Here at Website Mojo we recently conducted an informal website performance study for the members of the Marble Falls Chamber of Commerce. We reviewed 567 member websites as listed in the 2013 Chamber of Commerce Community Guide & Membership Directory.
One of the surprising results is that, in addition to the 567 websites reviewed, there were an additional 141 businesses listed as members that didn’t have a website or the website listed wasn’t online. We did not include member categories like Friends of the Chamber and certain non-profit and civic organizations.
Our main goal with this website study was to help the local small business owner in the Marble Falls area identify areas of their websites they could improve in order to meet not only what the public is expecting but what Google, Bing and the other search engines are expecting as well.
Another study released recently by comScore, Neustar Localeze and agency 15 Miles showed that 78 Percent of Local-Mobile Searches Result in Offline Purchases.
We selected the areas below to review for three reasons:
- Most of them can be fixed by the small business owner or their website maintenance company in very little time and without a huge expense. The only one here that can be a little tricky is making your website mobile-responsive. You may need to hire a website development professional to help you with that.
- Every single one of these areas can greatly improve the user experience. Many times your website is your first contact with potential clients. Finding it easy to get around and easy to contact you bridges a huge gap and sets you apart from your competition. And that means more money in your till.
- Not only will these changes improve your user experience, they are also great ways to improve your chances of showing up high in local search when someone searches for your products and services.
Below are the five areas we looked at and why.
1. Is the Website Mobile Responsive?
Your visitor must be able to read your site on their smartphone or tablet without having to pinch and scroll side-to-side to see it all. That’s really annoying. Taking the steps to create a comfortable user experience says you care about your customers.
And further, if people can’t read your site easily they will just bounce right back to the search results and pick the next site on the list. That is, if they got to your site from search at all.
Google has said that if your site is not optimized for mobile visitors it may not show up in mobile search. Their recommendation is that your site should be mobile-responsive.
Mobile-responsive means the site automatically resizes and rearranges the text and images on your site so that they are easy to read depending on the device that is being used to view it.
There are a couple of ways you can upgrade your site to a mobile-responsive website but we’ll have to share that with you in an upcoming blog post.
We found that less than 5% of the sites we reviewed were mobile-responsive.
2. Is there a prominent phone number?
Your visitors need to be able to call you easily. Ideally they should be able to tap on the number on their phone and it launch a call. That’s what they have come to expect.
We found that just over 65% of the sites we reviewed did not have a phone number prominently listed on the home page.
3. Is the company name, address and phone (NAP) listed?
The way search works, any page of your website could be the first page a visitor sees. Don’t make them search for your contact information.
Having your name, address and phone number on every page also helps you in local search. You can take this one step further by putting this information into micro-data format. You can use a tool like Schema-Creator.org but you will need to style it a bit because they will provide the raw code to add to your site but it doesn’t always look great.
At the very least, get the information on every page of your site. It can go down in the footer with your copyright information and not disrupt the overall design of the site.
We found that over 57% of the sites we reviewed did not have the company name and address on the home page.
As mentioned previously, less than 35% had the phone number listed as well.
4. Is there a map?
With more and more visitors coming to your site from a mobile device, one thing they are likely looking for is a map and/or directions to your place of business. This should be fairly prominent on your home page and ideally the map should link to a map app on their phone to provide turn-by-turn directions right to your front door.
We found that just over 80% of the sites we reviewed did not have a map on the home page or a link to one.
5. Is there a blog and / or a social presence?
Having a blog on your site makes it incredibly easy to add fresh, relevant content to your site on a regular basis. Content that informs, educates or entertains your visitors will keep them coming back for more. And that’s what you want, right? For your website visitors to actually enjoy visiting your site? Having a blog is a great way to connect with your audience as well because they can leave comments and engage in a conversation right there on your website.
We found that over 93% of the sites we reviewed did not have a blog. Of those sites that had a blog, 37.14% had been updated within the last week, 8.57% had been updated within the last month, 11.43% within the last three months, 28.57% within the last year and 14.29% haven’t been updated in over a year.
