• May 21, 2022

Do you have Web problems?

If your website is up, and that’s the best you can say about it, you certainly have “web problems.”

Web issues are what happen when your website performs poorly… or doesn’t perform at all. Unfortunately, this situation happens all too often.

Many business owners do not do their due diligence when selecting a web developer. They see a nice place… nice colours, maybe a lot of flash and good music… and they decide: “Wow! This is what we want”. Some hire designers to develop websites only to find that the end result is not what they expected. It’s not surprising because web developers and web designers are not necessarily the same thing.

Some of the best developers I know are just that: professionals who develop or build sites. They do the coding and all the back-end work, they make sure the navigation is intuitive and the site works across multiple platforms and browsers. And some of the worst sites I’ve ever seen were created by graphic designers who decided to become developers. Armed with minimal knowledge of what goes into a viable website, the end result is pretty useless other than as an online brochure.

Fortunately, broken websites can be fixed. Yeah, it’s no fun having to remake a site you just paid someone to build. But that’s one of the downsides of being an entrepreneur. You are going to make mistakes. Especially if you are trying to save money and work with the highest bidder. Or write your own copy even if you’re not a great copywriter. Or if you don’t know the right questions to ask up front when hiring “professionals.”

So let’s look at some fixes for the site not working. What needs to be done to make your website the profitable marketing tool it should be?

1. Can a visitor to your site easily understand what you are selling or offering? Or are the benefits hidden in a lot of marketing hype?

The solution: Say what you do. No gibberish. If you offer the most comprehensive selection of scuba gear in the Midwest, say so. In a clear and simple way. Both on the Home page and on the Products page.

2. Is your copy easy to read? Or is it loaded with confusing technical jargon?

The solution: Hire a copywriter who knows how to write for the web. Get rid of formal and grammatically perfect copy. A website is a direct marketing tool. Think one by one. Write down the way you speak when you have a conversation with a potential client.

3. Is site navigation intuitive or is finding information a nightmare?

The solution: Sit down with a few people who know little or nothing about what you offer. Ask them to go to your site and find some specific articles. You will know very quickly where there are problems. Arrange them so that a visitor can get everything he needs in no more than three clicks.

4. Are the fonts large enough to read without straining your eyes? Or is fine print used to make the site look modern and cool? Or a lot of reverse type (white) on a dark background.

The solution: Don’t make it hard for people to read your copy. As it is, you have no control over how people’s monitors are set up. So stick with web-friendly fonts in sizes that people can read. And keep in mind that reverse type is usually not easy to read on screens. Use it sparingly!

5. Are there flashing lights and moving objects that have no particular relevance to what you do?

The Solution: Unless you’re an artist, musician, or designer using Flash to highlight your work, Trash the Flash! It’s distracting and annoying…especially on a PDA or cell phone where downloading can be slow.

6. Is your contact information found easily and on all pages? Emails are great, but not when you’re in a hurry and hungry.

The solution: simple. Put your phone number on every page – header or footer works. Bold and near the top of the page is even better. And if you have instant messaging, put that on too. Make it easy for your customers to contact you.

7. Do the pages appear quickly or is there a delay while the site loads? Few things are more annoying online than waiting for a site to load.

The solution: make images smaller and lower resolution. If you can’t do it, a designer or developer can. Also, a developer can check how their site appears on all different platforms using all browsers; in case (let’s say it isn’t) this was never done when your site was first launched.

8. Does your site show up quickly in search? Or are you on page 4 while all of your competitors are in the top ten?

The solution: Optimize your site for search engines. This could be as simple as a few rewrites to add more keywords and phrases to your copy. Or add page titles. Or bold subtitles. However, depending on how your site was initially designed, it could involve a complete redesign. If you have an old site that was built with frames, or keywords that are hidden as graphics, or key search terms at the bottom of the page, or no key search terms at all (yes, it happens!), you’ll need to have it redesigned. .

The good news is that bad websites can be fixed. And, if done right, web problems can become web wonders.

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