Is your website working? How to tell and what to do next, Online S2E1

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🎧This is Online with Amr The Internet Guy! The show focuses on entrepreneurs and business owners, helping them become more successful in conducting their business on the web without being stuck with Technology 😱, getting a headache, pulling their hair out, or buying expensive software!

Welcome to the first episode of season 2, this time I am all alone, no Guest to interview 🙂
But I am discussing something that I have been asked about so many times:
How to determine if my website is working? And what do I need to do to get there?

Listen on!
P.S This episode has no video.

Links Mentioned in this episode:

  1. Get a complimentary professional audit of your website here:
  2. Download the Ultimate Hosting Guide to help you select the best hosting service, here:
  3. Check our website care and maintenance plans here:
  4. Need to discuss it? Have questions? Book your complimentary quick zoom call here.

This is an automated transcription and will have some mistakes 🙂

website, people, page, hosting, loading, service, specific, visitor, business, email, important, building, investment, images, buy, web designers, navigation, videos, user

Hello, everyone, and welcome to episode number one from season two of online with the internet guy. First, thank you very much for those of you who are asking about that long post that we have during the summer for the show. So basically, there was a lot going on, and we were doing some changes to the business structure. But also, I had like a little bit of an injury that I picked up playing soccer. And I was thinking the injury put me off work for a few days. And during that time, I had the clarity to think about the show, and what I want to do with it, and to also respond to some of the ideas and the suggestions that I received and realize that the best length for a podcast episode is somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes, maximum 40 minutes, if really, you know we’re doing an interview, and we’re enjoying ourselves and the interview takes a little bit longer. But other than that, I realized that I need to come back with season two, and do it in a new way. So without further ado, let’s get into today’s episode. And today’s episode is about websites that work, or what is a working website? Or, you know, it’s kind of like, Have you ever asked yourself whether your website is working or not? And I don’t mean by working as in if it’s down or not showing, but I mean, does it actually work for you? Does it work for your business? Does it do what it’s supposed to do? Did you see a return on investment from your website, because, you know, let’s face it, a website is an investment. I know that many business owners, especially startups, could sometimes look at websites as a cost. But that’s wrong. A website is an investment or a marketing tool. So it’s not really a cost. It’s an investment in your business. And whether you spend $10 or $10,000 on your website, you need a return on their investment. And I mean, you know, some business owners, they call and say, hey, you know what, I was starting out, and I didn’t have a budget to hire web designer. But I had a lot of time. And I’ve decided you know what I’m going to do it on my own, I’m going to build my website, alone. And I know many things this way. And you know, it’s not entirely wrong, if you think that your time is not worth money. So if you think you have a lot of time, and you want to spend 60 hours or 100 hours building your own website, that might look like a great idea, because you’re not spending much money. But how much does your hour cost? And could you have spent these 60 or 100 hours to better your skill, for example, or to put up a good process for your business? Or could you have spent it networking or looking for prospect customers or talking to people about your business or selling? You know, like could this time be spent elsewhere to be more valuable to you and to bring more return on your investment? So