What is the purpose of your business website?

If you are running a business serving local clients in Edmonton or its surrounding areas, (Sherwood Park, St. Albert, Fort Saskatchewan, etc) then you probably have a business website. How effective is your site? The purpose of your website should be four fold:

Your website should show credibility

Your website represents your brand and your business online, and as such, it must look professional and be a brand building asset for your business.

Your website should be search engine friendly

You website should be built, optimized, and promoted online so that it can be found locally when doing a Google search for your products or services.

Your website should answer the reader’s questions

A core reason for having a website is so that it can act as your 24/7 sales person. Therefore, your website should anticipate customer questions, and provide the answers that will educate the reader about you as a business, as well as the products and services you offer.

Your website should compel users to take your desired sales action

Again, acting as a proxy sales person, your website needs to help move the user along their buyer’s journey – encouraging them to make a decision about whether to buy from you or not.

With the above key reasons for having a business website, a website is critical in this information age. Every day, 1 Billion searches are done by people like you and me, searching for products and services, education and entertainment.

If you don’t have an effective website for your business – why not? 

5 Ways to Evaluate if your Business Website is Broken or Not

Having a functional business website is the first step towards building an online presence, however, it is not enough to just have a website anymore.

There are 15 questions to consider and evaluate to ensure your business website is effective and can become a lead generating machine, or if it is indeed ‘broken’ and should undergo a transformation to make it useful for your business!

(1) Does your website look professional?

First impressions matter online, and in fact, most visitors spend mere seconds on your website page. If your web page does not immediately convey a professional, trustworthy (not spammy), helpful, and local impression, most visitors to your site will simply click back or ‘bounce’ back to where they came from, never to come back again.

You want to answer the following questions quickly on your web page for the website visitor:

  • Who are you?
  • What can you do for me?
  • Why should I care or believe you?
  • How do I contact you to learn more and take the next step?

Here are a few things to be aware of when designing your website:

A. Do you have professional branding or logo prominent on your website?

Eye tracking studies have found that a website visitor most often looks for your logo at the top part of your of a web page when they first land on a website, so be sure to add your logo to either the centre or left at the top of the page.

Professional branding and imagery also increases your credibility in the reader’s eyes. Most local visitors will be able to tell a reputable company from the rest right away. Don’t let the wrong imagery turn away potential customers.

In addition to logos, it is important to use appropriate and attractive images to engage the user. By using a large photo or various photos to depict what you do can assure the user that they are in the right place on your website; after all, the old adage of a picture tells a 1000 words is true.

Another important consideration to make is to always use familiar naming conventions for menu items, as well as the placement of the menu elements.

Use menu items worded like: Home, About, Services, Contact. It may seem boring, but they are a well-used convention. Don’t confuse the website visitor with cryptic terms, and always be clear and concise with your menu items, button names, and hyperlinks.

B. Do you have a clear unique selling proposition (USP) or value proposition? 

A good USP or value proposition engages the user and inspires them to be curious and learn more by scrolling down the page or going to another page.

Stephen Woessner of Predictive ROI has a fabulous formula for creating a distinguishing statement that allows the website visitor to either resonate with your brand message and service offering and continue surfing your site, or realize that the site is not the place for them and leave.

He calls it going through an XYZ exercise and it goes like this:

Fill in the blanks of this XYZ statement.

We do ____(x)_____ for _______(y)______ so they can ______(z)_____.

Here is an example using the Business Bootcamp website: We do business training for small business owners who are struggling with running their business, so that they can feel in control and start to grow their business.

Another version using the formula more loosely: We train and educate Albertan small business owners on core financial, sales and marketing skills, so that they can start to grow their business.

Craft your own XYZ statement and post it front and centre on your home page!

C. Do you have visible ‘trust symbols’ on your website?

A trust symbol can be any associations, certifications, awards, media or otherwise that will boost your credibility in the reader’s eyes.

Popular examples are: Better Business Bureau, your local Chamber of Commerce, professional or industry associations.

You may have a working website, but if your website currently does not meet all three of these needs, it is broken.

Do you need help getting a professional website design? Contact a reputable Edmonton website design company

(2) Is your website mobile friendly?

With almost 50% of local web surfers using a mobile device, having a mobile responsive website is now a critical aspect of business websites. Recently, Google rolled out Mobilegeddon, which was an update to their search engine software to take into account whether or not a website is mobile friendly or not. If not, your website could be penalized and not show up for pertinent keyword searches. A site that is not mobile friendly should be considered a broken site.

So, how can you tell if your website is mobile friendly or not?

A. Are you using up-to-date technology?

Check your website out on your phone, and if you see any section of your website that looks like this (see below), then your website is broken. The website below is built using old technology, Adobe Flash, and this website needs to be modernized and made mobile friendly!


B. Is your website user friendly?

By user friendly we mean, do users have to pinch and zoom and awkwardly maneuver throughout your website when looking at it on their phone?

