Online health checks – do you do any?
Last month my car hit the grand old age of 3! No birthday party, instead it had to go through a health check (MOT) to ensure it is road worthy. I hadn’t really look at what checks were made, so I decided to see what they did. As a result, it made me think about my own online health checks, and how similar they are.
If you look what’s covered in a MOT it does help focus what you should be doing for your own marketing health check.
There are 5 main areas that are covered in a MOT:
- Security – is this the car registered correctly. I.e. does the vehicle match the VIN number and registration plate? Does the door shut firmly?
- Performance – fuel system and emissions – does it have a fuel leak or produce too high pollutants?
- Structure – does the car have excessive corrosion or damage in specific areas of the vehicle?
- Visibility – can you see clearly through the window? Any cracks or chips? Do the windscreen wipers work?
- Direction – does the car move in the right direction? Steering and suspension.
When you translate this to you online marketing you can find some powerful tests you can run to see if your online health is in good order.
Why should you do online health checks?
In today’s fast, on demand and “I need it now” world, if your online marketing doesn’t meet the needs of the visitor, lead or customer, you will lose them.
Validating your online marketing is working, is vital. Just like a car, if your breaks don’t have thick enough pads in them, you could crash! In marketing, if your message doesn’t give the right opportunity, the campaign can crash.
In this article, I am going to look at one health check you can do now, it doesn’t take much to do but could stop any traffic driven to it bouncing off to another website or landing page.
Let’s take these 5 areas and ask a few questions.
Security Health Check on your website.
Very simple check to do here – does it have an SSL certificate? Yes/No.
If your visitor comes to your site, they will often or not use a browser such as Chrome, Safari, IE or Firefox to view it.
As of 24th July 2018, Googles Chrome browser now displays whether the website is secure. It will look something like this.
You need this certificate to show visitors then can trust you to secure any of their data. If you want to read more about this click here.
Performance – check your website load performance
Ever sat there waiting for a website to load and decided to press the back button? The average recommended load speed for most sites is 3seconds.
Many websites just don’t hit this average for instance, the auto industry in the UK is 12 seconds, retail 10 and Finance 8 seconds.
What you need to do is check what yours is and see if you can get as close to 3 as possible.
Action: To check your online performance, there are several sites you can use that will give you a lot of information about the page.
I recommend using Webpagetest because you can choose not only the location (choose close to you as possible), but also using different devices and browsers.
Mine by the way is currently at 6.43secs – not great but when I first did this it was 15 seconds – ouch! How many visitors did I lose because they couldn’t wait?
Structure – how old is the content your website?
The content of your website is your shop front window.
- How old is your content?
- How old is the design of your website?
- Does it still hang together?
- Can people find what they are looking for?
- Does it look like it’s from the 1990’s or are you in the 2018’s?
Visitors want a quick site to navigate and is a beautiful and well-structured page layout.
Action: Do a survey as an exit pop-up to ask why they left or what they think of the site. As your networking friends to give feedback.
Visibility – do the search engines know we are here?
As you will be aware, people use the search engines to find out solutions to their problems.
They type in keywords and phrases they want answers to.
To serve up the answers to these requests, the Search Engines search their data banks for the most relevant information. These results are based on factors such as: location, relevancy, age and many other algorithms to see how to use these incognito/private windows
To get this bank of knowledge, they run bots across all websites to capture information about you! Hence there is a whole industry dedicated to making your site visible to them, in order for you appear in their lists – Search Engine Optimisation!
There are various apps and companies out there that can help make your website as visible as is possible However, I would do a quick test to see where I people find me for the key words I want to rank for.
Action: Open an incognito (Chrome), private (Safari) or (Firefox) window. Then type in the keyword you are looking for. Where are you in the list? Page 1 or page 10 – people rarely look at sites after page one!
Don’t use your normal browser window as your keywords may already be cached there and it could give a false reading to you. To see how to enter a incognito/private windows heres a video to show you how – Click Here.
Direction – where do you want to take the visitor?
Marketing is about getting visitors to where you are and what you offer (i.e. traffic). Then it’s about catching their attention, gaining their trust and asking them to act (lead generation).
Many websites just act as a brochure – showing off what they do. They are often geared mainly to warm leads (yes – not cold) and as a result get little interaction from a visitor.
Ideally you want them to take them down a journey from visitor to prospect to lead to customer. What is your plan to do that if they land on your website?
Do you have a lead magnet? Do you have videos to help explain how to solve their problems? Are you offering a new opportunity?
Just as you put your car through a MOT to check its road worthy, you should do your own online health checks.
In this blog, we have looked at a very simple website checks as part of a regular online health checks series you can do. All to ensure you are not condemning all that hard work to the scrap heap.
There are many other online health checks you can do, such as social media, marketing campaigns etc. If you would like to discuss how to go about these checks feel free to contact us.