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2019 Website Evaluation Checklist

2019 Website Evaluation Checklist

Use our simple evaluation checklist to help decide if it’s time to update or revamp your website.

Website trends, requirements, and standards change constantly. The great thing about this is that we have better and better tools and technology to help improve customer experiences and expedite processes. The bad part, is that website trends, requirements, and standards change constantly, and it can be difficult to keep up with. It’s pretty exhausting trying to keep tabs on the algorithm changes, security updates — nevermind ensuring your site is fresh and relevant with today’s design style.

So let’s get this party started. Here are some of the common things we see and reasons clients should (and do) decide to update their website.

1. Messaging Is Not Aligned With the Brand

Does your website reflect who you are and where you’re going?

Organizations grow and change, and over time, messaging may fall out of line with the current brand values or mission. It happens. It should happen. It means you’re going places and it’s time for your website to catch up. All of the content on your site (from body copy to blog posts) is branded content. Every sentence is a chance for you to relay your voice, values, and position as a brand. For some businesses, a website is the first impression potential customers and clients have of the brand. And it’s not just about a high-level brand message. Are your current service offerings listed on the site? Is your current leadership presented accurately?

The fix: If your brand is really that out of whack, chances are it’s impacting more than just your site, and a brand alignment project is a good place to start. If you need a refresh, let’s get some content updates rolling to get the correct messaging out to your audience.

Want more info on branding? We got that.
Brand Development

2. SEO Foundations Are Overlooked

It’s 2019 people. Even if you’re not hitting a home run with your SEO efforts, you should at least be in the stadium. There are enough articles out there to explain the basics of search engine optimization, so we won’t bore you to death with details on metadata and inbound linking. However, there are fundamental elements that contribute to positive SEO that are very easy to implement but somehow get overlooked during the design of a site.

The fix: Do an audit of your site to ensure you’re set up to climb or at least exist in “the ranks”.

3. Website Doesn’t Help Marketing Efforts

We’ve heard it a few times, “It’s just an informational site, not like an eCommerce site.” You may not have a product inventory, shopping cart or checkout process on your website – but it sure as heck should be considered a sales tool. Whatever your sales process is, the website should integrate and support those efforts. It doesn’t matter how snazzy your scrolling homepage looks if the call to action link is buried at the very end. Statistically speaking, it’s like shooting yourself in the foot.

Beyond design, your website is an incredible resource to aggregate data and insights about user behavior, collect customer information, and deploy sales/marketing automation tools.

The fix: Start where you are. If you don’t have Google analytics installed, do that. If you’re running ads but don’t have a conversion pixel, get that running. Look for ways to integrate tools and processes such as email marketing and CRM software so your website does more of the heavy lifting.

Interested in turning your site into a marketing tool?
Digital Marketing

4. Website is Not Responsive

Pretty much all new websites are built with the expectation to be responsive. This means the site will present properly and with optimal user interface design on a myriad of devices and screen sizes. Older websites may need an upgrade to compete in today’s mobile market. It’s not uncommon for larger organizations to be behind the ball on this one. If a site is loaded with databases, thousands of pages, built on a legacy platform, or tied into custom software implementations it can seem a monstrous (and expensive) task to overhaul.

It’s a fact that the number of users accessing the web via mobile increases each day. Depending on your industry, sales process, etc. you may have a higher/lower percentage of customers visiting your website through their devices (Hint: your analytics will tell you.). Count on that number increasing.

Search engines are also forcing the push to responsive design as Google and Bing both rank mobile-friendly sites higher on mobile search. Soooo… there’s that.

Finally, just because a website was built using a responsive template does not guarantee it’s going to function at it’s best right out of the box. Maybe it looks killer on a desktop display but when scaled down, the images get a little funky and things don’t act quite right. Simply put – don’t skip out on the detail tweaking necessary to button up how your website scales.

The fix: If your website isn’t responsive yet it probably also needs some of the other upgrades on our checklist. It’s time to think about an overhaul or at least a mobile version of your site to display for users accessing via their device.

5. Website is Poorly Designed

Sometimes a website needs updating simply because it looks bad. Does your website look like it was built by Tom from accounting’s nephew who went to school for graphic design? In 1995?

If a site looks bad, it’s probably also lacking the basics for good user interface design, and that’ll hurt conversion rates and ultimately your bottom line. It’s not about making your site look cool – though if you follow universal principles for design and user interface, it will probably look super cool.

The fix: Design your website to be clear in it’s messaging, accessible to users, easy to navigate, and inviting. Web design trends change constantly so go with an aesthetic that will last. Justify each element you add so that your content is thoughtful and purposeful.

That’s it! Was our list overwhelming?  It’s simply meant to get your gears turning about the key ingredients that go into a great site. If your site checks out – awesome! If not, it’s time to think about making your website a priority.

Need a set of eyes to evaluate your site? Contact us for a free site audit.

Let’s do it