Archive for September, 2010

I’m sure you have all seen signs along the roads of our town pointing the way to the nearest yard sale. Some of those signs are more effective then others, some are new, others you can tell have been there since the road was paved. Others have a distinct look of being rushed together as if the person running the yard sale suddenly woke up that morning and realized that people may not be able to find them. Some are written so small you can’t even try to read them as you zip by in your car, for fear you may get into an accident.

Believe it or not, your website faces many of these same issues. Even-though you have a website, you may actually be driving people away because some very basic errors were made when it was created. So let’s spend a few moments and look at these.

  • How old does your site look? Why do we have a yard sale? It’s because we are tired of looking at the same old junk, we want a change. Is your website in need of a yard sale? Is it looking tired? How long has your website looked the way it does? Customers need to know that what they are seeing is fresh and up-to-date. Look for clues on your site that would tell a potential customer that you don’t care. Are there copyright dates from years ago? Do you tell them all about that award you received “last week” with a date from two years ago in the story? Make sure that you are reviewing your site regularly for broken links. Nothing says “We don’t care about our site” more then links that go nowhere.
  • Is your site inviting? Why do we go to yard sales? Many times it’s because we are looking for that one special thing that wows us. I can’t tell you how many times I have slowed my car down just enough for my wife to scan the odds and ends on the ground, so she can pass judgment on whether we should stop or not. The casual browser of your site is looking for that too. Is there a reason for the person to be there? Does your site hold a potential customers attention? You have about the time it takes for the person to scan down your home page to grab them. No more then fifteen seconds to tell them that you are special and they have found what they are looking for. So if you have crammed that home page full of words, they are gone already…
  • Is your site usable? If I were putting up a yard sale sign that I wanted a driver to be able to read. I probably wouldn’t have my four year old write it. If I seriously want customers I would make sure the sign did just what I needed to do –just the date and address, big and bold – and looked professional, not in crayon, you get the picture. Is your site professional? There are certain things that a  customer will be looking for on any site. If you have a navigation menu on your site, does it look and work like a menu? You may be the best plumber in town but if someone who just moved into town needs you, does your site scream “I know what I’m doing!” or does it look and act like your four year old put it together?

There are many other things that the space here doesn’t allow us to go over. I’m not a doctor, plumber, or mechanic. I would never think of trying to operate on myself, wouldn’t want to risk flooding out my house, or even dream of swapping out my car’s motor. Think about getting professional assistance in putting your website together. You are the expert in your field, make sure that is what comes across to potential customers who visit your site.