Website Health Check for the Holidays

The holidays are upon us and online retail sales in 2008 have surpassed 2007 numbers. Meaning, although times are tough and we are in an official recession, people are looking for those great deals ONLINE. What a better way to get people involved in your business then to have an online version of your store?

Trimark Advertising is offering a free “website wellness check-up” for all of our clients, offering advice and pointers for you in order for your business to make a bigger footprint on the web. In this article we will be covering some do-it yourself tips and tricks and once you have tried them and think you might need more help, give us a call.

How to Prep for a Check-Up

1. What am I using this website for? This is the first question you should be asking before you start your check-up. Is your website purely for information purpose, or is your site for selling product or service? If there is an opportunity for you to sell products over the net, it will expand your reach beyond your storefront, with far less overhead cost. If your website is for informational purpose, make sure that it portrays the information in a light that reflects your store front or in some cases exceeds expectation. Remember an online storefront can be as big as your imagination.

2. Is your website name (domain name or URL) easily typed or recognizable in the address bar? If you are having a hard time spelling your URL to clients, it’s time to think of a new address. For example, a real estate agent that has a long, last name as their URL, may be better off just finding a shorter, easier combination for clients to remember. My rule of thumb is if it is longer then 12 letters think about revising.

3. Is the look of your website correctly portraying your business? You have spent time and effort on your storefront and you wouldn’t leave your walls unpainted or cover the ground with ugly flooring, so why would you do the same to your website. A customer is a customer, whether online or in the store, they still spend on your goods and services, therefore it’s necessary to take a look at your website. Is it reflecting your businesses brick and mortar style and look? If not, you might consider a redesign.

4. Are all of the web pages functioning and loading correctly and in a short time? Remember, you would never have broken displays or windows at your storefront, so make sure you have a functioning website. First impressions are invaluable and any broken or poorly designed website will steer customers away. Take a minute while you are reading this article and click through your pages.

5. Is the content on your website correctly spelled and up to date? A couple of years ago I visited a real estate site that was advertising properties that it had for sale. It was at night so the offices were closed, but I spent 3 hours looking through the multiple properties printing them out and making notes on them with the hopes of contacting the agent in the morning to go over and see the properties. In the morning I called the real estate agent and inquired about the properties. The response was, “those listings are 4 months old and have been sold a long time ago.” It had been a complete waste of my time and effort, and needless to say, a lost opportunity for the agent. Make sure all of your promotions are honorable, the product is available with current information.

6. Where are the visitors? Now that your website is checked, where are all of the visitors? Building a website is like opening a business in the middle of the desert, and not telling anyone that your store is open and how to find it in the desert. The promotion of a website is a subject that we will cover in upcoming newsletters. However, a couple of quick ideas you should try include making sure that your website address is on all of your stationary, emails, and business cards, then make sure your site is submitted to all of the major search engines. (See article in our blog: 6 ways to promote your website for under $100.)

Article written by: Eduard Arakelyan, Marketing Director for Trimark Advertising. For more information you can contact us at 818-848-2858.