And when you share the great new content from your blog with the social media world it just helps amplify your message.
You’ve seen those little social media icons on hundreds of sites. Does your’s have them? If not, it’s a very good idea to get them added if you are active on any of the main social media channels. This gives your visitor another way to connect with you and your brand and it shows that you are, at the very least, somewhat active in social media.
As we expected, Facebook had the highest presence on local websites with just over 40% of sites having a link to a Facebook page. This was followed by Twitter with just over 23% of the sites having a link to their Twitter profile. YouTube was in third place with almost 11% of sites showing a link to their YouTube channel. That was followed by Google+ and Pinterest with 7.7% each and then LinkedIn with 6.2% of sites showing a link to a LinkedIn profile or company page.
One added benefit to being active in social media is that your social mentions and followers are starting to become ranking signals for Google and Bing.
That’s right, they are looking to see how many ‘likes’ you have on Facebook, how many followers you have on Twitter and how many +1’s you have on Google+ to determine if your site is one that people like to follow and share. If so, it can give you a boost in search results over your competitors that may not be as involved on the social media side.
We’ve put together a short slide show below of our findings followed by a detailed list of the questions we asked and the results we found.
Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app
Now let’s dig into each of the questions we asked and the results we found.
Is the website mobile-responsive?
Yes – 4.93%
No – 95.07%
Is there a contact phone number prominently displayed on the home page?
Yes – 34.92%
No – 65.08%
Is there a contact email displayed on the home page?
Yes – 33.16%
No – 66.84%
Is the company name and address displayed on the home page?
Yes – 42.68%
No – 57.32%
Is there a link to a map or an embedded map on the home page?
Yes – 19.40%
No – 80.60%
Is there an obvious Facebook presence displayed on the site?
Yes – 40.03%
No – 59.97%
Is there an obvious Twitter presence displayed on the site?
Yes – 23.10%
No – 76.90%
Is there an obvious Google+ presence displayed on the site?
Yes – 7.70%
No – 92.23%
Is there an obvious LinkedIn presence displayed on the site?
Yes – 6.20%
No – 93.80%
Is there an obvious YouTube presence displayed on the site?
Yes – 10.76%
No – 89.24%
Is there an obvious Pinterest presence displayed on the site?
Yes – 7.70%
No – 92.23%
Is there a blog on the site?
Yes – 6.20%
No – 93.80%
Out of the 35 sites with a blog when was it last updated?
Within the last week – 37.14%
Within the last month – 8.57%
Within the last three months – 11.43%
Within the last year – 28.57%
Over a year – 14.29%
If you’ve made it this far let’s see how your site stacks up.
We offer a free website analysis and a premium website analysis. You can see the differences here.
For the members of the Marble Falls Chamber of Commerce we are offering a 20% discount on our Premium Website Analysis. We normally charge $125 for that level of analysis, which includes a 30 minute consulting call to discuss our findings and answer any questions you may have. For a limited time we are offering this analysis to our fellow members for $100.
If you would like to learn how to improve many aspects of your website, Ken will be presenting a free Lunch and Learn, Website Success Secrets, at the Chamber offices on Wednesday, June 18th at 11:30am. There is no charge for this presentation. Just bring a lunch and a desire to take your website to the next level. Seating is limited so call the chamber office today at (830) 693-2815 and reserve your spot.
Ken will also be offering FREE website consulting to Chamber Members at the Chamber Office on Wednesday, June 25th from 9am to 1pm. Appointment times are 9:00am, 9:30am, 10:00am, 10:30am, 11:00am, 11:30am, 12:00pm and 12:30pm. For more information, or to schedule your appointment, please call the Chamber Office at (830) 693-2815 or email your request to email@example.com.
If we can help update your website to include the elements listed above or if you have any questions about this website study you can reach Ken by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 512-651-2963.
Request your website analysis by completing the form below.