If you’re a small business owner or an entrepreneur, you want to leave a good first impression. That’s because your website will be the first point of contact for many potential customers. A recent study found that nearly 2 billion people purchased goods or services online in 2019. That year, e-retail sales raked in over $3.5 trillion worldwide.
Even if you don’t sell online, you’ll want an up-to-date website that leaves newcomers with a good impression of your product. That means you’ll want a shiny site that’s well-constructed and easy to navigate. If you’re having trouble telling whether your website is ideal, we found five signs that should act as red flags.
If any of these apply to your website, it’s time to overhaul your interface. This is vital for anyone who owns a business. Let’s jump into the signs you need to look for, sponsored by Dell.
1. Google can’t find you because you’re missing critical elements
Have you heard of a robots.txt file? This file tells search engine crawlers which pages or files the crawler can or can’t request from your site. In layman’s terms: This is what helps search engines find and catalog your website. Without it, your site won’t turn up when your potential customers do a search. Here’s a guide from Google on getting started and example files.
You also need an XML sitemap in place. This is a list of all your pages and serves as a roadmap for search engines once they land on your website. Here’s a handy guide on how to create this and how to submit it to Google.
2. It’s not mobile-friendly or responsive
The most successful websites are easy for people to navigate on the go. That’s because mobile phones account for half of all web traffic around the world, according to Statista. Thus, if your website is tough to access on mobile, you’re losing out on an enormous chunk of cash.
Here’s what we mean by a site not being mobile-friendly. Your website may require users to zoom or pinch just to read the text. That’s frustrating for people who want a quick solution.
If your interface isn’t easy as pie for them to read and browse through, they’ll click out of your site. They might swarm towards a competitor with a more readable website. In the U.S., 94% of people with smartphones prefer to search for local information on their phones.
Bottom line: Mobile accessibility is critical to your business. Before you put a lot of resources into worrying about making your website mobile-friendly, try out Google’s free Mobile-Friendly Test. All you have to do is type in your URL.
This handy tool quickly tells you whether or not your website is easy for mobile users to browse. You’ll also see a screenshot of how the page looks on a smartphone screen.
Having trouble updating your website? Here are some Google tips for making your site perfect for mobile users.
3. The content is old
As Bill Gates said back in 1996, “Content is king.” You always need to be churning out new content to get your site to the search engines’ top. It all comes down to search engine optimization, or SEO, driving traffic to your website.
To attract new customers, you need to create new pages, like blogs or announcements. This stuffs your site with critical keywords people are searching for … which means more eyeballs on your product and, hopefully, more dollars in your pocket.
Plus, adding new content keeps your audience up-to-date. If you haven’t updated it in a while, you may be misleading visitors. Change is constant in the business world — things are probably different now than a few years ago, so you should change your site to reflect that.
Speaking of which, fresh content builds a relationship between you and your audience. It also attracts new visitors, especially if you have an eye-catching interface and colorful content writing. This attracts people who may not have wanted your product before, which means you can convert those fresh faces into cashflow.
4. It takes forever to load
Back in the days of dial-up internet, most pages took about eight seconds to load. That’s far too long for modern consumers, who will click off if anything eats up too much of their time. If your website’s loading speed is slower than a snail crawling up an icicle, your bottom line will suffer.
One free tool you can use is GTmetrix. Just enter your URL and you’ll see how long your website takes to load.
This helpful test reveals your web’s “vitals,” as well as speed visualization. It identifies the top issues stopping you from reaching high speeds. GTmetrix even helps you pinpoint problem areas, so you know what to improve.
Ideally, you’ll want it to load within three seconds — or even two seconds if you’re selling products online. That’s because the sweet two-to-three second mark is the sweet spot. Slower load times repel around 40% of consumers, according to Akamai research.
5. The design is cluttered and hard to navigate
You can have the best web product in the world, but if your website is cluttered, people won’t give you a chance. Since your site is like a digital storefront, you want people to be impressed by your presentation. Unfortunately, a cluttered design may deter potential partners.
Many people will leave websites with unappealing layouts. Research from Blue Corona found that 48% of users judge a website’s credibility on its design. Since you have less than a minute to make a good first impression, a poor design will work against you.
Of course, when you’ve designed a website from the ground up, it’s hard to look at it objectively. You may be so proud of your work that you could miss how it might appear to unbiased observers.
Make sure your pages don’t have too much text — you want a good balance of white space so people can rest their eyes. Otherwise, they’ll be so visually bombarded by text that they can’t focus on your products. A design overhaul can make a world of difference.
Don’t forget to make it easy for your potential customers to get in touch. Some customers may have critical questions that need to be answered before hitting the “Buy” button. They may also want to get a better idea of your brand, which is why you should include social media links and contact information.
As a rule of thumb, you should have a contact form embedded into your website. That’s much better than just displaying your email address, which attracts a ton of spam.
Need help outfitting your business? Dell can help
To get your website up to speed, you need the right tools. We rely on Dell for the computers and servers that keep Komando.com running and you can, too. Did you know you can get help choosing the right tech for free? That’s right. You can get smart advice from the pros, with no obligation to buy.
Call a Dell Technologies Advisor to help you find the right tech for your business needs at 877-ASK-DELL or Dell.com.