Imagine. That your website is a house (it is the home of your business), in a neighborhood (your niche), filled with similar houses, (every other business like yours).
Is yours a McMansion or a country cottage?
We buy or rent living spaces (hire service providers or buy products) based on a long list of preferences. These might include the style of home, (your vibe), the neighborhood, (niche) and price, (are you Costco or Whole Foods?).
We narrow our search based on those things then we go looking.
Speaking of looking, looks aren’t everything but…
What we see first, is the outside. (Home page)
If the block we want to live on has four well-kept, well landscaped homes, (modern style, user friendly fonts and plenty of white space) and one that’s run down (dated look, tiny font and images), all at the same price; would you look twice at the run down one?
You might, if none of the other four has the layout you want, or major repairs are needed — but not until you’d checked out the others.
Now imagine you like what you see, and you decide to take a tour. If you’re like most humans, you want this big investment you’re considering to “feel like” you. In my website analogy, this is the part where the business owner has made sure to call out the ideal client or customer. We do that so people know there are in the right place.
Like this call-out on Redfin.com, an online real estate sales and rental business:
“If you’re thinking about downsizing in a big way, here’s how to buy a tiny house and simplify your life.”
Although they service every sector of the real estate market, on this page, they are looking to attract people thinking of doing the tiny home thing.
Continuing on with our tour, imagine the realtor speaks your language and understands your pain points and what’s going to get in the way of the sale. You are feeling more comfortable and want to see more.
It’s time to go up or downstairs to see other rooms but there’s a stair step missing, (a broken link), or the stairs are hidden behind a door, (your navigation isn’t obvious). These issues have slowed the tour down and your patience is wearing thin. (Your pages load sooo slowly.)
Are you going to spend time getting these issues fixed or cross this place off your list?
You get the point.
If you haven’t in a while, why not look at your site with non-judgmental but critical eyes.
- How’s the curb appeal? Have you kept up with the idea of user experience, or UX?
- Not even sure what UX is? Here’s a checklist that explains it specifically for website owners.
- Does it speak to the person you most want to work with or sell to? (See the article above)
- Check for broken links and save your visitors the frustration of not getting where they want to get or get back to with Dr. Link Check.
If you’ve never asked yourself the question, “Why does my website exist?” It’s a good place to start and will make all the difference in deciding what kind of journey you want your site to take visitors on. This article that I wrote last summer, will walk you through answering the process and applying your answers to each page.
Has your point of view or process for working with clients changed since you last worked on your site? Representing your unique value is critical and if something has changed, your site should reflect that.
Homes need maintenance and who doesn’t love a little remodeling?
A little attention could make a big difference in whether your customers feel at home in your (online) home or someone else’s.