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Is Your Web Site Effective?

Online Gambler Tuesday, August 7, 2007 ,
How effective is your web site? Does it really help bring in business? How can you tell if it’s time for a web site clean-up, tune-up, or makeover?

Well, you can start by doing a little do-it-yourself web site analysis. First, take an honest look at your web site. Is the information outdated? Have you added anything new to give visitors a reason to come back? Are all the links still working?

Your web site is the face of your business, and the impression it gives to your visitors matters very much. You may have already lost customers due to poor usability, awkward design, unclear navigaiton, or outdated information.

When analyzing your web site, consider questions such as:

Is your web site purpose-built? At Five Sparrows, we talk a lot about purpose-built sites, and that’s where we start when developing new web projects for our clients. You really must know and understand the purpose of your web site before you create it. Make sure you are clear about your ultimate goals.

Is the information useful to a visitor? One of the mistakes small businesses often make is to put every piece of company information they have up on their web site. Do your visitors really need to know your staff vacation schedule? If it doesn’t contribute to the site’s purpose, don’t publish it.

What is the message you're communicating? Broken links, old information, non-functioning web forms, or missing images communicate the wrong message to your visitors. Make sure your site is a positive reflection on your business, and that it communicates competence and professionalism.

Does your web site look good? Studies show that visitors take less than seven seconds to decide if they are interested in your site, and much of that decision is based on the site’s visual appeal. Of course your site should provide functional page layout and navigation, but the design elements should also be appealing and purposeful. The site design should match your existing corporate branding, yet enhance your distinctive “look” and business personality.

If you have been honest with yourself in analyzing your web site, you should have a pretty good idea about whether you have a successful web site, or one that isn’t performing as well as it should. An effective web site is an invaluable business tool, so make sure your site is ready to work for you.
About The Author
Lauren Hobson is the Editor of Biz Talk Newsletter and the Five Sparrows Marketing Blog. These are free resources that provide tips and techniques to small businesses, helping them make the most of their web sites and marketing without spending a lot of money. Read the most recent Five Sparrows articles at on websites and marketing or subscribe to Biz Talk at Copyright 2007 Five Sparrows, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


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