Web Warning Signs


Got a Game Face? Or a Lame Face?

Your website is your game face. It needs to show attitude and focus. Does your site say, "We strive for excellence!" or "Someone told me I needed a website, so here it is"?

Not every local business needs a website, of course. (Package stores usually don't.). But the world is changing.

The Home Field Disadvantage

Even if you were born here in the Mid-Hudson Valley and know your customers by name, many of your newest potential customers came up from the city in the last few years. They don’t know their neighbors well enough yet to ask who their chiropractor is or who fixes their gutters.

So where do they turn --- the phone book? Not anymore. Customers say they rely on the Internet to find what they need. Web-savvy folks --- and there are more all the time --- can look a website up and down in a heartbeat. They figure, if you don't care about your website, you probably don't know what you're doing. They'll look elsewhere.

So make sure your website is first-string. Open a new window in your web-browser, and use the checklist below to give it a once-over. Then, schedule a  Game Face Website Performance Review --- and get off the "disabled list" and back in the game!

It’s amateurish.

  1. Floating animations are unrelated to your content--e.g. waving American flags.
  2. Irrelevant music plays full-volume when your site opens.
  3. Un-cropped photos with lots of white space around them have poor visual impact.
  4. Titles and illustrations taken straight out of Windows clip art libraries look very cheesy.
  5. Table boxes with big shaded borders date your site as mid-1990s.
  6. Pop-up ads from your free web hosting company interfere with your message and make you look cheap.

It’s irrelevant.

    1. Outdated content (latest events are over a month old, etc.).
    2. Unfocused content (A "vanity site" that’s all about you, not your products or service).
    3. Not written for web readers (Too much text, tiny text, unformatted text no one will read).

    It’s not working.

    1. Links that don’t go anywhere, images that don’t load.
    2. You don’t care how many people visit, so you don’t check your stats.
    3. You checked your stats, and have seen a decrease in traffic to your site.

    A competitor has launched a more convincing site.

    1. Many people use the web to pick businesses. Keep your eye on competing sites!
    2. You need to differentiate your products or services from your competition. A description like "Ulster County Realtor" doesn’t make you stand out.

    You want an interactive site.

    1. Blogs and Newsletters show someone’s in there.
    2. Forums and Chats show someone’s out there.
    3. Online Learning can help people understand what’s different about you.

    It's built badly.

    1. Your site was built with "Microsoft Frontpage" so the code is unworkable.
    2. You use frames-based navigation, which looks cheap and can't be searched.
    3. Pages load slowly—images and code are not optimized—so people leave.
    4. Repeating content is not template-based, so updating takes too long.
    5. Pages don’t link to external style sheets, so redesign is very difficult.

      It's out of your hands.

      1. Your webmaster doesn’t return your e-mails or phone calls.Web design wasn't his day job. He retired and moved to Florida three years ago. Who knew?
      2. You don't have the tools to update the content yourself.

      Recognize these signs? Want to know more? Line up a Site Review today!