in any case, even if you’ve done that, and you built your own website, you’ve invested that many hours in it. So how would you be able to calculate the return on an investment? So ask yourself this? And think about why did you want to have a website in the first place? Like many people don’t think about it, many people think I want to have a website because everybody else has a website? Yeah, I mean, mere presence is not the goal here. You want a website so that you can serve your audience, you want a website so that you can achieve something, and you got to be able to measure that. So let me give you examples. You know, let’s switch instead of you thinking as a business owner, think of the times when you are a customer, and you’ve gone to a website, any website that you go to. Why did you go there and what were you looking for? So, you know, basically, let’s say I’m going on Right? So clearly I’m going there because I want to buy something. So if I get to Amazon and Amazon is giving me the story about Jeff Bezos, and you know how he started the business and how Amazon grew year on year, I have zero interest in that, I’m going there because I’m looking for a specific item that I want to buy. And I want to be able to search and get a quick result on my search. And I want that result to be more or less accurate, because I don’t want to scroll up and down forever, or I will lose interest and get out of there and go shop elsewhere. So the site has to give me exactly what I came, they’re looking for no more or no less. The same thing, let’s say, I’m not visiting an e commerce website, let’s say I’m looking for a window cleaner for my house to go to come and clean, you know, the outside part of my house. So what I want to do what I what I want to do when I get there, to the website, I’m looking for information that, you know, basically, I’m looking to see whether they’re a good fit for what I want. So I want information about the service that they deliver. Which areas do they serve? How long do they take between the booking like, you know, can I book for tomorrow? Or do I have to book for next week or next month? And of course, how much does it cost? Whether it’s how much does it cost to come and clean? Or as a project? Or how much does it cost per hour? And then I will see if that suits me or not? Also, I’m looking for information about you know, what else do they do? Like? Do they just do window cleaning? Or do they do insight cleaning? Can they do both? Is there a discount if I buy both at the same time, and things like that. Let’s also assume that I’m looking for a different service. Let’s see, for example, let’s say I’m looking for a dentist, or an orthodontist, because one of my kids needs braces. Now, this becomes a little bit more complicated, because I’m not only looking for information on the service, but I’m also going to be looking for reviews from past customers to see whether people were happy with the result that they got or not, especially that the investment that I’m about to make for something like, you know, braces, for example, it’s kind of a sizable investment, like, you know, it costs on average, I think, six to $10,000 could be more in some cases. So this time, I’m going to be really careful. And I want to find a little bit more information. And that includes what’s the opinion of other past customers in the business. So when you think as a customer, it gives you the the ability to figure out what people are looking for, you don’t have to become an SEO expert, you don’t have to do keyword research, even, all we need to do is to figure out what people are looking for. So think as a customer yourself, that’s the first thing that you should think about. And then once you’ve figured out what people want from the website, you can start thinking about the content that you’re gonna give them or the information or, you know, whatever you’re gonna give them, you gotta give them what they want, right? So in order to make your website work for you, in order to get a return on your investment, the step that almost everyone forgets about

