Dean Group Media: What every website needs … a basic checklist

Many of the organizations coming to us for web advice complain that their site “…looks terrible, it really needs help.” What I ask is, “What do you want it to do?” Surprisingly, they don’t always know.

While the look of a site is important to credibility, a website is a tool that must also perform productively for you and your organization.

Here are some questions you should be asking yourself about your site:

* Does my site clearly communicate? Does it communicate what I do, both to lay people as well as those familiar with my industry? And does it communicate it briefly from the home page?

* Is my site easy to navigate? Are there clear, logical paths to obtaining additional information about different aspects of your business and take visitors through the sales process?

* Is my site search engine optimized? Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical to drawing visitors to your site who are looking for just what you offer, by entering search terms and phrases on Google, Yahoo and other search engines. You “push” prospects to your website whenever you provide your domain name, eg., to someone, but your website can also “pull” total strangers to it with proper search engine optimization.

* Does my site harness the power of video? Marketing overviews, customer testimonials, product demonstrations, case studies and how-to videos enhance both the marketing and content quality of your site, holding visitors longer and converting them into customers far more effectively than static text pages. Note that all of the sites to the left utilize video in extraordinarily effective ways.

* An I offering valuable content? Not every message on your site needs to be a marketing message or offer to provide product or service. Content is king on the web and having information that’s useful to your visitors will keep them coming back, making them more likely to purchase when they are ready.

* Does my site have inviting graphic appeal? The proper look and “feel” for your site is critical to your credibility and professional stature, much like your personal appearance. The artistic elements of a site should graphically reinforce what you offer, provide visual interest and excitement, increase attention span, help direct the eye to important elements of each page and offer a comfortable visual environment that helps retain visitors.

For more information and assistance with your own site, click or call, 262-238-8740.