My first car was a cream Morris 1300. It had a shiny teak dash, twin carburettors that hissed when the gas was on, leather seats and an MG insignia on the grill. Boy did I think I was special. Naturally this all came to a quick and final halt when I took it to have its annual MOT.
Back in England this was the alternative of what we now experience as the WOF here in NZ. I imagine very similar things were being checked over as I sat in the waiting room. And it wasn’t long before a person gave me the terminal news. Things were not good.
We had just come through a bitter winter patch and the salting of the roads had been the final rather soggy and cold straw. Little did I know that the whole subframe of the vehicle was rusted through and it wasn’t even safe enough for me to drive home. The shock must have bit hard and long as my next car was a very sturdy Morris Marina.
Anyway, cars are relatively complex beasts to check over and having a check list that can derive a simple “go” or “no go” is a great example of the power of focus. Naturally, those WOF engineers don’t check everything, just the things that have the most effect on a drivers safety.
So let’s apply this theory to your website. What needs checking to ensure it is ready for the wide open roads of the Internet? Keen to find out how your site fares? Just wheel your site into our virtual garage and let me and my team put it up on the ramps and expect all the dark recesses that have previously lay hidden.
First Stop – Steering and Suspension.
Here we have the direction the website is heading and its ability to manage any bumps and knocks along the way. So before I actually look at any part of your site, I’ll ask for a copy of the plan for the journey ahead. Now this could be included in a section of your marketing plan, or even a separate document that talks just about your website.
It doesn’t need to be a “War and Peace” sized document of mammoth proportions. Just enough to explain a direction and a plan on how to get there. Remember those horrible clichés about how not knowing where you are going ensures you arrive exactly where you thought – nowhere? Same applies with your website.
Answers to questions like these should be somewhere in a document like this. Who do we want to attract to our website? What do we want them to do when they are there? How many do we need to arrive to make this all a success? How will we know when to celebrate that this has occurred? What type of content should the site contain? And finally, what conversion choices you will offer those who visit? Those last two will help you to make some reasonably chunky decisions that are tough to answers if you haven’t produced a plan.
Next Up – Speedometer and Brakes.
How fast are you going and can you stop things when you need to? Somehow you need a way to measure your progress. Website Analytics is the solution here. When I look at the total amount of content that we produce each month (videos, coaching calls, blog posts, newsletters etc), more than 70% of it would focus on this topic. It’s that important.
You will find “speed” in a broad selection of metrics. For instance the amount of visitors arriving and the pages they look over. You can apply your “brakes” when you find traffic sources that produce a lot of traffic but conversely very few conversions.
Fuel – are there leaks along the way.
Google is the fuel of the internet. Yep, it is here that the vast majority of local and international traffic begins its journey. So the amount of “fuel” that your site is receiving is dependent on how it appears within Google.
Now you may choose to take the short path and pay for placement or head down the windy road of content creation for a good organic listing. Or even both. Nevertheless without some concerted effort in this space your fuel will run low and everything will come to a spluttering halt. That, unfortunately, is the power of Google.
Spare Tyres – can it be found – will it work?
And finally we are left with your spare tyre – that being the ability to solve any problems along the way and get back on the road. With this I’m going to add in your trusty AA Card or similar roadside support services (realising that this last point is not checked by your friendly WOF technician).
Anyway, somehow you need someone to help you fix up what’s broken and keep you moving forward. That could be your web developer or if it’s marketing related then a company like ours. These people must quickly find the problem and then work with you to implement a fix whether it’s a lack of ranking within Google, your Analytics software not reporting properly or some suggestions on pages that are receiving a mass of traffic but producing very few conversions. Somehow you need someone to turn to when things need fixing up. Trying to do it all yourself will keep you on the sidelines for too long and leave you missing out on the action that your competitors are receiving.
These four very simple WOF check points can help make your website – Internet Ready. It should take you less than 30 minutes to see how your site rates on each. Go on – roll up your sleeves and see how you rate. You may be surprised what you find lurking in the shadows.