Julia is a very experienced product manager who has managed products for private sector companies such as Sony Music and Expedia as well as public sector organisations such as Surrey Police and small startups too. Deciding to adopt a more rural lifestyle away from the City, Julia joined Real Life Digital to work more closely with a diverse range of clients and projects, and to minimise her previous 2 hour (both ways!) commute into the smoke! When Julia's not defining, refining, pretotyping, and keeping us tightly focussed on our deadlines, you might find her touring the world in one of the many bands she sings and plays with, or at home in her recording studio bashing out some choons.
The harsh truth.
You're being left behind!
Your smartest competitors will be ahead of the game. Their websites will work on mobile devices. They'll be using a content management system to publish fresh and relevant content as often as desired without paying a developer. They'll be riding high in search engine rankings because of the way their site and content is structured. Essentially your competitors are standing between you and all of your potential customers.
You're losing business!
Your site might be fantastic.
However... if you're not sure, ask yourself whether any of these sound familiar when you think about your website:
- "It's not really that bad" or "it's okay for now"
- "I suppose it could be better, but there are more important things to spend my time on at the moment"
- "I'm not sure what benefit the website is driving to the business"
- "I can't easily find out what needs to be improved"
- "The website isn't that important"
If any of these sound familiar then STOP and take some time to analyse. Use data and observations, and be careful not to use assumptions and opinions.
The most tangible way to quantify how well your website is doing is to calculate it.
Warning: A lot of people get nervous at this point because they fear what they might discover. This is normal. But don't be tempted to bury your head in the sand.
If you are familiar with Google Analytics, or other website analytics tools, try this:
- How many times are your competitors more visible than you in web searches for your key search terms? (Use your web analytics tools to find out what search terms people are using when they find your site and visit you. There are many keyword tools out there that will tell you how you're doing on those keywords vs. your competitors)
- Are your prospects completing the goals you want them to on your site? (e.g. this might be buying something, downloading information, or contacting you) At what stages of the journey are they dropping out?
- Are your prospects spending a significant time on your site or leaving right away? (i.e. if they are 'bouncing' off straight away, ask yourself: what were they looking for that they didn't find? Or were they unable to use your site e.g. on a mobile?)
- What is a lead (i.e. a completed website goal) worth to you in ££s (be specific)? What does a 10% improvement look like? 50%?
Hopefully, the answers to the above questions will have got you thinking.
Still "not that bad?"
You're website is YOU when you aren't there
Is your website representing you in the very best light?
When looking at your website, your potential customers are judging you. They're asking: what kind of company you are, what level of professionalism and service they can expect, or how good your products or services are. You might be absolutely amazing at whatever it is you do but your website visitors don't know you yet. They've never spoken to you. They've never seen your work. And they are judging you without you even being there to prove yourself.
Your digital presence is an extension of your business. It's a representation of your business values. It's a refection of the quality of your products and services. And it absolutely should be telling people that you're the company to address that prospect's needs.
If your competitors have the kinds of websites that answers a prospect's questions quickly and entices them in, and you have an out-dated, sub-optimal website which doesn't, who do you think your prospect will choose?