Your website sucks, in my opinion, IF…

 
your website sucks, if.
You should know your website sucks, if your customers can’t find your site or they can’t find the information that they are looking for. Sad, but true, there are several business I frequent in my home town (the beautiful Greenville, South Carolina) that I have to type the URL into the address bar in order to find their website. Why even have a website?

Not Search Engine Optimized (SEO) and Listed?
Your customers should not have to search very hard to find your website. If you type your company name into a search engine and you don’t come up (at least) on the first page, you need to smack yourself (or SEO person/company). This is the minimum that SEO should do for your site. Really (depending on the competitive nature of your vertical), you should have multiple targeted keyword strings that you have top results for. Think about what your customers would type in a search engine if they were trying to find your product or service. Type those keywords into Google and see where you are ranked. If it’s not on the first page, again, have a conversation with your SEO team (you don’t need to smack them this time, just a stern talking to). Some keywords are VERY competitive and it can be difficult to get on the first page (usually short-tail keyword strings, one or two words), but long-tail keyword strings should be targeted first anyway.

Can Not Find Information Need?
So now that your customers can find your site, can they easily find the product or information they are looking for? Many studies show that web visitors will only click a few times before they go somewhere else to find what they want. In my opinion, a customer should NEVER be more then two clicks from any page on your site. You can have all the beautiful flashy designs you want, but if your navigation structure is such that customers can get the information they want…see ya! They are off to your competitions site. Make sure that you use a Site Map (good for SEO too), and that your navigation is clear and easy to use.

Why do so many companies not have a good web presence?

I come across it all the time. I here a reference from a colleague or see a reference to a company but when I go to get more information (Google them), I can’t find them on the web. Some times I find their website and it is a static page saying “website coming soon”. Is business really so great for these companies that they don’t feel the need to have a web presence? For some, that’s probably true. They are the best at what they do and make a living on referrals and word of mouth. For ever company in that position, I say “congratulations”. But even for those lucky companies that have all the business they can handle, I still say that you should have an updated web site. I would much prefer to turn business away then the alternative.

 Ok, I break this problem into to broad categories: 1) companies that have bad sites. 2) companies that have no sites.

 What is a bad site?

I will deal with this in more depth in a later post, but for now in sum, if I can’t find the site (you need SEO) or the information I am looking for, you have a bad site. I am a professional IT and web guy, if I can’t find your site or information on your business, you’re in trouble.

You REALLY don’t have a website?

Getting a web presence is easier and cheaper then ever. There really is no excuse for not being on the web. Start with a free blog (wordpress.org) if you have to or better yet hire a web design company. 🙂

BTW, a little side rant “…coming soon!” only works for so long. After a few months you can’t use “soon”. I have seen companies leave that message up for years and I know because of the Way Back Machine tells me.

Email marketing campaigns, stay in touch over the holidays, but be careful.

I manage several email marketing campaigns, some with hundreds of recipients and some with 10’s of thousands. The knee jerk reaction in a down market and over the holidays is to blast away to your list every offer you can think of. The article below presents some interesting information you should consider before doing this.

E-mail is popular this holiday, but marketers should be careful