10 Step Website Self-Check

What makes a website great? What makes a website terrible? The quality and effectiveness of a website really comes down to ten main elements. All of these ten elements are pretty simple, but due to the wide variety of options in each category, sometime people make websites overly complicated or confusing, or maybe on the other side of things, they make it boring and dull.

Fear no more. We have broken down these ten elements for you a created a 10 Step Self-Check Test for you to use to rate your website. What do you think your score will be.

  • If you have 2 or less elements, your website is an F.
  • If you have 2-5 elements, your website is average and is a C.
  • If you have 5-8 elements, your website is pretty good and receives a B.
  • If you have 9 or 10 elements, your website is fantastic and is an A.

Good luck! Here is our 10 Step Self-Check Test:

  1. Home Page: Your homepage is your front door, your welcome mat, your first impression, and your first impression is one of the most important. It sets the tone. While this may sound silly, think about the way you feel when you open your home page. Does your homepage leave your audience with the right feeling?
  2. Design: The way you set up and design your website will make a big impact on the experience your user has. The most important design element about a website is if it is functional. Can your user find everything they need to find easily? Does the layout make sense for the purpose?
  3. Timeliness: This is simple. Is the website being updated? Look at the last social media post and see if it was in the last week or two. Are you regularly posting new content? At the very least, is all the information correct and up to date.
  4. Searchability: Most people come to websites with a purpose, not just to look around. The search bar needs to be somewhere easy to find so that people can use it. Your menu also must make sense and clearly direct your audience to information through helpful categories or whatever is best for your purpose.
  5. Branding: Does your website stay true to your brand? Is your logo thoroughly incorporated through the website? The easiest thing to forget is to maintain your brand on every section of your website. Your logo should be the same across sections and social media platforms. The colors and theme of your website should go not only with what you are trying to convey, but also you brand.
  6. Credibility: A section of your website need to be devoted to showing that you are a legitimate and serious website. For a company, this would mean including you mission statement, certifications, a portfolio of your work or services, and other additional resources to build credibility. Often people like to showcase their employees and give background on the company’s purpose and founding. All of these benefit the credibility of your site which is an ever increasing problem online.
  7. Headlines: Your headlines are important. They bring your audience into what you are trying to tell them. Whether it is a blog post, a news blurb, or a helpful tip, creative and engaging headlines make the difference between people clicking to read and just passing over it. Do you have thoughtful engaging headlines?
  8. Social Media: In the world we live in, most websites will also have corresponding social media accounts, even if it is just a Facebook page or a LinkedIn account. Optimally, a website will add as many social media accounts as makes sense for them. Whether or not they are incorporated into the website well is usually the problem. What is the point of having them is they don’t work together with you website. Plus, the most important thing is that you add as many as you can keep updated.
  9. Audience: Remember who your target audience is. If you are trying to sell children’s toys, make the website more user friendly for a younger audience. Make it a fun, colorful, exciting experience. If you are a dentist, you may not need as much color and fun, but you will need to appear professional with a clean website that is easy to use.
  10. Overall: At the end of all of this, it is the combination of these nine other areas that leave an overall impression. When your user leaves the website, they will leave with either a good overall feeling of being satisfied or a bad overall feeling. The big question is which does your website give? Does it leave your audience satisfied and do you believe they can find and enjoy finding what they need to on your website?

The Secret To Boosting Your Organic Reach On Facebook

Facebook has become a top social media platform. With 1.71 billion monthly active users, Facebook’s potential for advertisers is endless. Because of Facebook’s popularity, it has also become a big advertising platforms. Brands have seen great success using Facebook. For example, when Wendy’s launched a new burger, their Facebook campaign resulted in 1.7 million total engagements and their page attracted more than 50,000 new Facebook fans.

Facebook Ads give businesses a completely customizable platform that allows ads to be promoted to users across the globe. Although this feature is a great advertising tool, your small business doesn’t want to pay to reach an audience every time you post an ad on Facebook. Your marketing budget would be spent on just Facebook alone! We are here today to give you a few tips on how you can reach more people on Facebook without using paid advertising.