is to figure out why people would come to my website at the first place, and what do they want to get out of it? Once you answer that question, you can move to step number two. So let’s give the example of somebody who’s a nutritionist as an example. And they’re building their website. So the first thing that they should think about when it comes to why people would visit the website is that people would normally be looking for easy to do recipes, programs that they can follow. Some people would be coming there to look for general health, like healthy food, healthy eating, how to create healthy eating habits, stuff like that. Other people will be looking to lose weight, and they’re looking for a nutritionist to either work with them, or they’re looking for information like free information that they can find on the website. So the first thing is when you think about building your website, if you’re that nutritionist is to figure out what do you want to give the people like you want to give the people something of value, the moment your page loads, so like a download a PDF that has healthy recipes or something like that. And then once they download that, you can then enter them in your process, whatever that process is. Slyke How would you like to follow up with them later. And we are going to cover this point later on. But since we’re still in the point of giving people what they want, these would be generally, the things that people will be looking for when they come to your website, and you should give it to them right away homepage. Up there, like without scrolling you like your your, your premium real estate of the page, which is the top part that shows right to the user before the scroll, or they even touch their mouse. So now that we’ve covered why people come to your website, and what they’re looking for, so you see, like, this is not complicated, right? It’s, it’s simple, if you think as a customer first, and figure out what they’re looking for. The common mistake that people do is to write their content, as if they’re speaking to their own industry. We all do that, like, everybody’s a culprit of that. But you should try as much as possible not to do that you’re not writing your website, you’re not creating your page, so that you could address your industry or your competition, you’re actually addressing your audience or your customers or your prospects. So you should be speaking their language, not your language. A very common example, when I used to work in technical support, people would call the helpdesk and ask the helpdesk agent to create a passport. And then we knew or that they forgot their passport. So if you’re not aware of what they’re talking about, they’re actually talking about their password, not their passport. Right? But where we worked, many people would call in English wasn’t the first language like, it’s not mine, either. But they would call in and say like, Hey, I forgot my passport. And then if the agent is not trained well enough, they would just say, I’m really sorry. Like, I don’t understand, why are you calling the technical helpdesk about your passport. But since we knew, after a couple of calls, of course, we started to notice that many people call the password the passport. And we got the agent trained for it. And now that when somebody calls, looking for their passport, we know that they’re looking to reset their password, right? So this is the thing, speak your audience language, don’t speak your industry’s language, because you you alienate the audience that you’re trying to serve. So this is the first point. So point number one, in a website that works is give people what they’re looking for. Right? Now, in order to cover point number one, properly, let’s address some of the resistance that we get. And we all fall, you know, we all fall into. So the main point is that people hate writing, right? They don’t know what to write, they hate writing, they don’t want to spend time writing, they think they’re not good enough in writing, and so on. So think of it this way. Can you talk about your business, like if you if you’re in a networking event, or if you go in a you know, you go somewhere and you meet people for the first time and someone asks you, hey, what do you do? Would you be able to tell them what you do? You would write? It’s simple, isn’t it? So instead of trying to figure out how to write, actually, you can talk to your phone, you can dictate your phone, both iPhones and Android phone systems have like, an audio to text button where you can just click and dictate your phone and your phone will write for you. Right? Yes, it will make mistakes, and you have to train it to use your voice. But if you do this, if you dictate your phone first, you will get it off your mind, you’ll get the whole idea of your mind faster. And then you could go on and look at the text and then edit it whichever way you like, and you can correct the mistakes. And boom, now we have your content. It’s very simple, right? So once you’ve created content for your main page or your homepage, you can then move into the next page. And please do not do the mistake of getting overwhelmed because you’re thinking about your 10 pages or 15 pages or even five pages. Don’t think about that. Think about one page right now you’re working on one page. Once it’s done, you can move on to the next page. So you you’ve moved on from your main homepage and then now we should be thinking about about us and the About Us This is mainly you telling people what makes you or your business unique. Many website, visitors don’t really care about it. But some people would go there to have a look. Generally speaking, when I visit a website, and I’m interested to buy any of the products or services, sometimes I’m interested to figure out where they’re located. Because I want someone who is closer to my timezone. So whenever I need support, I know that there’ll be responding within a day or two, and sometimes even within a few hours. So it’s important, but it’s also it depends on on the service that you’re buying. I mean, sometimes the service that you want, is 1000s of miles away, and that’s okay. It’s not a big deal. But as a preference, especially if I’m buying physical products, I’d love to buy my physical products in Canada so that if I have to return them, I don’t have to ship them somewhere else and pay a lot of money for shipping. And of course, I would go places that have free shipping or free returns first. Okay, let’s not digress here. So in the about people, some people visit the about page for different reasons. It’s a good idea always to give like, a quick glimpse of you know, why you do what you do? Why do you have a passion in there? Where did it come from? Without like, giving them like 24 pages worth of your life story, right? But what makes it Wait, why you do what you do? What makes you unique? And how, how do you think even? I mean, every one of us, everybody thinks they’re different, right? So you put that like, how do you think you’re different from your competition? What do you do that you think your competition doesn’t? Or? Or how do you do differently? Right, what makes your service or your product, a quality service, or a quality product that goes in the about page. And again, if you’re dictating this into your phone, you’re gonna get it done within a couple of hours, Max, you know, even a few minutes if you’re if the idea is in your head right away. Now, the next page usually is our services page or the Services page. And I have mixed feelings about it. Having one page that lists four or five services, sometimes can be confusing to the visitor. And it’s certainly confusing to search engines because they don’t know which service to rank, what keyword is the main keyword for that specific page. So where would the bot from the search engine focus? And how would you rank within that specific keyword, because like, the page itself isn’t focused on something specific is just services, right. So I would love to create one page per service.

