A website should be like a well-oiled machine. But with any machine, there’s always a tune up or a tweak that can make it run faster or make it more efficient. If you approach your website with the mindset that something can always be better, you’ll get into the habit of trying improve your website. The better it gets, the more effective it will be. You’ll bring in more customers and make more sales. I’ve put together a list of ways you can make your website better.
1. Make it faster
Speed is essential. Things like cutting down bulky images and stripping away server intense features that aren’t necessary can greatly reduce load times. Not only does this benefit your server, but website speed is an SEO factor that will help you with rankings.
2. Add Your Phone number and make it Tappable on mobile
People shouldn’t have to struggle to get in touch with you. Most likely, they are finding you via mobile search to begin with, so make it an easy impulse action to click your number and immediately call you.
3. Make your website mobile friendly
Refine your website so that it looks great and is easy to read on mobile devices. This has become an iron clad requirement now for business websites. Google won’t even feature your website in search results on mobile devices if your website isn’t mobile friendly.
4. Use Video When You Can
Video is a great way to engage with your customers. Not only does it make the browsing experience feel more personal, but people are more likely to stick around and watch the video. You bounce rate will decrease. Also, your time spent per page per visitor will increase.
5. Use badges, seals or other trust items
Anything, such as a Better Business Bureau emblem, or an award or accolade will instantly build trust with your visitors. It shows you are legit and you take care of your clients. There are many different elements of trust you can add to your website.
6. Add testimonials
Place testimonials from happy clients or customers on your website. Reviews are very important, because they greatly influence buyer decisions. If they see other satisfied customers, they’re likely to try out your services, too.
7. Include an opt-in form
You don’t want visitors to come to your site once and then never again! Have an opt-in form that they can fill out to subscribe to your newsletter or mailing list. Then you can send them follow up offers, or links to your new blog posts. Your return traffic will increase greatly from this.
8. Don’t have so many fields to fill out
If you have an opt-in form, keep it simple. Don’t make them fill out a huge history of their life just to end up on your list. If it is a lead generation form, keep it down to name, phone number, email address, company name and message at the most.
9. Add an opt-in bribe
Many people won’t opt in to your website for nothing. You should offer an incentive for them to opt-in to your website. Create a PDF guide that appeals to your audience and adds a lot of value. Your opt-in rate will skyrocket. Promote your bribe on social media to funnel in new customers interested in what you have to offer.
10. Create An Easy-to-use navigation menu
There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to find what you’re looking for. If visitors can’t make their way around your site easily, they’ll leave, and they won’t come back. Your bounce rate will increase, possibly lowering your rankings slightly.
11. Don’t use annoying elements
I’m referring to things like captcha for filling out forms. Use validation or have required items to weed out spammers. You can also add a simple math validation tactic. It’s better than captcha, and it will annoy your users less.
12. Quality images
With all of the free sock photo companies out there, there’s really no excuse for poor quality images. Also, if you have product images, make sure they look as good as humanly possible. You’d be amazed at what you can pull of with an iphone and good lighting. You can also build your own lightbox with a lamp, cardboard, tape, and some white tissue paper.
13. Add or increase contrast in important elements
If you can something you want people to immediately see, make it stand out from everything else. If you have a blue background, don’t use a blue button on top of it. Use a color that stands out against blue, such as bright yellow, orange, or bright green.
14. Placement is key!
Place important elements where people will see them. For example, call to actions, should be placed above the fold, or at the top loading portion of your website. You want your visitors to see what it is that you want them to do, and then do it. Many websites will have a call to action at the top and bottom of the same page!
15. Test, test, and test again!
A/b testing is one of the most important things you can do. A/b testing is where you take the same design you have, but you tweak it in some way. You might change the wording, or change the color of an element, and track the results. You send half the traffic to the original, and the other half to the alternate design. Then, you see which one results in more people taking action and clicking, buying or signing up. Which ever one is more successful, you use that one. This is one of the essential keys to having a well optimized website for your business.
16. Social Proof
This is another credibility booster that will build trust for your users instantly. If you have built a following, use it to your advantage. Display those numbers on your website. Encourage your visitors to join the other thousands of people in your Facebook group, your Twitter account, etc.
Hierarchy is simply a common sense breakdown of content in order of importance. Your headlines or main messages should be the largest, boldest text. Next, your supporting text may be smaller, but still stand out. Tertiary information can be even smaller. Make buttons large and colorful to stand out. This will appeal to everyone who visits your website. You’ll get the main information to people just scanning your website looking for basic information. You’ll also appeal to people who want a little extra information. You’ll also appeal to the people wanting the full range of information, from start to finish. The important thing is that your content is structured so that it is broken down in manageable chunks for everyone.
This may seem like an odd thing to mention, but a big problem with a lot of websites is that they cram too much stuff too close together. Give everything some breathing room. Give images, buttons and headline text plenty of space. It looks cleaner and more elegant than cramming everything into a small space.
19. Social share buttons
You should have a blog for your business website. If you do, you should have social media icons readily available for users to share your content. Otherwise, you’d be expecting users to copy the url, go to their social accounts, paste your url, and craft a message around it. That is expecting too much. Don’t make it tough to share your content. Social shares drive traffic and have a huge impact on your website’s success. Keep it simple, though and only focus on the main social accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, etc.
20. Execute Good On-page SEO
On page SEO is when every page of your content follows the guidelines of good search engine optimization. This includes a page title, title tags, alt tags on images, and good keyword usage. Make sure your meta description is good and is written to entice someone to click your page in search results.
21. Write Good Copy
It matters tremendously how your content is written. It should be written for people, not search engines. Don’t try to throw every big word you know in your text. Make it simple, and try to appeal to your ideal customer. Speak their language in a way that resonates with them and helps you connect with them on a personal level. Show that you understand them and that your company is focused on solving their problems.
Conclusion: Constantly Improve Your Website
there’s always room for improvement. the truth is, you can always tweak or change something and make it more effective. You can also leverage new technology, such as live chat to answer questions from people interested in buying your products.