We believe that every company in every industry deserves an effective, attractive website. To that end, we’d like to introduce a website critique that you can use to quickly assess your own website for weak spots. Here are the requirements we look for in a high-performing website. Feel free to use this list to perform a self-evaluation.
In the web design industry, customer experience is also known as “User Experience,” or UX. Since your company website is the first thing your prospective customer may see, it’s important that it be usable, attractive, and professional. And that’s just what we look for in the first step of a deep website critique. Is your website supporting a good customer experience with these items?
Enticing Calls to Action
Is it clear what you want the customer to do upon visiting your website? Are you using words and images that resonate with your customer based on your detailed customer personas?
Clear Contact Information
Is it easy to locate your contact information? Are your details provided in text so that customers using mobile technology can call or map to your location easily?
Convenient Capture Pages
Is it easy for prospective customers to provide their information to you? Is there a conversion opportunity on every page (not just hidden away on your contact page)?
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Website Structure and Design
An effective website will have a customized website structure and a design unique to its brand. The next step in a deep website critique is to analyze these elements and make sure they are working hard for the company:
The Right Things Catch the Eye
What captures the eye first? What’s the most noticeable and memorable feature of the website when you first look at it? Is that feature intentional and effective for a real customer, a byproduct of your site design or a company-focused message that a customer won’t find relevant?
Are you conveying professionalism? Are your graphics and font treatments up to date? Do the images you use speak to your target customer meaningful and unique, or a stock image that everyone else in your industry uses?
Is your color palette attractive to the eye and appropriate for your industry?
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While you want to check the public-facing elements of your website, you also need an understanding of your website’s performance analytics. That’s why you might look at the following analytics to make sure that your deep website critique leaves no stone unturned:
An effective website will draw in more and more visitors each month. Monitor trends in your website “visits” metric to make sure your SEO and content marketing efforts are having their intended benefits.
Visitor-to-Lead Conversion Rate
Your visitor-to-lead conversion rate is the percentage of your website visitors that fill out a form and volunteer information on your website. First, are you tracking this information? Second, what is your conversion rate? If it’s below industry standard, your site isn’t performing at its potential.
Lead-to-Customer Conversion Rate
Lead-to-customer conversion rate is the percentage of your leads that are becoming customers. This is another important number to monitor in partnership with your sales team.
The strength of your content marketing efforts directly correlates with your company blog. If you don’t have a blog calendar or plan in place, you may not seeing the best ROI on the time or money you invest in it.
Keyword-Focused Blog Topics
Does each blog post have a focused topic, and are those topic keywords used throughout each post?
Frequency of Updates
Is the company blog updated at least once every other week?
Clear Call to Action
Does every blog post on your website have a clear next step to generate leads?
Social Media Integration
Is it easy to share your company blog posts? Are there appealing images that enhance your updates on visual social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter? And do your most recent posts feature content from your blog?
It may seem like a long list, but this kind of do-it-yourself website critique provides a thorough look at what makes a good website and how anyone can apply these principles to a successful website. Let’s get started!