We are mere days away from the scariest day of the year. No ladies, not the start of swimsuit season, of course, Halloween. It’s the night of ghosts, witches, and teenage boys that will jump out of the bushes as my daughter approaches the house to trick-or-treat.

As Back To You Marketing works with small businesses and destination marketing organizations, we are often frightened when we view or talk about their websites. The websites or the conversation can get quite scary – often scarier than my daughter returning with no Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups!

person-looking-at-scary-website

Use this list to determine how scary your website is on our jack-o-lantern scale…

jack-o-lanterns-5 No website at all. Nearly half of small businesses do not have a website. That’s Casper friendly to us who build websites. To a small business, that’s head-turning Exorcist scary!

A website today is what a phone number was in the 60s and 70s. People searched in a phone book for a bakery. If you didn’t have a phone number, you didn’t appear in the phone book (search.) Today, people search the web for that bakery. If you don’t have a website, outside of Google places, you have little chance to be found. Get a website. They’re not that expensive. You will see a return on your investment!

jack-o-lanterns-4 Your website is not mobile friendly. Nearly 60% of those searches for a bakery is done on a mobile device. If a potential customer visits your store and the experience is not pleasant – staff is not friendly, items are hard to find, signage and prices are hard to read – that visitor is going to quickly leave and search for another store.

The same applies to your website. If the experience is not pleasant – not mobile-friendly, pages and links hard to find, text and menu bar hard to read – that visitor is going to quickly back out of that site and go to the next website in search.

You only get one chance to make a first impression. If your website’s first impression mobile-friendly?

jack-o-lanterns-3 Your website doesn’t have the basic, key elements that we strongly suggest. We coach that each website should have 11 key elements to it. The first is, of course, it must be mobile-friendly (or built in responsive design.) The other 10 are:

  1. Clearly Visible Contact Information
  2. Contact Form(s)
  3. About Us Page
  4. Testimonials
  5. Engaging Video
  6. Professional, Polished Logo
  7. Social Media Icons
  8. User-friendly Functionality – Simple Navigation Menu
  9. Way to Capture Visitor Information
  10. Call To Action on Every Page

jack-o-lanterns-2 Your website is scary in that it hasn’t been update in a few years. A website is never done. Googlebots are always crawling. In English, Google, Bing and Yahoo’s computers are always visiting websites looking for new content. If those bots or spiders find new, relevant information on a site, they report back and your site rises in search. If the content is old and hasn’t been updated in months or years, your site falls in search. Re-write the Home page. Re-word the About Us page. Start a blog. Replace pictures. The older witches get, the scarier they look. The older your content, the scarier the site looks.

jack-o-lanterns-1 Your site has a counter. Okay, this may be a tad tongue-in-cheek, but I am still amazed at how many website counters I see on websites. website-countersThey were the rage in the dawn of websites. Everyone could see just how popular the site was. Today, that’s what Google Analytics is for. Sure, the public isn’t going to see the numbers go up, but you won’t be embarrassed if your top customer is the only on visiting the site and increasing the counter.

Leave the scary to Michael Meyers, Freddie and Chucky. With a little work, your website can be as friendly as, well, Santa. We are within two months of Christmas!

Thanks for reading.

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