How Does Your Website Stack Up?
Find out with a free tool from one of NBDA’s partners
Words by Ryan Atkinson
Your website is your virtual front door. The vast majority of your potential customers are visiting you online before they decide to visit (or not to visit) your brick-and-mortar location. Are you making a positive first impression? Are you helping shoppers find what they need and want? Are you presenting the same welcoming, professional environment online that your customers experience in store? Using our scorecard, you can answer these questions and identify opportunities for improvement on your website and in your supporting digital marketing efforts.
What You’ll Learn (and why it matters)
The SmartEtailing Website Scorecard covers seven focus areas, from website setup to SEO best practices to analytics tracking. Within each focus area, we suggest three actionable tasks. If you can already check off each item, that’s fantastic. If not, checking off a few more of these boxes can help you improve your customers’ online experience, making them more likely to visit you again, online or in person.
When you were in the early days of opening your bike shop, you understood the importance of laying the proper foundation for your business. You built out your cash wrap, you plugged in your POS, and you placed fixtures and slatwall. The same foundational planning should be applied to your website. Review the basics first and foremost:
• Is your inventory online?
• Can a customer add product to his or her shopping cart?
• Are your shipping and in-store pickup options configured?
Before you start driving traffic through your virtual front door, it’s critical that you review these settings, and others covered on the scorecard to avoid a confusing or an inconsistent shopping experience.
Once you have the foundational settings checked off, you can focus on the content and design aspects of your website. Website merchandising is very similar to in-store merchandising—you want to display relevant products and services in a compelling, easy to understand presentation.
You should refresh your homepage regularly, just as you refresh your in-store displays, so that your website is seasonally appropriate and aligned with what’s happening in-store:
• Feature new arrivals, including bikes, apparel, and accessories
• Highlight service specials, including seasonal tune-up deals or financing offers
• Promote current sales, including spring, summer and holiday events
Whatever you’re displaying, be sure to link your homepage content to appropriate catalog pages or informative landing pages to help your customers take a next action.
You’ve made it through the setup and merchandising checklists; now it’s time to drive visitors to your website.
There are many ways to help potential customers find you, including organic or paid placement in online search, proactive email marketing campaigns, and engaging social content. Our scorecard covers several promotional best practices:
• Settings to review on-site for improved search engine optimization
• Suggested email marketing frequency for improved engagement
• Recommendations for levering social posts to encourage website traffic
Reviewing the efficacy of your promotional efforts is key as well. Our scorecard includes analytics tips to ensure that you’re tracking and utilizing relevant data from your website.
Get Your Scorecard
Are you ready to get started on your website evaluation? Whether or not you have a SmartEtailing website, our scorecard provides you with valuable and actionable information so that you can make the most of your online presence. Get yours today, start your review, and know that we’re here to help with your website and marketing needs.