These are difficult times. You have probably heard these words or similar words many times in 2020. Businesses have had to temporarily close their doors and ask their employees to work from home or even take some time off, i.e. unemployment. However, you still have a business to run and a website that conveys what your business is and the services you provide to your clients.
What can you do as a business owner, with your website, as we start to come out of this downtime to make sure that your clients are getting the best experience? Now is the time to start thinking about your website and how to improve it for your sake and the sake of your clients before you get back on the road.
Your business is ready to get back to work, but is your website?
Looking In From The Outside
One of the first things to look at during this down time is your site. Have you ever experienced your site as a user? You either built the site yourself or paid someone to do it for you. The excitement of launching your own site is great. You look at it before launching, make sure it works, and make sure that it gives the message that you want. But have you looked at it and have you used it as not an owner but a potential client since it was launched?
This may seem a simple task that will not take much time, but this is important. Click on your links, look at your images, really put your site through its paces. Can you easily find the information that you are looking for? Do you have a page that can book an appointment? How many clicks did it take to get there?
Also, see if there are page errors or broken links. These can be frustrating for users. If you posted a link to another site, is that link still working? The big takeaway here is making sure that your clients, current and potential, are able to find and use the most important information about your business.
The Meat And Potatoes
Since you are already looking at the usability of your site, it would also be a good idea to look at the content or information on your site. Have you changed your prices or changed how you can book an appointment?
The content is the meat of your site and if it is old or outdated then how would that impact your business? Again, think of this as a user. If you were a potential client that was using your site and the pricing was out of date, would you trust the services? Freshness of content is important to being displayed in Google.
Are you adding content to your site on a regular basis? This content could come in the form of a forum or a blog. You can use your site as a medium to connect or talk with your clients. Google and users like to see a site that is updated because it shows that the owner is engaged with the user.
Google: Your BFF
Google has about 90% of the share of the search market in North America. Have you searched your business name in Google recently? How did it show up? Is the description showing in the results correctly? Are you on the map and is it the correct address and phone number? These are all important questions because how else is a potential client going to find you? When searching in Google, the results page gives a lot of information about the topic searched. There can be location, phone number, website, description, and/or reviews.
If the information is wrong on your site then Google is going to display that incorrect information in the search results. Google is only a bot that crawls your site; it is not a fact checker.
On the topic of reviews, are there reviews or stars being displayed on your business results? Are they positive or negative reviews? The reviews are tricky. Sometimes people leave bad reviews without having a real reason to do so. Do you respond to these reviews? If someone genuinely had a bad experience with your company, do you want to offer reconciliation or find out more information? This is a decision for you as the owner.
You have probably seen when business owners go over the top with their negative response to bad reviews, is this the kind of attention that you want for your business? The biggest thing about checking your business in Google is to make sure that the information is being displayed correctly and that clients are able to find you easily.
The biggest thing about preparing your site for a post COVID-19 world is putting yourself in the shoes of your clients. Is your site clean and easy to use? Is the content provided relevant and up-to-date? Can you be found in search engines like Google and Bing? How many clicks does it take to get to the most important information?
Take a good long look at your site as someone who wants to pay for your services and see how easily they are able to convert from a potential client, to client, to long-term client. At the end of the day, you are in the business of helping people. Does your website make that as easy as possible?