This makes it easier for website visitors to focus because not every visitor has interest in every service, probably each visitor just has interest in one specific area of your business. So that one specific page is the most variable page for that specific user, right. So it is always a great idea to create one page per service. But if you still want an our services page, like a page that acts like an anchor, that lists four 510 services, and each one has a button to learn more. And then when you click the button, you go to that specific service page. That’s okay to search engines love having specific services page, like one page per service, and where everything is focused over there. And, of course, when you speak about your specific service, the keywords will be there. You know, by default, you don’t have to, you don’t have to worry about learning SEO or hiring an agency or hiring someone for SEO. If you just talk about each service, as if you’re talking to someone you met as if you’re networking, or doing your elevator pitch. That’s it. That’s more than enough for search engines to pick it up and rank you. And if you keep blogging, for example, about that specific service, writing a post every now and then about this service or that service search engine, see that you’re active that your website is active, that it has fresh content, and your ranking would improve bit by bit and with time, you’d be ranked quite high without having to spend money on ads without having to spend countless hours learning SEO and certainly without hiring an agency. That will only work if you have deep pockets. And if you don’t have deep pockets, in most cases, you will not get any result for whatever you paying. But again, let me not digress. So now that we’ve covered the first aspect of give people for a website that works, the first aspect or the first pillar is give people what they want, right? pillar number two, or the second aspect of a website that works is actually a website that works. Meaning the website that works for the users. So now that they can find the information they’re looking for, because you’ve given them what they want, the navigation on your site needs to be clear. So your top menu or your side menu or bottom menu, or whatever you want to have, your menu should be clear. And what I mean by that is like, many websites look great. But you get there and you feel like you’re stuck, you see the piece of information that you like, but you want to learn more, you click on a button, you find yourself on a page, where you have no return from there, like you don’t know why you’re on that page, or you get to the page and you realize this is not what you’re looking for. And you want to go back. So initially think of it this way. You want people to go from one page to another, even from one paragraph to another without having to hit the back button of their browser, you want them to be clicking that on your page. So you need to have a good navigation plan. And this is essentially one of the things that makes the big difference between a templated, cheap, quick website, and a professionally designed website that is built from the ground up. So a professionally designed website that’s built from the ground up usually has a very clear navigation plan. And when we build websites for our clients, sometimes we have to change that navigation plan to make it more user friendly. So sometimes the business owner would suggest things to go in the menu. But then if we put them in the menu exactly as they are, the menu would be humongous. And then it will not fit even in one line on top of the page. And it will look odd to have to line of menus. Right. So sometimes we need to discuss the main item and then the sub items that will be under the main item. So that building a hierarchy for the menu while making it user friendly. So people would know where they are, you know, when they’re on a on a specific page on the website, and also how they can get back to where they were? And how can they get to from one service to another. Right. And one of the common mistakes and again, I don’t know I mean, let’s not call it a mistake, but it’s a common thing that we all do. You look there and you see a word called blog. I don’t really think that many visitors who land on your website for the first time would be interested to click on the word blog. I don’t know why, but it doesn’t look that inviting. So you can call it by the name that you will blog about. So if you’re blogging about health, you can say I don’t know health resources. If you’re blogging about podcasting, you can say podcast resources. If you’re blogging about web design, you can say web design resources or something like that. Where you can say, you know, check our latest videos, check our latest web design videos, assuming of course that you’re posting your web design videos in your web design blog. So the navigation is very important. And it’s one of the aspects that make your website work. Now, pillar number three, or aspect number three is again, one of the main deciders or one of the main differences between a cheaply done quick website and a professionally designed website. And this is very important. And let me tell you, the majority of business owners get it wrong. And so many web designers also get it wrong is simply the website performance, the website loading speed, right. So what’s the use? I mean, think of it this way. What’s the use of having the greatest website ever, that you spent, I don’t know $30,000 in the building, but then it loads so slow. So nobody gets to see it because nobody’s willing to wait for it to load. This is very, very common. We all want websites that look great, right? And almost now almost ever With the new technologies and the new templates and, and the new word WordPress themes, every website can look great like it doesn’t, it doesn’t need like to cost you an arm and a leg, you know, but it’s not just about looks, that’s exactly what we’re talking about, it has to look good. But it also, and more importantly, it has to work. Right. So if he’s not loading on time, if it’s slow loading, no one will get to see it, right. So we need to actually look after that aspect. The common thing that prevents like, okay, so what prevents a web page from loading quickly, or what takes time when the page is loading. In most cases, this, the two things that take most of the time, would be videos and images. So if you have a video on your web page, and this video loads, by default without being clicked, this will slow down your page, even if the videos hosted on YouTube, and you’re just linking it on the page, it is still an issue. And there are techniques that web designers can use when embedding those videos. That will make them not load. By default when the page is first loaded, and only load when someone clicks it, or lazy loading whereby the rest of the page items would load, and then the video would load. And the second thing is more common because not everyone have a not everyone has videos on their web pages. But the second and the most common one is images. We all love images, they make website look much better. And they can you know an image is worth 1000 words. So they can make your message arrive to your audience faster. They can describe what you do faster, images are great. And sometimes even you know, when you have some photos and stuff, they create a personal connection with your audience or with your website visitors. So we all love them. The problem is if you take an image from your phone, and just post it on your website, that file size is humongous, like a good resolution image from your phone would be something like at least two megabytes, if not more than that. I have seen images that are five megabytes, nine megabytes, right? But you got to ask yourself this question, people are limited by the size of their screen. And if they’re visiting your website from a mobile screen, they won’t really see your full size image anyway, it looks much smaller on their screen, it just has to look good, right. So these images, they have to have the specific size that makes them look good on a computer screen, as well as on a mobile phone and a tablet. And there are specific sizes that designers use

