Get Your Website Out of Grade School
We love our kindergartners but we don’t want our websites to act like 5-6 year-olds. Your website is your business’s virtual storefront and needs to look and act like a professional and integral member of your team. Unfortunately, not all websites act like mature, well-adjusted, and fully-functioning adults. Those that remain in kindergarten and show a “failure to launch” can reek devastation on your business’s digital strategy and bottom line.
Wondering if your website is stuck in Miss Burton’s Busy Bees classroom? Below, we’ll discuss some top indicators to watch out for and what you can do about them.
Top Things that Kindergarteners Do that Your Website SHOULD NOT
- They Break Down.
Breakdowns aren’t uncommon for young children. They can happen for a variety of reasons (not getting one’s way, being overdue for nap time, etc.) and aren’t fun for anyone — the child, the child’s family, and those around them.
The same is true of websites. However, when your website breaks down, the consequences can be more detrimental. You and your business suffer because your online storefront is effectively shut down. And your prospective and current users also suffer because they can no longer access the site.
If this breakdown behavior resonates with you and your business’s website, it may be time for a website refresh.
- They’re Not Responsive.
Ever call your child to tell them it’s time to get ready for dinner or go someplace only to hear crickets in response? Rest assured, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there. And it will get better with age.
However, your website should be responsive. What do we mean by “responsive”? “Responsive, in web terms, means the same thing as in your own life,” writes BusinessKnowHow. “If you’re responsive to your customers, you listen and react to what they say or do. The same holds true with your employees and your family.” A responsive website will react and adapt to the devices and screen sizes on which viewers use. And if your website isn’t responsive, it won’t get better with the age. More importantly, Google regards responsiveness as a best practice and rewards and penalizes sites accordingly.
If this lack of responsiveness resonates with you and your business’s website, it may be time for a website refresh.
- They Get Bored.
“I’m bored!” Whether you’re a parent or not, we’ve all heard these 2 words exclaimed from the mouths of young children more times than we can count. Children will eventually learn to self-entertain.
On the other hand, if your website is boring, visitors will simply bounce to a competitor’s site that isn’t boring. In fact, you have less than 15 seconds to make an impression. Your site should be visually impactful and provide valuable and engaging content to your ideal customers. Viewers want to know “what’s in it for me? Why does this matter to me?” So be mindful of the intent of every piece of your content and speak to their pain points, your points of differentiation, and most importantly, provide value. Take a look at your Google Analytics and examine visitors’ average time on your site, how many pages they view, what your bounce rate is, and assess whether you’re gaining any leads from your website.
If your website shows the symptoms of boredom and you suspect visitors are exclaiming those two dreaded words, “I’m bored!”, it may be time for a website refresh.
- They’re Dirty.
Sticky snack fingers on upholstery. Spilled drinks on rugs. It comes with the territory of being a kindergartener and few of us were the exception at that age.
What should be the exception is your website. Its code should be clean. Clean code is efficient, reliable, easy to read, easy to maintain, and conforms to best practices. But if you’re not a developer, what does all of this mean? Why should you care? And how can you tell if your site’s code is clean? Clean code ensures a healthy user experience for your visitors, easier management for your support team, and it helps your SEO as Google Bots can more easily read it. To test if your code is clean, we recommend starting with the user-friendly Pingdom Website Speed Test. Simply enter your website URL and the tool will show you what’s slow, fast, too large, and what needs to be fixed.
If your website shows symptoms of kindergarten dirtiness, it might be time for a website refresh.
- They’re Disproportionately Focused on Arts and Crafts.
What kindergartener doesn’t enjoy creating bright and shiny things that are fun and pretty to look at?! And the majority of young children favor arts and crafts over cleaning their room, helping set the table, or doing a writing assignment.
While this is appropriate for 5 to 6-year-olds, you should expect more from your website. A disproportionate emphasis on the aesthetics of your website may make it look pretty but at what cost? Load times are sacrificed and crucial other areas neglected. A sluggish site is bad for business. Your website should be well-balanced, meaning it should not only be aesthetically pleasing but also (1) provide valuable content (2) a strong user experience, (3) and be built to work for your business and its needs. Following these best practices will help drive users into your sales funnel.
If this preoccupation with arts and crafts resonates with you and your business’s website, it may be time for a website refresh.
- They’re Not Always Clear on What They’re Trying to Say.
You know the long-winded stream of consciousness that can come from a young child? Or the meltdowns with lack of communication about what exactly is bothering them? And your internal dialogue in response — frustration coupled with questions such as, “What is this about?” and “What are you trying to say?” Kindergarteners are working on developing their communication skills and ability to articulate exactly what’s on their mind and what they want to say.
Your website, however, should have no struggle with this and your visitors should not suffer the same frustrations that you as a parent, do. Your site should be carefully crafted to speak clearly to visitors and convert them into prospects.
If your website lacks clarity on what your business does and what problems it solves for customers, it may be time for a website refresh.
Let's fix that kindergarten website.
The Bottom Line About Kindergarten Sites
Your website is the foundation of your digital strategy. As you invest money into your business’s growth and marketing, you’re placing building blocks on your website.
Would you place such a tremendous burden and responsibility on a kindergartener? No. We strongly recommend not placing that kind of burden on a kindergarten website, either.
An experienced web team can help get your website through graduation so the time and money you’re investing in growth is effective and your website reflects the professional, burgeoning business that you own.