We know that it’s vitally important to create a good website impression when you’re trying to get found online. Part of that comes down to how your website’s designed – but it’s also about what your website actually says.

This short guide will help you assess your website’s message and ensure that you’re getting it across effectively.

There’s four basic questions you can ask yourself when assessing your own website for how clear it is:

1. Will people know what I do within seconds?

Honestly, that might be all the time you have. We know that people actually assess whether they think a website is valuable or authoritative within milliseconds, so if you’re not communicating the website’s core purpose very quickly, they’re likely to bounce from your site and move to the next search result faster than you think.

2. Will they understand what page they’re on and what it’s about?

This relates to the different pages of your website. Does the homepage look and feel like a homepage? Is your About Us clearly labelled and conforming to what people expect of a page like that? You want your visitors to feel welcomed and comfortable. The site should make sense for them wherever they are within it.

3. Will they know what to do next?

It’s so important when getting leads to convert that you give clear indicators about next steps you want a visitor to take when they land on your site. Include clear call-to-action prompts (like buttons, links, and simple forms) and directions on what you want your visitor to do.

4. Why should they subscribe / buy / download from your site as opposed to anybody else?

This is getting a bit further into your visitor’s experience, but you want to justify to them why they should take the call to action discussed above and what sets you apart. Sometimes it’s helpful to describe who your service or product is for – helping them to understand if they fit into the category – and a couple of your offering’s best features.

It’s also a good idea to run these questions past friends and family when they view your website to get some different perspectives and see whether the website works for them too. By optimising your website based on these questions, you can ensure traffic stays on your site, and doesn’t bounce to competitors.