and repurpose the image to fit that specific size. But if you don’t have experience building websites, or if you’re a business owner, building it for yourself, or if you’re using your nephew, your friend, or you know some of these cheap and cheerful services overseas somewhere, they might not know that they might just take your images and use them as they are just post them on the page and thinking like, wow, this image looks great. So let’s just put it as it is. And then it will end up bogging down your page and preventing it from loading fast. So images, they have to be resized repurposed, they also have to be compressed. And then they have to be cached. And almost every website now has a caching plugin. And I don’t want to get into the technicality of what caching is. But basically, it pre loads the images in the browser of the user that that’s what cache is like it kind of pre loads, the stuff that you have on your web page, to your visitors browser so that the next time they visit the website, these things loads from their own browser instead of from your hosting server. And it saves a lot of time. And it makes your website load so fast. So these technicalities, these little bits and bobs, like Bob’s bits and bobs are very important to make your website load faster to optimize the loading of your page. And as I said, it’s mostly images and videos. And if you take care of that, nine times out of 10 your page is going to be loading way faster than it was before. Now, the last thing in our optimization or the website speed of loading is your hosting. This is very important as well. Like I can’t stress enough the importance of having the right hosting partner as well as the right hosting plan. People go on and buy the cheapest hosting they can find on Earth. And I don’t understand why. Because that’s not only going to be slow and will kill your website’s loading speed. But it can also kill your reputation. Because if it’s not secure enough, if it’s not with a reputable company, your website can easily get hacked, or get infected with malicious code from the hosting itself, let alone your website’s own security, right. So you need to be hosting with a reputable company. Usually, most professional web designers have tried and tested at least 10 hosting companies before deciding which one works best for them, and for the stuff that they use when they build their own websites. So ask your web designer, what would they recommend with hosting, and do not pay your hosting three or four years up front technology changes, hosting companies, you know, sometimes bring new technologies, new servers, new data centers, sometimes they even have Black Friday offers or Halloween specials, or whatever it is. So don’t be fooled by the offers you get when you’re signing up for your hosting. And don’t Don’t be fooled into paying three four years in advance because this will be pushing you to stick with the same hosting company for a long time, even when there are better options available for you, your website and your business. So hosting is very important. And I have tested at least 15 reputable hosting providers in the past couple of years, until I figured out the two or the three hosting providers that I would work with, or recommend to my clients. If you’re interested in that, I’m gonna put the link underneath this podcast, I have this hosting, like how to choose your hosting, I have a video and a PDF document together that explains to you what’s important in hosting, and how can you choose between one and another? So this wraps up this episode of our podcast. And this wraps up? How would you have a working website. So we’ve discussed giving users or visitors of your website, what they want, we’ve discussed how you can easily write content for your website by dictating your phone using your voice and then editing that later on. We’ve discussed the importance of having a clear navigation menu and a clear navigation plan. And we’ve discussed website optimization or Page Speed loading, and what would affect it positively or negatively. And what you need to do in order to make sure that your website loads quickly. My last point, which determines Well, I mean, there are a couple of points. But there’s one of them that I will not talk about a lot because it’s very common knowledge, which is having a call to action, every website must have a call to action, you need to ask your user or your website visitor to engage with the site and take a specific action. And you need to give them specifically something that will be a value to them that you think they will not be able to find elsewhere online. So it has to be something of value, like the example that I said earlier with a nutritionist and giving them a downloadable PDF that has healthy eating recipes. Usually these recipes also have the shopping list for the recipe, what do you need to go and buy from your groceries, and so on. So the call to action, of course is very important. And it’s a way you can measure whether your website is successful or not by measuring the number of people downloading your resource, or the number of people contacting you from the website, or the number of people filling your request for quotation and things like that. So this is the call to action. But the part that I want to talk about is the business process is what happens after the call to action. Because from experience, so many websites, once people fill in a form or download a resource or do take the action that you want them to take. You do not receive the email from your website so you don’t know that somebody took the action that you asked them to take. And this is very bad. Very very bad. Building a website spending money, building a professional website paying money for A good hosting, doing all that only to end up not receiving the email from the website is extremely bad because you wouldn’t know that people took the action, and then you wouldn’t be able to follow up with them. So again, it’s very important to be very careful with, you know, the email that comes out of your website, when your website is nearly ready, and is ready to launch, you need to extensively tested, and you need to test it with different emails. So you need to use a Gmail, one’s a Microsoft Mail, another email, and see if you’re getting all of these messages or not. Or if they’re ending up in spam.