To understand how you can reach a wider audience on Facebook, you must first understand how Facebook shows your ad to people. On Facebook, you can promote a paid ad, or you can promote an ad organically. We will be covering organic ads in this blog post. Organic reach refers to how many people you can reach for free just from posting on your business’ page. Organic reach sounds great, right? Reaching an audience without paying a penny! However, the plethora of content on Facebook has resulted in a decline of organic reach. Because an average of 1,500 posts compete for attention in a user’s news Feed, the organic reach has decreased from 16% of followers to just over 2%. Facebook asserts that there are two major reasons for this decline in organic reach. The first is the sheer volume of content competing for a user’s attention. There is more content on the social site than people can absorb. Therefore, only a limited number of posts are actually seen by users. The second reason for organic reach decline is Facebook’s algorithm. Facebook tries to ensure only the most relevant, high quality content makes it into users’ News Feeds. The algorithm assess thousands of factors to determine which posts are News Feed-worthy and displays only around 300 of the 1,500 choices at any given time.

So how does your business perform well with such a wealth of content on Facebook? Our number one tip on making your content valuable is to post quality content. Post content that your audience will find valuable – something that will make them think, provide information, provide entertainment, etc. Another helpful tip is to add business objectives to your Facebook page, such as increasing brand awareness or driving traffic to your website. In addition, you can see when most of your audience members are online and post during those prime times. In addition to the time you post, another important factor is how often you post. There is no magic number of posts that is optimal for Facebook, but rather this number depends on your brand and your users. You will need to determine the correct posting frequency for your specific campaign. Post too often and you may annoy fans; post too scarcely and your fans may forget about it. It is important to find that perfect number of postings that is right for your specific page and audience.

We hope these tips will help you get the most out of your organic reach on Facebook. If you need additional assistance figuring out how to better optimize you Facebook posts, contact us today!

How To Decipher Your Google Analytics Reports

When you first see a Google Analytics report, you may be a little overwhelmed. What do all of these charts, numbers, and graphs mean? Google Analytics requires a bit more in-depth analysis than using Facebook or Twitter ads, for example.

Google analytics tracks and reports website traffic. It seems easy enough, but with so many customizable options and various reports it can be confusing. In this blog post, we will break down Google Analytics into an easy to follow how-to guide. We will start by defining digital analytics. Digital analytics is the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from your business and competition to drive continual improvement of the online experience for visitors to your website.

The analytics can measure macro conversions and micro conversions. Macro conversions are very important to your business and drive the revenue. For example, if your business goal is to sell a product, a macro conversion would be if someone purchased the product from your website. Micro conversions are also important, but not the driving forces of your business. These help customers move towards macro conversions. If a customer signed up to receive email coupons for your product, this would be considered a micro conversion.

A few other important terms Google Analytics uses are segmentation and context. Segmentation allows you to isolate and analyze subsets of your data. Some subsets Google Analytics offer include traffic sources, date and time, device, marketing channel, geography, and customer characteristics. This helps you isolate certain factors to see who is coming to your website and how they are getting there. Another term is context, which simply means what standard of comparison are you using. You can compare your Google Analytics reports externally to the industry standard or compare them internally to your site’s history.

Google Analytics recommends five steps of measurement planning.

1. Document your business objectives

2. Identify strategies and tactics

3. KPI’s (key performance indicators)

4. Choose segments

5. Choose targets

Google Analytics allows you to set certain goals for your website, including destination, duration, pages per visit, and event. We will go over what each of these means in more detail.

  • Destination: This means you want your visitors to reach a certain page. If your goal is to sell a product, that page would be an order confirmation page. If your goal is to get visitors to sign up for an e-newsletter, that page would be the “Thank You” page they are taken to after entering their email address.
  • Duration: This allows you to set a time goal that you want visitors to remain on your page. If you have an informative website where you want visitors to read your page in detail, this may be the appropriate goal for you.
  • Pages Per Visit: This means you can set a goal of how many pages you want each visitor to view while on your website.
  • Event: This means visitors did something on your website. For example, an event goal would be getting visitors to play a video or click on a link.

There are three main types of reports offered on Google Analytics – audience reports, acquisition reports, and behavior reports.

  • Audience Report: reveals characteristics about users
    • Helps you better understand user behavior
    • Gives you access to geographic data
    • Allows you to view mobile data to your site
  • Acquisition Report: compares the marketing channels
    • Lets you understand the different traffic sources to your site
    • Helps you find and analyze your marketing campaigns
  • Behavior Report: reveals how users interact with your website
    • Helps identify popular content on your site
    • Analyzes how visitors move through your site
    • Analyzes site search data

In conclusion, using analytics will allow you to understand and connect with your current clients. This will help you to identify the best marketing strategies to reach new customers and retain existing ones. By knowing where your audience comes from and what they like, you can create content personalized for your target audience. The continual use of analytics provides constant improvement of the online experience and acquisition of new clients.