The Internet is now the main way people search for businesses. So if your website isn’t performing, you could be turning away customers.
Sure, your website may look attractive enough. And you don’t have any dead links or cheesy under-construction animations. But is your website really doing its job? Or is it hopelessly out of date? Here are six easy ways to tell if it’s time for a redo.
1. Your website hasn’t been updated in years
Considering how quickly Web technology advances, a website that’s only five years old is very likely out of date — especially if the content hasn’t been updated significantly during that time.
2. Pages take too long to load
If it takes more than a second or two, you’re turning potential patients away. Just how important is speed? According to this Google’s whitepaper, less than a half-second delay decreased their traffic 20%. In fact, speed is so important to Google that they penalize slow pages in their search results.
3. Images instead of text
If you want your website to be found, search engines have to be able to “read” your content. Amazingly, many web designers make the mistake of formatting critical content (address, hours, practice name) as graphics, not text. Here’s how you can tell the difference. Text can be highlighted with your cursor. Pictures can’t.
4. Stock photo people
When you go to many business websites, generic stock-photo people are the first thing you see. But studies have shown that people ignore generic photos, presumably because people can subconsciously differentiate between “real people” and professional models. It’s much better to show pictures of your real office and real staff members. Just be sure to hire a real photographer to take the shots.
5. Smart phones denied
Considering the rising share of mobile web traffic, you could be excluding more than 8% of your customer base if you don’t have a website that’s iOS-friendly. Many websites are built using Flash, a technology that’s not supported on Apple’s iOS operating system for iPhones and iPads and probably never will be. In other cases, non-Flash websites can be seen but are difficult to navigate using mobile devices.
6. Poor search engine optimization
It comes down to this: Search engines have to recognize your website pages as a good match for their users’ web searches. How do you know if your website is optimized? Think about the search keywords a potential patient might use to find your practice (eg: “sports medicine” or “pediatrician.”) If your website doesn’t show up on the first page of search results, it would likely benefit from some fine-tuning.