Take a look at this website (see below). It looks ok right? No, actually, this website is also broken! You have to pinch and zoom in to read text, view images, and click links. This is not a mobile responsive website and should also be modernized and rebuilt using proper technology that will work on both a computer and on a mobile device!


Look at this website on your phone (see below). It is mobile responsive and looks great on a phone, you do not need to pinch or zoom to read text or see images. All of the web pages respond to the device you are using and morphs the way it looks depending on the device!


C. Is your mobile web page free from pop-ups?

Another issue affecting your website are incessant pop-ups that annoy the user and make mobile usability difficult. As we will explain further in this article, there are ways to ensure your potential customer knows exactly what to do (using call-to-actions) and how to do it without the use of pop-ups.

If you would like to discuss your website or have us review your website to see if it is mobile responsive or not, please contact us here.

(3) Is your website optimized for the search engines?

Surely you’ve heard the term search engine optimization (SEO) thrown around quite often in the digital world, but what does it mean to you and your business?

SEO (search engine optimization) is an area of website development geared towards improving the search results or ‘ranking’ your website receives in major search engine sites like Google, Yahoo and Bing. The closer you are to being number one on the first page, the more phone calls, website visits, and customers you will receive. Hence, the importance of having a properly optimized website.

If your website is not properly optimized for search engines, they will penalize your website and push you down the pages, and if search engines like Google does not like your website – it is broken and needs to be fixed!

So, what does an optimized website look like?

A. Is your website being found for your brand name AND generic keywords?

An optimized website is one that is found on the first page of Google for a given keyword! Google uses over 200 factors in their search engine software to figure out how to rank one website over another for a given keyword/key phrase.

At the very least your website should be showing up on the first page of Google when you search for your brand name or business name. As well when people search using generic keywords related to your products or services, you want your website to show up on that coveted first page of Google. For example, if your business is Canuck Plumbing, you would show up immediately after searching for that name, as well as if you searched for: plumber Fort Saskatchewan.

A simple way to check to see if your website has the minimal level of optimization is to check each of your website pages – check that the title, description, and web page link are optimized for a given keyword. You can use the site: command in Google to check what your web pages look like. Check out the example below using the zappos.com website:

zappos-site-Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 5.23.27 PM

The larger font lines (in blue) are your page titles, under that is the web page link, and under that is the description of your website (also known as the meta description). Each of these elements of your web page should be optimized for a given keyword. If they are not, and they look something like the below screenshot, then you know your website is not optimized at all and you need to speak with an internet marketing professional!

site gertasecondwind.org Google Search

In regards to the example above, some indicators that the pages are not optimized are:

  • The Home page title is just the acronym for the association – it should be spelled out. The description was not explicitly set, so Google just has to pull some text from the page – it makes a bit of sense but it not the best introduction to this association.
  • The About page title is not optimized at all and again no meta description was set so Google is just pulling page content to show the searcher, and in this case, the page content was an agenda and not very useful in describing what this association is about!

B. Is your website being found for specific or long tail keywords with buying intent?

The next level of search optimization has to do with longer keywords, otherwise referred to as long tail keywords. Using the same example as before, if your business is Joe’s Plumbing, you want to be found for more that just plumber Fort Saskatchewan, you want to be found for these types of searches as well:

  • hot water tank repair Fort Saskatchewan
  • drain repair Fort Saskatchewan
  • water softener Fort Saskatchewan

It is incredibly important to be found for keyword searches like this because unless a past customer or referral knows your exact business name, they will likely type in one of these phrases rather than going directly to your website.

These types of keyword phrases also help to highlight the other services you offer. For instance, a customer may not search for a plumber if they need a new air conditioning system, however, many plumbing companies offer this service as well. Therefore, you want to be showing up in those searches as well.

C. Does your website have a content marketing plan?

Now, if you have the first two bases covered when it comes to SEO, the next step is to work with an internet marketing professional to take your website to the next level.

Unfortunately, in our fast-paced, digital times it is no longer enough to just have a 5 page website. Businesses must come up with new content regularly, typically in the form of blogging, not only to educate and give value to their customers, but to give the search engines more and more opportunities to find your website.

Plain and simple – the more optimized pages you have, the more opportunities you will have to be found by the search engines and increase your ranking and visibility.

If you are not currently executing a content marketing plan, you are not making the most of your website. Connect with an internet marketing specialist to fix this today!

(4) Has your website been hacked?

Hacking is a fairly regular occurrence in the online world. It’s not necessarily about whether you’ve been hacked, but about how you and your team deals with it. It is essential that whoever is hosting your website check in and regularly monitor your website in the background.

Now, it’s not to say that if you have a great website company you will never be hacked, however, a professional company will have backups and processes in place to ensure that if you are hacked, your business will not be affected.

If your website is vulnerable, there are many ways it can be hacked, and sometimes it’s not always obvious.

There are some indicators of website hacking that you can check yourself.

A. Have you checked on your website recently?

It’s important as a business owner to go to your own website frequently to be sure everything is as it should be. If you see weird characters, strange links, or inappropriate images it could be a sign of hacking.

