52 Web Questions For Small Business

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Web time compass

Is your website and web presence the most important part of your marketing plan?

I’m asking. At this point, I don’t even care what your answer is as long as it’s not, “I don’t know.”

In fact, as we start a new feature on The Daily Blur called Web Wednesdays, I think it’s important we know the questions before we start with answers.

Why?

  • Your website can be your best salesperson giving her very best presentation on her very best day.
  • Your website can be an interactive, full-color brochure for your company that I can enjoy in my underwear from the privacy, comfort, and convenience of my own home.
  • Your website can be an instant mobile portal to where you are and what I need and why I should come to where you are to get what I need.
  • Your social media presence can be the best consumer research tool money doesn’t have to buy.
  • Your social media presence can be the best help desk money can buy … that can help you drastically lower your advertising budget.

Dee, Lynn, and I came up with this list of questions about your company’s presence on the web. We also borrowed a couple of our favorites from our expert friends and best-selling authors, Jeffrey & Bryan Eisenberg, as well as a couple more from Paul Boomer and Dave Young, the content wizards at Shortcut Blogging. We’re curious if you have answers.

If you don’t, does it bother you that you don’t?

Let’s consider these our baseline. We’ll start building from here.

  1. If you’re the owner, are you, or is your owner part of the web conversation? Does your online presence have his or her or your voice?
  2. How much time a week does your company spend thinking about and working on your web presence?
  3. When was the last time your website had a professional evaluation?
  4. Is your website the most important thing for your business’ marketing?
  5. How much money do you have budgeted for website updates, optimization, content development and security every month?
  6. Is there a mobile version or at least a mobile-optimized landing page for your website? What’s on it?
  7. Have your website images been optimized for the web?
  8. Are your images legal? Or did you just pull them off somebody else’s site?
  9. Did you know you couldn’t do that?
  10. If I want to get ahold of you can I get ahold of you or find out how to get ahold of you on every page of your website?
  11. Is your phone number text so I could click on it from my mobile browser?
  12. Do you have a job description for your website?
  13. Do you have a method of measuring the success of your website?
  14. Do you get analytics for your website? Do you know how to understand the analytics for your website?
  15. Do you ever make any changes as a result of the analytics?
  16. At the bottom of each page of your website, do you give me options – via links – where to go next?
  17. Within 10 seconds on your homepage can I tell what you stand for and what you stand against?
  18. Do you have reviews on your website? How about testimonials? Is there a difference?
  19. Written testimonials? Or video testimonials?
  20. Have you thought about font size on your website?
  21. Do you own your Google places account?
  22. Do you know that Google recently switched up how you use your Google places account and integrated with Google plus.
  23. Do you know what Google Plus is?
  24. Do you know the second-most visited search engine on the web? Do you have a presence there?
  25. Do you know everywhere customers can leave online reviews about your business?
  26. Do you have a policy for monitoring those reviews?
  27. Do you have a policy for replying to those reviews?
  28. Do you use email marketing? Regularly?
  29. Do you have a plan/policy for how often, to whom, and what you say in your email marketing?
  30. Do you have any Google alerts set up? Do you know why you should?
  31. Do you use Twitter?
  32. How do you use Twitter? Do you ever use Twitter to search or listen?
  33. How about any of the location-based stuff like Foursquare?
  34. Do you have any videos on your site?
  35. Where are they hosted?
  36. Do you know what “hosted” means?
  37. Do you have a blog? Is it updated? Do you know if it’s been updated? Are you a contributor? Why not?
  38. Those questions your business gets asked all the time on the phone? Do you have the answers to those questions on your website? Are the easily accessible/findable from the homepage? From the mobile landing page?
  39. Do you have hyperlinks embedded into your copy to serve as waypoints to deeper places within your website?
  40. Do you have your phone number on every page?
  41. Do you know the most important real estate on your website?
  42. Do you know the most common size window people use to browse your website?
  43. Does your website talk to the customer in the language of the customer about what matters to the customer? Or do you rely on jargon and self-serving statements?
  44. Do you know what objections your customers regularly have? Does your website anticipate and overcome those objections?
  45. Is your website easy to quickly scan? Does it make use of headings and subheadings and short paragraphs of text?
  46. Do you know who’s visiting your website?
  47. Do you know what you want people to do on each page? Do you know what they need to feel comfortable doing what you want them to do on each page?
  48. Do you use social media to engage with your customers, or do you use it as a megaphone to blast them with sales and other promotions? Or do you use it for both?
  49. Do you send Facebook messages to your personal friends about your company? All of them at once? Telling them to like your page and not giving them a reason?
  50. Do you use LinkedIn? How? Why?
  51. Do you have a person on staff or an outside firm devoted to developing your web presence? Would you know what a job description for this person might look like? Would you know how to interview for this person?
  52. When was the last time you used the Yellow Pages?

If you’re freaked out right now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but relax.

This stuff is important. Hugely important. And not just for the Apples and the Ikeas and the Zapposeses of the world.

But for you, too. And that’s why we’re going to help you get through it.

One question at a time. One answer at a time.

One Wednesday at a time.

Good advice? Please share. Thanks!
  • http://www.oxxus.net natasha

    Have you done any user testing? Asking a few people from your target audience to interact with your site and get their feedback. I think this is probably the most useful information (much more accurate than you just assuming what your audience thinks, wants, needs to see on your site).

    • http://www.shortcutblogging.com Paul Boomer

      Natasha – You’re absolutely correct! Using a combination of user testing, A/B testing, multivariate testing, general feedback questions, and comparing your research to your web analytics is the most poweful and holistic way of improving your site. It takes time and an understanding of matters and what does not but the best way to learn is to follow Tim’s Web Wednesday series and for you and others to simply dive in.

      Tim – These are great baselines to start with. Any business who pays attention to your new series will have a great website… they’ll easily be in the top 10% of the best small/local business website list. Hey, maybe that needs to be created?!