At every networking or marketing event I attend, I hear the same thing from female business owners – “I just don’t know what my website needs, or if I’m doing things right. Do you think I should be blogging??” The answer to that last question is YES, but I could write a whole post about that! One of the things I've learned is most challenging to businesswomen is simply keeping up with a website, and knowing what makes your site user friendly. If you don't have the money to hire a professional, you're not alone, and you don't need to freak out.
There are a variety of ways to make sure your website is up to date and user friendly, so I recently put together a quick check list for small biz owners. It will only take you 10 minutes, so whether you’re scrolling on your phone or sitting at your desktop computer, pull up your website and get ready to take some notes! My goal is to help solopreneurs and small business owners learn what makes a great website so whether you have a budget for a complete redesign or you’re hoping to DIY, you know how to do it right.
INSPIRE Business Community is a great place to make the connections you need to further your business or find the perfect branding consultant, marketing expert, or web designer like myself. If you’ve been looking for a local network of women to connect with when it comes to business, click here for more information about our upcoming workshops, mastermind groups and the new coworking space at 226 N. Arch Street in downtown Lancaster.
Your 10 Minute Website Checklist
Does your homepage include your logo, a prominent call to action and easy to find contact info? Does your site have a mobile friendly header/footer and a click to call button (or "contact us") feature at the top?
Is your site well organized? Is it easy to find your services or pricing? Rule of thumb – your site navigation should not display more than 8 pages across the top. Your subpages should be organized under the pages people will most likely search for them.
Does your site show and tell users exactly what you do, or the services you offer? Think about the pictures on your site, the colors and the fonts… What kind of feeling do they convey? Is your look professional, creative, serious, light hearted etc? Be sure to list your services in a simple way so that website users know exactly what you offer (and don't offer).
Is it easy for people to contact you or find you on social media? The most common reason people search for a website is to get your contact info, check prices, or view your portfolio.
Does your site offer useful content or features for people interested in your product or services? For example, a blog, a FAQ page, a “what to expect” page etc. If you're not giving people a reason to stay on your site, I can guarantee they're going elsewhere for the information you could be providing them!
If you are the face of your business, do you have photos on your site to show that? If you've got a meeting with a potential customer or client, you can bet they're stalking your site to learn more about you!
Similarly, if your business has a local storefront, are there photos of your store/boutique/office? Again, if people are planning to meet you or come to your store but they've never been there before, give them a preview so they know what to look for. This is also a great way to show off your beautiful space! If you're the face of your business, invest in personal branding. Photos, marketing materials etc. People want to get to know YOU.
If you've completed this checklist you're off to a great start! Still working on your site? Make sure if you're using a template it has these features or allows you to customize things. Web design can be difficult if you're not a visual person so don't hesitate to ask a friend or colleague to review your site and provide some honest feedback. In fact, have someone in a different industry look at your site and ask them the following questions:
Can you tell what I do or what services my business offers?
Could you contact me easily from my website?
Can you tell who my target audience is based on my fonts/colors/photos?
Does my site feel safe? Would you feel secure providing CC info to make a purchase? (If your site is slow to load, dated or disorganized, this can make users question how safe it is!)
If someone from a different business/industry can answer yes to all of these questions, then your site is user friendly! Now, I hope this hasn’t taken you more than 10 minutes, but if you have a growing list of changes to make that’s okay. Change is good and making small updates to your existing website can go a long way. For more info or to get connected with other local businesswomen, checkout all of the upcoming INSPIRE events, here. Hope to see you at a workshop soon!