Does Your Website Pass the Marketing Test?

Does Your Website Pass the Marketing Test?

Does Your Website Pass the Marketing Test?

Does Your Website Pass the Marketing Test?

When a new prospective client approaches Green Umbrella Marketing to help them with their social media activity, we have a few systems and procedures to go through before we move things forward and take onboard a new client.  As with most companies, we will always credit check a potential client, but we also work through a complete digital health check to make sure that other aspects of their online marketing are optimised.

One of the most important elements of this digital health check is to make sure that the client’s website is optimised from a marketing perspective. There is no point in using social media to drive traffic back to their website if there is little chance of converting a customer once a visitor arrives.

If the website score is less than 6/10 on the following checklist and the client’s objectives mean we need to drive traffic to the site, then we will decline the social media work until the scores have improved.

What are these key ingredients?

There are a few things we look at, but to keep things simple, here’s a 10 point checklist that gives you an idea of how we assess the suitability of a website.

Check #1 – Call To Action

Do you have any strong calls to action above the fold of your website? Do you have words such as “call us”, “click here” “press play” “download here”, etc?  Are your call to action buttons strong from a design perspective?

No points – if you have zero calls to action on your site

Half a point – if you have minimal calls to action (and they MUST be above the fold). So if you have words such as “call us” before your telephone number, then you will be awarded half a point.

Full point – If you have special offers, exit intent, a video, live chat facility or a special slider with multiple calls to action then you can award yourself a full point.

Check #2 – Are you using customer focused language within your site?

It is important that your website is built with the visitor’s eyes in mind. What is the pain of that potential new client and are you answering that question as soon as the visitor lands on your website? To analyse this we tend to look at two things:

  1. Is it obvious what you do? If you work in recruitment, is it obvious what sector you work in? If you sell products, is it obvious what industry you are selling too? Does your company name, imagery and content tell an immediate story that will resonate with your target audience?
  2. What about the language within your website? Are you using words like “we”, “our”, “us” and your company name throughout the site? This is not customer focused. Ideally, you need to be using words such as you, your, you’re.  We call this the “we to you” ratio. Do you have a healthy we to you ratio?

No points – if the content on your website reads like a company brochure and is full of “we do this” “our products”, “our services”. If you have lots of sentences starting with words such as we, our, us then you receive zero points for this check point.

Full point – if your website sounds like a human being rather than a brochure then you are halfway there. Have a look at the content of your home page. Ideally, you want the visitor to feel as if you are talking directly to them. If your sentences include words such as you, your or you’re, or describes the feelings or the pain of the visitor then you have hit the nail on the head. A full point gets awarded to you.

Check #3 – News or a Blog

Do you have a news page or a blog feature on your website? If Google ranking is important to you and your business, then adding new content to your website on a consistent basis is imperative. We would recommend adding a minimum of 800 words to your website every two weeks.

No points – you do not have the facility to add new content to your website without asking your web developer to add it for you.

Half a point – if you have the facility to add news articles or blogs to your site, but the content is out of date and inconsistent.

Full point – You are blogging on a regular basis of at least 800 words per article.

Check #4 – Sales Generation Data Capture

I expect that like many websites, there is a form for customers to complete to “contact us” or “Subscribe here for our newsletter” on your website. However, it’s now time to ask yourself, would you complete this form if you were a visitor to your website? It is unusual for visitors to subscribe to a newsletter nowadays as we all get way too many emails as it is! What you will find is that people will happily exchange their email details, and subscribe to a list if they are receiving something of value in return. Perhaps a checklist, free download, blueprint, discount, white paper, or eBook.

No points – there are no options for prospective clients to give your their email address on your website.

Half a point – You have a variety of places where customers can add their details, but it is really only for those that are already committed and require information.  There are no lead generation techniques, or data capture processes on your website for those who may consider working with you in the future.

Full point – You are on fire!  You have an ebook or some sort of free download on your site that can be exchanged for an email address. If you are really switched on, then you may even have an exit intent pop up for when visitors are about to leave the website.

Please note: Pop-ups on mobile devices can have a negative effect on your Google ranking in mobile searches if they create a clunky experience for users.  If mobile search is important to you, then I would consider this before activating any pop-up messages.

Check #5 – Social Sharing Tools

Some people tend to get confused between a social media link (when you click a Facebook icon and it takes you to the company’s Facebook page), and a social media sharing tool (where you click the Facebook icon to share the content of the website with your Facebook friends. Of course, social sharing does not just stop at Facebook! If you are looking to gain extra traffic to your website then adding social sharing tools is a necessity.

