October 31, 2014

Is Your Website Taking A Vacation Before You Do?

For small business owners there is never enough time to get everything done. It’s hard enough to take time for yourself and your family. Yet shouldn’t technology allow you to do more, so that you can take some time off?

laptop beach

Unfortunately, many small business websites are already in vacation mode with content that is out-of-date, nonfunctioning, confusing or ineffective. Your website may be sending out the wrong message to your clients. You must make sure that your website – the primary billboard for your company – is working for you.

How can you get your website on track, so that you may take the well-needed vacation?  Review this simple checklist to see if your website is earning its keep:

1. How much money are you losing because your website doesn’t capture leads?

  • I have an email sign-up system in place
  • I can track who visits my website and I can see where they land and how long they stay
  • I have a blog with a comments function that encourages conversations
  • I have a Facebook Pages link and a Facebook Like button
  • I have links to PayPal or a shopping cart system or links to merchants for online sales
  • I accept credit card payments

2. How up-to-date is your website?

  • I add new content to my website more than once a month
  • I have an easy-to-use Content Management System (CMS) that allows me to update my own content
  • My online events calendar is up-to-date
  • My latest blog post is no more than 6 weeks old

3. Is it easy to find you on the Web?

  • If you search my company it comes up on the first page
  • I have searched my company
  • I have searched my industry and then contacted related services and listings that come up to register my company
  • I have a Facebook link and a Facebook page for my company
  • I use the “Like” feature on my website
  • I have a LinkedIn profile for my company
  • I have a YouTube Channel with videos about my company
  • I have a Twitter handle
  • I have done some basic SEO work on my website, identified keywords and run simple diagnostics

4. Can mobile smart phone users see your website?

  • My website has a mobile view that’s legible
  • I avoid a lot of video and flash on my home page
  • My website is easy to navigate with your finger on a touch-screen

5. Does your website reflect the real you and tell users who you are?

  • I have my contact info on the footer or in an easy-to-find place
  • I have a brief description of my company and what it offers on the home page
  • I have bios and contact info that reflect the real people behind my company, product and services
  • I use large images and distinctive graphics to highlight the services and offerings of my company

An up-to-date website that matches your company’s standards of quality is an important way to be sure that your visual marketing is supporting your mission.

Remember, your website is not just about getting impressions…but making impressions. When you keep your website in working order, you can take some time off and keep your business running 24/7.


Laptop Photo via Shutterstock

6 Comments ▼

David Langton


David Langton David Langton is co-author of Visual Marketing: 99 Proven Ways for Small Businesses to Market with Images and Design (Wiley) and co-founder of Langton Cherubino Group, the award winning design communications firm based in Manhattan.

6 Reactions

  1. So far so good. I guess I can now take a vacation. ;)

  2. Great list. There are a lot of tools that can help automate this process when you hit the road for vacation. My top two recommendations would be to use WordPress as your Content Management System and always schedule your posts to release. Additionally, look at a system like Wufoo for your lead capture. Within Wufoo you can setup different means to handle the lead whether its automating a response, feeding the lead info into a CRM (like Highrise or Salesforce) and automatically adding them to your email software.

  3. Just great information. I agree with you in everything. I’m a graphic and web designer and this is a must list for every single person having a website. Thank you David.

    Percy Ordonez
    Miami

  4. Thanks! I’d like to take some time off too, so we wrote these tips to get us ready.

  5. Interesting. When we have a business website especially one with shopping cart, the website is selling 24/7. All the checklist above is a must. With increasing number of mobile users now, even buyers visit and make purchases while on vacation :)

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