There are cases when the email will end up in spam. Or when Google would think that it’s a promotion. And we’ll put it another tab, like the promotions tab or the social tab in your Gmail, and you wouldn’t see it. And then when you see it after five, six days is too late to follow up with the prospect, because it’s not a timely operation, right. So it’s important to make sure that your website is sending those emails, not only that it’s sending those emails, but that those emails will not end up in somebody’s spam box. Otherwise, it’s useless. Right. And of course, the other thing is, when you do receive the email, and everything is good, you got to respond. So you can automate that. So the user can get an automatic response, suggesting something or telling them hey, welcome, we’re really glad that you’ve decided to take that action. Here are the next steps. If you need anything, contact us, here’s my email, whatever, like something that makes people feel valued and welcomed, and entices them to take the next step. This could be just one email, after they take the action, they get that email, or it could be a series of a sequence of emails that you know, they get the welcome message first. And then after three days or something, they get an offer, or they get a, you know, something specific that entices them to take the next step. And then the next time after maybe five days or a week or whatever, you could segment this further and see if people responded, they get an offer, if they didn’t respond, they get a different email, and so on. That’s a business process. It’s not pretty much the website, think, as a website itself. But it’s a business process that you have to write down on a piece of paper first, before you try to automate it. The common mistake is that people try to use the software to automate that business process without having that process clearly mapped out on a piece of paper, you cannot automate the process that does not exist. So first, have your process, clarify it, test it on paper, test it with a client tested manually, even. And then once you realize what works and what doesn’t, you can then decide what to do. Are you going to use an automatic email? Or are you going to write emails to the people personally or, you know, are you going to buy a software or have a specific CRM system that helps you get that done, and so on. But the main thing is, have a clear process, write it down on a piece of paper even before building your website. Right? Test it out, make sure that things are working well for you as well as for your clients. And then you can automate that you can ask for your web designers help or a marketing agencies help or somebody else. You know, they can help you with choosing the software and automated, automating that process for you. Once you get that, once you get that done, you now have a fully working website that can work for you and provide the return on the investment of your time effort as well as your money. If you have any questions, feel free to hit me my contacts are going to be below this podcast. Thank you very much for listening to our show. This show would not have been successful without you guys. So again, thank you and I wish you all the success by pay before you go I’d like to remind you that if you have a WordPress based website, you need to be really looking after its maintenance and security and having a professional looking after it. So if you feel overwhelmed or if you feel that there’s back end and boring stuff is something that you don’t want to do. Please do hire someone, but get it done. Do not delay this. Do not leave your WordPress website, not updated. Do not leave your plugins not updated. This will open it up for hacking and malware, and you don’t want that, if you’re unsure, head to my website human That’s human talents, one word human and click there you’ll be able to book a, like a 30 minute consultation and we can discuss this together and see if we can help you. Thank you and see you in the next Episode.

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