Please do not add social sharing buttons as a generic feature on your website. It is unusual for people to want to click and share the About Us page! Only have sharing tools on the pages that include shareable content! (Your blog, news, products, vacancies, or properties, etc.)

As a quick tip, social sharing tools that offer a floating button are highly effective as they are always on screen.

No points – there are no options for your visitors to share your content, products or services with the click of a button.

Full point – You have full social sharing tools on your website.

Number six is different to social sharing. I am looking for little icons on the home page of your website where people can click and find you on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, etc.

If you do have social media links then please, for all that is good in the world, click the buttons and make sure that they go to the right place! You will be amazed how many times we’ve checked a client’s website, clicked a social icon and ended up at the website developer’s social channels, or just the main social media platform and not the correct page, a random channel as the link has been spelt incorrectly or just sent back to the home page of the website!

No points – you have no social media links on your website. OR, you do have social media channels linked, but they are not your pages.

Half a point – You have the basics such as Facebook and Twitter, but your main audience is on LinkedIn and there is no LinkedIn icon. I also often find that some websites are hosting the very old and dated logos (for example, a blue “t”, rather than the Twitter bird logo). This looks unprofessional and dates your website in an instant.

Full point – You are on fire! You have links to your correct social media channels and they are all active accounts and your icons are up to date!

Check #7 – Mobile Friendly

It is more important than ever that your website is mobile-friendly if you want it to appear in Google search on a mobile device. You may think that your site is mobile-friendly, but in order to get yourself a point on this checklist, your site MUST pass the Google Mobile-Friendly Test. Simply pop your URL into this test system and find out. Click here.

No points – your site failed the Google mobile friendly test.

Half a point – Your site passed the test, but there are no calls to action on the mobile version, and no visible telephone number.

Full point – Whoop whoop! Your site passed the test with flying colours. It is easy to navigate, has a good call to action on the home page, and I can find your telephone number with “click to call” activated. Straight to the top of the class.

Check #8 – Visible Telephone Number

It is a well-known fact that the more people have to click on a website, the more it dilutes conversion rates. So why do people hide their telephone number?  So often I find that I have to click on the contact us page, or navigate around the site to finally realise it is in tiny writing in the footer of the website. Some people just like to pick up the phone, so make sure you give them that opportunity.

No points – Your phone number is either not on your website at all, or is one click away.

Half a point – You have a telephone number prominent on the desktop version of your website, but not on mobile.

Full point – Congratulations! You have a visible telephone number above the fold of your desktop version of your website, as well as on the home page of your mobile site.

Check #9 – Testimonials

Adding real-life testimonials or reviews to your website that actually mean something (please make sure these are credible – do not add “wet lettuce” recommendations!). We have all seen the wet lettuce testimonials where the name and company details are very vague and the content is just false.

Ideally, we are looking for a dedicated page for testimonials or an integration with something such as TripAdvisor or Trust Pilot, etc. If you are adding testimonials directly onto your website then ask the person who wrote the review if you can add their photo/logo and link back to their social media channel or website for additional credibility.

No points – There are no testimonials, recommendations or reviews on the website, or you have wet lettuce reviews that mean diddly squat.

Half a point – You have a testimonial page, but the last time it was updated was when the website was built.

Full point – You know the importance of a good testimonial. Perhaps you have a widget that imports your third party reviews (such as trust pilot), or you are updating your website with authentic reviews on a regular basis (I’d even be tempted to give you bonus points for having video testimonials on your website).

Check #10 – Variety of Media

Having a site that is text-heavy with very little visual stimulation is not appealing to anyone. A picture is worth a thousand words and moving pictures work even better. Are you using new media within your website? Please think twice about those cheesy images with people shaking hands! If you can get photos of yourself, your team your office environment, etc. that is a big bonus.

No points – with exception to your logo and one static image on the home page of your website, there is very little imagery on your website.

Half a point – You have stock images within your site, but there is no movement and no use of new media ie: sliders, video, gifs etc.

Full point – You are using video within your content and the images within your blogs are excellent.   The home page is looking visually appealing and the images draw you into the website, leaving your visitors wanting more.

So… What was your score?

Can you see where you need to make some improvements? Let us know below! And don’t forget, we’re here to help, so if you have any questions then simply click the live chat and we will do our best to assist.

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