These symptoms are off-putting to your customers and need to be fixed as soon as possible! Anything that seems out of sorts or spammy will turn customers away.

B. When you do the site:yourdomainname search in Google, does every page appear as it should?

You can use the same site: trick as mentioned above in a Google search to see how your site looks. If your page titles and meta descriptions have strange characters or are incorrect, it could also mean you’ve been hacked.

Sometimes, you will even find that your pages indexed by Google have nothing to do with your business – this is a sure sign of hacking and limits traffic to your website!

C. When you visit your website from a search engine, do you arrive directly at the proper page?

Use Google’s Incognito Mode and search for your website, just as a potential customer would. Are you taken to your website, or are you redirected or receive a 404 Error page? A redirect could very well mean you’ve been hacked.

While hacking does not necessarily mean your website is broken, attempts will happen. However, if a hacking has not been discovered and remedied in a timely fashion – that is an indication that your website is broken.

Chances are, customers who visit your site and are redirected to a spammy page will likely never revisit your website.

The best defence against website hacking is a good offence. You want to work with a professional who takes a proactive, not reactive, approach to keeping your website safe and secure.

Don’t let website hacking hold your best salesperson hostage – work with a trusted website professional today!

(5) Do your website visitors leave your website without contacting you?

Once you get more and more visitors to your website by correcting the first four points, it is essential that these visitors take the next step, which could be make the call, add the product to the cart, or fill out a contact form.

However, it can be difficult for potential customers to take the next step if they do not clearly see what they need to do next. Don’t make visitors hunt for your phone number, or dig for your location. Make it blatantly obvious what you would like the customer to do next.

If visitors come to your website and turn into poor leads or even non-existent leads, your website should still be considered broken.

A. Do you have clear and direct Calls-to-Action or CTA’s?

Clear CTA’s are essential to moving visitors on your site into ‘buy mode’. If they feel lost or unable to navigate your website, they will likely leave.

First and foremost, if you want people to call you as a primary action, make sure that your business phone number is easy to find on EVERY web page. Your phone number should allow the user to quickly ‘click and call’ when on a mobile phone. This means the phone number should not be an image but be in free html text on the page.

Make taking the next step irresistibly easy for your customer.

B. Do you know what your customers are doing on your website?

If you do not have Google Analytics installed, you likely do not. Google Analytics is an incredibly useful tool for monitoring what your visitors are doing when they get to your website. The knowledge you glean from these reports will allow you to make revisions and updates to better serve your audience.

The example below shows you exactly what you can learn about your visitors and also gauge the performance of your website. This is a great example of an extremely low bounce rate, which means that visitors are engaged by what they see and don’t immediately ‘bounce’ somewhere else.

tcw-kpis-11-23-2015 3-11-38 PM

The second example below showcases form submissions from Google. Out of 958 visitors to the website, 23 visitors submitted a form (in this case, a Request a Quote contact form). If you divide 958 by 23 that ends up being a 2.4% conversion rate, which is quite good. This is quite useful for tracking both paid as well as search leads to and from your website.

krinkle-klean-kpis-11-23-2015 3-10-44 PM

C. Are you getting good quality leads from your website?

Just to rehash – if your website is not driving leads through the door, or you have no idea what kind of or how many leads are coming in, your website is broken.

Once you’ve mastered the first two points, it’s time to consider the quality of leads you get. Visitors may be coming and sticking around for longer, but are they a ‘good lead’?

Tracking with Google Analytics comes into play again here. For example, if you have 500 website visitors a month, but only 2 paying customers a month, there is a disconnect. Out of the other 498 visitors, they either they do not know what to do (unclear CTA’s), or they are not your ideal customers.

So, how do you get more customers attracted to your website?

A content marketing strategy, of course! You want to work with an internet marketing professional to create website content and blogs that speak directly to your audience. You want your website visitors to educate themselves, and eventually, self-select themselves as your customer.

Your website content should compel the reader to say either, “Yes! That’s me!”, or “No. This service is not for me.” As your 24/7 salesperson, your website should be bringing you the customers that have said, “Yes, that’s me,” and not the opposite, or the customers who are unsure of what you provide.

Speak with an internet marketing professional right away to make the most out of your website!

How does your website stack up?

Think of the 15 questions we went through – how did you score?

If you answered ‘yes’ to 12+…

Your website may need some fine-tuning, but otherwise you’re doing great!

If you answered ‘yes’ to anywhere from 8 to 12…

You’re on the right track, but we can help you elevate your website to the next level!

If you answered ‘yes’ to less than 8…

Your website is broken and needs immediate help!
If you want to learn more about optimizing your website for local Edmonton and area searchers looking for your product or services, join us at the next 2 day business workshop! Click here to learn more.

nyche marketingIf you want to talk to a web marketing professional one-on-one, contact nyche marketing; or if you are ready to take this information and start making changes to your online business visit www.marketinghub.club for an affordable monthly marketing club that educates and guides you every month on fixing and marketing your business website to get more leads and customers.





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