Have you ever eaten in a bad restaurant? Sure, you have. But most people have never eaten in a restaurant that looked bad (unless that was the way it was designed). They don’t make it that far.

Last time we used the restaurant analogy to talk about the fact that generating a lot of website traffic is only a third of the battle. Keeping with the analogy, today we want to discuss what the inside of the restaurant is like.

As I review home improvement websites, one unfortunate thing that I see includes going from one extreme to another. Such as:

  • They haven’t been updated since the 1990s; or
  • Were designed by someone who can make a beautiful site, but has no clue what marketing is all about.

The problems with each of those scenarios include:

  • A site that hasn’t been updated sends a negative message and most folks won’t go any farther; or
  • A pretty website that doesn’t make marketing a priority makes finalizing a decision on the next step unclear for visitors.

Lest we forget how important this is, remember that 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, and in this COVID-19 environment, online research is something people have a lot of time for.

Here’s how you know it’s time to deal with the first issue:

  • Your site is out of date – Even if you’ve had a redesign in the past five years, design trends change pretty quickly. Today, it’s often the first real impression that a potential customer has about your business. Like it or not, humans are visual creatures and we do judge things and make decisions based on appearance. Treat your web presence as the valuable asset that it is;
  • Your site’s not easy to use – The days of listing seven or eight menu pages in the header of your site are gone. People need to understand what information you have and must be able to get to it quickly and intuitively;
  • Your site’s not responsive – For most local home improvement websites, well over 60% of your traffic will come from smartphones and tablets. Most of us have experienced pulling something up on our phone that’s too small to read, having to do the “pinch and spread,” and only being able to view a small bit of content at a time. If a potential customer finds that on your site, how long do you think they’ll stay; and
  • Your site has no reviews or testimonials – Do I have to say any more about this?

So, maybe you’ve recognized that it’s time to redesign your website. Now it’s time to deal with the second issue … pretty or performing? Next time we’ll dive into this topic.

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