It seems that it doesn’t matter whether we're out speaking to a group or attending a social event, invariably the conversation will turn to a discussion, opinion, or questions about websites.
Here’s the top 3 most frequently asked questions that we hear:
1: What basic information must be on my website?
A homepage: at a glance, visitors to your website should know who you are, and what you’re about, and why they should continue to explore the rest of your website.
Service/product pages: helpful details around the services and products that you offer. If you can also answer the “why should I hire or buy from you” question – even better.
Contact us page: contact information should be clear and easy to find so that visitors to your website can either pick up the phone, or send you an email to get in touch with you.
About us page: visitors to your website want to know who they’ll be interacting with. I’m a big fan of pictures of your team because, well … people want to see who they’ll be interacting with.
2: Beyond the basics, what else can I be including on my website to bring more visitors and customers to my website?
A blog is a great way to create content on an ongoing basis, and to converse with your customers and prospects.
Add RSS subscriptions, which allows some content from your website to be automatically pushed out to other websites and people, increasing the number of people that see your website content.
Social media sharing buttons/links to all your pages. This just makes it convenient to drive people to your other forms of communications, and to drive people to your website through your social media channels. Plus, it’s a great way to keep content fresh on your website.
3: What numbers/data should I be looking at to tell if my website is performing?
Visits: this measures each visit to your website. A visit counts all visitors, no matter how many times the same visitor goes to your site.
Unique Visits: which visitors are coming to your site for the first time.
Page Views: (can also be called an impression) when a visitor is searching around on your website pages. (Note: each individual page a visitor views is tracked as a page view).
Hits: This refers to the number of files downloaded on your site; for example: photos, graphics, etc. Each photo is a file (and counts as a hit) just like each button that is hit on your page is a file (and counts as a hit).
Traffic sources: how visitors are finding your website. There are several different sources:
Direct navigation (where someone directly types in your website URL – always my favorite because it means that visitors already know and are familiar with you)
Referral traffic (where someone comes to your website from social media or from links across the web)
Organic search (when someone comes to your website because they’ve done a search with some keywords or phrases on Google or some other search engine)
Pay Per Click ads (when someone clicks on some digital advertising or where you’ve paid for some keywords to pop up when people type them in a search).
Bottom line: Even if you aren’t sure what all of these data points mean, track them every month. The goal is to increase (get more) than the month before. “How” to increase them is the subject of a whole other blog post!