Complete Guide to Evaluating Websites
This website checklist works well regardless of your niche. This criteria list for evaluating websites is universal!
Evaluating Web Resources
A “web resource” is anything online, that can be found via a search engine, that provides informational content to the person searching. It needs to satisfy the person doing the searching by answering their specific question; but more, it should answer those follow-on questions that arise from the information provided.
Evaluating Web Page Search
When evaluating web pages or even a single web page you need to adopt the perspective of the person doing the search – not the site owner. Sure, there are things you want a visitor to know, but it far more more important to first inform the website visitor of what they want to know.
Evaluating web resource search is about the visibility of that resource to the person doing the search. In simple terms, your web resources need to be found. This is SEO and is a critical factor, but beyond the scope of this article. Go to our blog post on SEO to learn more.
Assessing a Website
What site visitors see and what they can learn from your web resources is the primary focus of this checklist. There are fundamental technical issues that we’ll address elsewhere – “content is king.”
BrilliantDoc is a website company for the medical profession, but as mentioned earlier, this evaluation criteria is universal. Here are our “8 C’s” for evaluating web resources:
Clear calls to action.
8. We’ll discuss each…
Web sites evolve in terms of their look and feel. This is an intangible quality and is purely in the eyes of the beholder. As a website owner, you are so familiar with the website that it may seem fine to you. But, if you haven’t done a website redesign in a few years, you may want to investigate whether or not it has a contemporary look and feel.
Why contemporary? It signals to the website visitor whether your company, agency, or educational institution is “up to date.” Make sure your website is making the impression you want.
Your website visitor owes you nothing. If there is any confusion whatsoever, they’re gone.
I’ll assume you are an expert in the resource being provided. So on a scale of 1 to 10, let’s say you are a 9 in terms of knowledge. But, you know your website visitors are not – that’s why your intended audience is searching for web resources.
So, you “dumb it down.”
But what you don’t realize is that when you simplified things, you were talking at a level of 5 or 6. Meanwhile, your audience is operating at a knowledge level of 2 or 3. What you need is a website that is clear enough that someone with a knowledge level of 2 is satisfied, but also with enough content that someone with a knowledge level of 7 is also satisfied.
Crispness means short and sweet. People want answers to their questions, not the history of your business. One aspect of this concept is your competition. Your site will be evaluated by Google relative to your competition. So keeping it short and crisp could mean 500 words or it could mean 5,000 words. It depends upon your niche and your competition.
There are web resources for finding out what people want to know about any topic. The first and easiest is Google itself. When you search they give “related searches” at the bottom of the search engine results pages (SERPs). There are also sites that exist to collect the kinds of questions people ask about various topics. The most well-known is Answer the Public.
Remember the purpose of your website resource – people want answers but they need to be convinced you are giving them the correct answers. With the quantity of misinformation on the web today, you need to create the authority to be believed.
One aspect of convincing people is showing the competence you have to answer their questions. Reviews and other social proof come into play here. Always make sure your content is well-researched, factual information. Also, make sure there are no typographical errors… that destroys competence.
This relates to the tone of your website. Regardless of whether your site is a government agency, a sponsoring organization, or an official site of a business, people are attracted to positivity. The tone should be cheerful in most cases.