or say “thank you” and hang up.

If a customer has been to your web site and is calling you, it means that they didn’t find everything they wanted to know from your site. Directing them back isn’t going to help, and could easily direct them out the door and to your competition (you know, the one with the good web site). Instead, ask these customers if they have been to your web site, and if they have, find out what it is they had trouble with in finding the information that they needed. It could be as simple as a poorly formed menu. Take these customers as important contributors because they are in the minority. Most people look at a site, and if they can’t find what they need immediately, they leave. Those who bother to call you for more information could provide valuable insight into what you’re doing wrong, and what you can do better.

5. No one finds you from your web site.

If the people who are coming to you are all referral-based, or from phone books and other forms of advertising, chances are your site is all but invisible to search engines. Try typing in your company name in Google. Do you come up? If so, where? If you aren’t at the top, or at least in the top 3, it’s time to get worried. If you are, then it’s time to start looking for other keywords related to your industry. Use some common sense here. If you are a local company who sells electronics, don’t expect to be on the front page for “Sony” in Google, it’s just not going to happen. But if you create custom lawn furniture, you could look up “custom lawn furniture Atlanta,” or wherever your location may be. If you aren’t showing up, it’s time to get some help.

Want to learn more, or to see first hand how your site measures up? We have lots more advice that could help you to raise your rankings. Send us an e-mail and let us help you get back on track.

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