Web Site Evaluation and Critique
Your Website has three jobs to do. Two of them are well known, it is the third that is least known and most important. The jobs are:
- It must be a bona fide business tool that represents your best interests. It must be written to be a superb business tool. It absolutely must meet customer needs, be instantly understood, must be easy to navigate and allow your customers to easily get where they want to go. Your customers must never be allowed to get lost on your site. Unless your Website discharges competently your business needs it is a waste of time, effort and money and hurts you business-wise.
- It must be written for machines. This is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Your site's SEO determines where your site falls in a search for what it is optimized for.
- And, it needs to exclude - yes that's right - exclude those people who can't do business with you. Usually, but not always, this is because they can't afford you. But, this can be because your site does not adequately tell readers where you're located. For example: a pizza shop in Hartford, Connecticut can't service calls from a pizza shop in Hartford, Illinois.
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Your 29 Point Website Inspection
- Does every major page of your site tell the reader what you can do for them?
- Does your Web site include a media page with media releases?
- Does your Web site's Contact Us page provide your phone, fax, and E-mail for sales, customer service, and other pertinent departments? Or just a form to be filled out?
- Does your Web site have this years date in the copyright notice?
- Do you have out-of-date material on your site?
- Do you have a picture of yourself on the main page?
- Is your company name here?
- Is your location important? Do you show it?
- How do you get business? By phone? Is your phone number there?
Search Engine Optimization
- Is your title tag working for you or against you?
- Are your keywords appropriate for your needs?
- Are your keywords too competitive to do you any good?
- Are there less competitive keywords that will perform for you?
- Are your keywords in your content?
- Are your META Tags current, proper, and pertinent?
- Are your graphics optimized?
- What is your content saying to search engines?
- Is your Web site's navigation consistent across the entire site?
- Do your links take the reader where they say they do?
- Are your links titled so the reader can instantly know where they lead?
- Is your content interesting?
- How many words per sentence are there?
- How many sentences per paragraph?
- Do you use white space to make your content look inviting and easy to read?
- Is your content written at an eighth grade level?
- Is it written to show readers what you can do for them?
What are you offering readers?
- Do you offer free content in the form of White Papers, games, a scavenger hunt?
- Do you link to your website to your social networking campaign, and your social networking campaign to your website?