Think of your website as a living, breathing resume to the world. We all know how important it is to make that one piece of paper stand out from the rest.  In the same way, a strong website is foundational for business opportunity and growth.

Not too long ago, I was asked to proofread a friend’s resume. Her credentials were great, but the few issues I did find were the same we often see with poorly designed websites. So even though she was a prime candidate, her resume would likely blend in with the rest and get lost in the mix. Here’s why:

1. Silent Name / Header
Even though her name was bolded and centered at the top of the page (like most), my eyes skimmed right over it. Her title was too small and got lost in the monotony of words and lack of color. Think about it. Do people understand where they are when they reach your site? Does your name stand out enough to for them remember it? This obviously falls in line with strong branding as well, but make sure your name and headline leave a footprint in the viewer’s mind.

2. Too Wordy
I’m not a big reader. So for me to receive a three-page resume full of chunky paragraphs was not exactly fun. My friend had a lot to offer, but would employers be able to give her the same time of day I could? Probably not. Chances are your audience is looking for a quick, comprehensive run-down of your company. You need to find the perfect balance of worthy content, education and SEO-rich keywords.

3. Dull Structure
The effort was there – she bolded a few words, justified her paragraphs and provided line spacing, but her content was neither easy to read nor pleasing to the eye. She needed to utilize bullet points, condense her content, throw in some color, increase a few font sizes …  anything to show she put in time to stand out from her competitors. In the same way, make sure your web content illustrates all of the important aspects of your business and how you stand out from the rest.

4. No References
We all know how important references are when you don’t have some sort of “in” with the company you’re applying to. Often the best way to show how reliable, hardworking and skillful you are is to have others voice it for you.  My friend had no reference letters or contacts – not even that “references upon request line” (which by the way, doesn’t cut it). Likewise, it is so important for your audience to see positive reviews, testimonials, clientele or case studies somewhere on your site.

5. No Call to Action (CTA)
While she did provide contact information, there was no push for further review. I encouraged her to provide a link to her portfolio or LinkedIn profile to offer a next step for employers who are interested in learning more before contacting her. The same goes for any website. Your contact information is essential, but so are other next-step opportunities (newsletter sign-ups, chat windows, free trials, etc.).  Check out this article by Hubspot for a list of great CTA ideas.

Take the time to do a quick review your website and make sure it’s serving you well. A few simple tweaks may be all you need. As always, our team is here to help. Feel free to contact us today.