I’ve been reviewing a lot of websites for clients over the past few weeks. Often, at first glance, a website looks great. But when you drill down to the details, there are things that can be improved. If the devil is in the detail, make sure your website gives a heavenly user experience by checking how it performs on the points listed below.
1. Is it obvious what your business does?
How about where you do it and who for?
Has your headline enticed me to keep reading?
Actually this first point is more than just a detail, it’s a critical part of your web copy that you need to get right.
The web world moves fast. Once people get to your website, if they don’t find what they are looking for quickly, they can be outta there just as quickly.
Here’s an example:
Headline Option 1 – Colour Printing
This headline contains the keyword “colour printing”, which is a good start, but there is nothing included to make this business stand out from the next “colour printing” related website that I’ll probably look at.
Add some descriptive words:
Headline Option 2 – High Quality Colour Printing
Because the headline is still quite short, you could also add a reference to the area that you service:
Headline Option 3 – High Quality Colour Printing. Fast Delivery To Anywhere in Australia.
If you have an estore, have a fresh look at the copy and see if it is obvious that your product can be bought online. Is it clear what area or country you deliver to?
To improve your Headline writing skills, you’ll find what you need to know in CopyBlogger’s How to Write Magnetic Headlines
2. Does your “sign up” form let people know what they are signing up for?
In these times of information overload, it’s getting harder to get people to give you their email address.
To build your email marketing database, you need to offer content that your target audience finds valuable.
As well as that, near your “sign up” form, add a brief sentence about what you send and how often you send it. Or, if space is short, add a link to a page with “More Information”, which gives details about the content of your newsletter or blog and how often the reader can expect an email from you eg daily, weekly, monthly etc
You need to be familiar with the Privacy Act of your country to understand how it relates to your business and to ensure that you are in compliance.
And, if you sell products online, give your customers confidence in buying from you by explaining how credit card details are secured and protected.
Want more information about the Privacy Act for small businesses in Australia? According to the website:
A small business is a business with an annual turnover of $3 million or less. If you fall into this category then you are probably not covered by the Privacy Act. However there are a number of exceptions to this rule.
4. Have you tested your sharing buttons?
If buttons have been added to your website to make your content easy to share on Twitter, Facebook and Social Bookmarking sites, have you clicked to share your content via each method to see what happens?
This is particularly important for sharing via Twitter.
Ideally, a tweet should be created out of your Headline (or Page Title), with a shortened link added that takes “the clicker” straight to the page of your website where they can read more.
I have tested Twitter sharing buttons that only include the text “Currently Reading”, instead of the headline of the page. This isn’t a very compelling way to make people want to click through and find out more.
I’ve also seen Twitter sharing buttons that tweet the full link to the page
instead of a shortened link like http://bit.ly/hzJhVl
The first version uses up a lot of the precious 140 characters that can be shown in a tweet.
For an example of sharing buttons, have a look at the end of this article.
5. Has someone with “fresh eyes” reviewed your website?
Let’s face it, if you’ve written or created content yourself, there may be typos that are glaringly obvious to everyone else but incredibly hard for you to spot.
Always get someone who hasn’t read your content previously to do a final review. Ask them to look for obvious mistakes, typos, mis-spelt words, grammar errors and anything that doesn’t sound right.
Also make sure you or someone else clicks on all the links on each page of your website to make sure they work and are directed to the right place.
How does your website measure up on the detail? Does it pass or does it fail?