Better results from your website don’t come magically – it takes a lot of work. Here are 20 things to look at.

Load Time

Does your website load FAST? Slow loading websites are the #1 reason engaged couples will leave a website. If that’s not enough, load times are now a ranking factor at Google and may negatively impact your online visibility. If you use the Google Search Console you will see warnings about site load times if Google thinks there is an issue.

“Oh Yes!” Moment

Does your website create a GREAT first impression? This is what I call the “Oh Yes!” — when an engaged couple first visits your home page and says to themselves, “Oh yes, this is the company we are looking for!”

“Oh Yes” type visitors convert into inquiries far better than visitors who say, “This site looks pretty much like the other 5 websites I just visited.”

Header

Does your header area include links to your social media, phone number, contact form, or maybe an interesting call-to-action (CTA)? Does it show properly on mobile devices (i.e. responsive design)?

Overall Homepage Layout

Think: simple, elegant, professional.

The best home page designs “don’t make me think.” You may think the design is intuitive, but will an engaged couple visiting your website think so? Does your home page leave the appropriate first impression? Does your home page immediately answer the question: “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM) and communicate a unique value proposition (UVP)?

Appropriate Graphics

Do the graphics on your home page, and throughout your website, communicate the right message?
Are you using stock photography or your own pictures?
Are they crisp and clean, not blurry or pixelated?

Phone Number & Text Messaging

Can I find your phone number easily? It should be at the top and bottom of each of your web pages and used in your page content. You might also want to give couples the option of sending you a text message.

Call-to-Action (CTA)

Do you use a CTA throughout your website? Use text, buttons, and maybe even pop-up boxes on some or all of your pages. Yes, people hate pop-up boxes, but they work!

Main Navigation

Is the main navigation at your website easy to identify? 
Does it make it SUPER easy to find the information engaged couples are looking for?

Is a PRICING page in your main navigation?
Is a TESTIMONIALS page in your main navigation?
Those are two pages every couple visiting your website will want to see.

Marketing Copy (UVP, WIIFM, CTA)

Three critical components of your home page marketing copy, and copy on most of your other pages, are your (1) UVP, (2) WIIFM message, and the (3) proper use of CTAs.

What makes your company different from the others (UVP)? What are you going to do for me – “What’s in it for me if I hire you?” CTAs should be prominent throughout your website, particularly on the bottom of each page where people naturally look for the next thing to do — contact you!

Testimonials and Social Proof

Social Proof converts website visitors into inquiries. Is there a testimonial on every page of your website? Are you using your awards, reviews, and association membership badges throughout your website?

Photo Galleries

Photo galleries are very powerful marketing tools. Use clear, crisp photos that show the happy brides and grooms you have worked for. Combine them with testimonials for an added punch!

Multiple Contact Options

Your contact options should be prominent in your main navigation, at the bottom of each page, and integrated into your page copy. You can also appropriately add colorful and eye-catching buttons and graphics as calls-to-action (CTAs).

Use of Contact Form

Contact forms are more effective than email-only links. Sure email works, but often the email message you get does not have the information you need to properly qualify a lead. Contact forms are always a better option because you can use required fields to narrow down the information a potential new customer gives you.

Post-contact Form Action

Do you use a post-inquiry landing page (PILP) that a person who just made an inquiry “lands” on after they hit the submit button to send their inquiry? Post-contact landing pages should thank someone for their inquiry, put your contact information in front of them, and link to your social media pages. For added punch, add a handful of your best testimonials.

Using Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free website visitor traffic tracking tool. It should be used on all of the pages at your website. It tracks visitor sessions, most popular pages, and other important information about the people who visit your website. It is available free at 

Using a Sitemap

A sitemap is a technical term for a file that lists all of the pages at your website. Search engines use sitemaps to quickly identify your pages, and the more easily they find them the better. Sitemaps are an important part of an effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy and are a recommended SEO “Best Practice.”

Social Icons

Social icons with links to your social media touch points should be used throughout your website; but don’t make them too prominent. Make it easy for people to find you on social media and you will get more likes and more followers.

Footer

Hopefully people who visit your website never get down to your footer area, because you have engaged them higher up on your page. But if they do, give them contact information, maybe a link to your blog, rotating testimonials, and certainly a CTA.

Mobile-friendly

Is your website mobile-friendly and mobile-responsive? Does it create a favorable user experience if someone visits your website from a smartphone or tablet? Does it pass the Google mobile-friendly test? Mobile-friendliness is now a Google “signal” or ranking factor. Test your website at: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

Backup & Disaster Recovery

If your website crashed in the next 10 minutes, how long would it take you to recover?
Is your website backed up regularly?
Is it backed up at all?
Where do you keep your backups?
They should not be kept on your hosting server!
Do you have a disaster recovery plan?

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