9 High Impact Ways To Make Your Website Better Today
Marketing / October 11, 2017
In today’s world, your website is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have. Every business worth its salt has one; and likely a pretty extensive marketing plan backing it up. With such importance placed on websites these days, it pays to spend some time analyzing and improving it. If you haven’t spent some time reviewing your site recently, it’s definitely a good idea to block out a chunk of your day and do so. Depending on your situation, doing so can give a huge boost to how users interact with your site, and whether or not they convert to customers. Here are 9 simple ways you can improve your site today, and start boosting your conversions.
Get Your Tracking in Order
First things first, if your web tracking isn’t in order there’s no point in going forward. If you can’t tell what’s working there’s no way to tell if you’re improving! There’s a lot of different types of tracking services out there, but probably the base standard is Google Ananlytics. Google’s ananlytics service tracks a ton different data, is very easy to setup, and is a great starting pointing for most websites. On top of all that it's free, making it an excellent choice for budget conscious businesses. Google’s analytics tools also allows you to track custom made goals. Take a minute, and think of all the revenue generating points of your site. This could be sales, email signups, form submits, or anything else. Once you have your list, you can then set up custom goals in the ananlytics console which will track these. There’s a lot of options so it can be a bit overwhelming at first, but focus on getting the traffic tracking set up, and then look into goals. Having these configured will allow you to properly gauge progress and make informed decisions moving forward.
Keep your users engaged after they leave the site with email
Ask any person who’s done online marketing and they’ll tell you one of their most important tools is the email list. This is a list of people who have specifically subscribed to receive emailed updates from a particular person or company. Having a ready made list of interested readers is absolutely invaluable. Not only are these people you can market to, but they are also very targeted users who have already expressed interest in what you’re talking about. It also gives a great platform to build relationships and demonstrate authority. Since you have a premade audience you can build unique campaigns that build off eachother. This is much easier to do through email than on your site as you can guarantee the order someone gets the emails. If you’re not already, add a small subscribe or newsletter form on your page. We’ve had great success using MailChimp as our autoresponder and email marketing software. Through this we’re able to create forms that add people to our email list, and the create follow up campaigns.
An often looked component of good on-site SEO is an internal linking strategy. It’s not only good for SEO, but important for your overall user experience. A good internal linking structure make it easy for a user to get exactly where they want to go. For seo purposes, MOZ has a fantastic primer on building internal links. It’s a quick read, so I highly encourage you to set aside a few minutes to give it a look. To put it simply though, your internal linking needs to make sense. Before thinking about SEO think of where your visitors want to go to on your site (the ananlytics you should have set up can help with this!). You want the links to make sense and guide the user through the flow. If you see in your ananlytics a page that has an unusually high bounce rate check the links on that page and make sure it makes sense on where to go next.
Check Your Web speed
You only have a few seconds to grab a user's attention. So, if your website takes longer than that to load you’re gonna have a bad time. In all seriousness though, a slow load speed is going to be contribute to people leaving your site before they even get to it. According to a post by Kissmetrics, even a 1 second load difference can cause up to a 7% drop in conversions. It literally pays to increase your sites load speed! This isn’t just a functional issue, site speed has an effect on SEO as well. Google has said that faster sites will get a bonus to their rankings. This makes sense as Google doesn’t want to offer up a bunch of slow sites in their searches. There are a lot of sites that do pagespeed checks. Each one has slightly different metrics it uses, so it’s best to grab 2-3 and compare . We personally recommend starting with Pingdom. It gives a lot of helpful insights as to what’s going right and wrong on the site, while not overloading the user with information. It’s a nice middle ground between too much information, and not enough.
Create Enticing Call To Actions
One mistake we see on a lot of sites is no clear call to action. Your website should have a core purpose, and needs to have an easy, clear way for your visitors to take that action. Generally, call to actions take the form of a button or at the very least require a button to finish (such as a form). You’ll want to make sure the call to action stands out and is the core focus of the design. Using a contrasting color scheme for important CTAs is a good way to set them apart from the site. A solid rule of thumb is there should be one core call to action on each page. For example, on our homepage you’ll see our main call to action is for starting a project. We have these layered throughout the page so no matter where the user is they can easily take action. One thing you won’t see though, is multiple different call to actions in the same view. You don’t want overwhelm the user, and giving too many options of what you want them to do next will do just that. It’s best to limit each page to one specific goal and focus on that. It’s okay if there’s something like a newsletter sign up somewhere on the page, but it should be clear what the action you want the user to take is.
Having a blog is a great way to not only start marketing and generating good SEO for your site, but is a fantastic way to demonstrate expertise, connect with your visitors, and provide value. With all those benefits it's clear why we recommend every business have some sort of blog. You blog doesn’t have to be some crazy fancy setup, a simple Wordpress blog with a clean layout is really all that’s needed. You also don’t have to go out and right hundreds of articles to launch it. Starting out with writing one quality article each week is more than enough to start making a difference. The key word in the above is “quality”. We’re a big believer in quality over quantity. If you could write one really good article or 10 mediocre ones each week we’d go with the former 10 times out of 10. Your blog isn’t limited to articles either. Make a good video? Throw it on the blog. Have an interesting marketing graphic? Put it up there. While articles are great, having a good mix of content is even better. Don’t be afraid to combine them either! Having a cool graphic along with a 200-300 hundred words of text summarizing it is a winning combo! If you get stumped for article ideas, the best way is to think of topics is to consider questions your clients ask. You are writing for them after all. You want to not only show up in searches for common queries, but also show off your expertise in a topic. People do research before purchasing a product or service, so align your blog with educating those users and demonstrating you're an expert in your field.
Make sure your value proposition is clear
Having a clear value proposition is vital to ensuring quality conversions. Your visitors should know exactly what you do after only a few seconds of being on your site. A good value proposition is not a catch phrase, but generally a few lines or bullets that touch on:
- -What problem or benefit you solve
- -Who this solution is built for
- -Why they should choose you over your competition
Add Social Sharing Buttons and Other Functionality
Social proof is everything these days. Having a large following on social networks is not only fantastic for marketing, but it also instills a lot of confidence in potential customers. Having a large following oftentimes helps build credibility. It makes sense to share and grow that following wherever possible. Adding some share buttons to your site is an easy way to do that. There’s a lot of services out there that will quickly create a share button for you page. Sharethis is a super easy to use, free system that does just that. If you’re using something like Wordpress, there’s also plugins that handle the same functionality. In addition to share buttons, you can also go with more advanced integrations. For example, integrating your instagram feed into site so new images are automatically displayed. These usually take a bit more work to setup, but can add some really nice engagement points on your site. Once again, if you’re using a popular system like Wordpress, there’s likely some plugins that handle some types of integrations. Do a bit of searching and see if there is an easy to use one that does what you’re looking for.
Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Friendly
If you take a look at those ananlytics stats I’m willing to bet that close to, if not more than, half of your users are coming from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. A lot of people get into the habit of improving their desktop site, but then neglect to mirror that time on the other screen sizes. With most people seeing over half their traffic coming from these sources, that’s a huge mistake! If that wasn’t enough, Google also takes mobile friendliness into account for rankings. If you site isn’t responsive, you’re likely to penalized in searches on mobile devices. The first step is to check your site with Google’s own mobile testing tool. Simple input your site and google will let you know how their crawlers view your site, and whether or not they deem it “mobile friendly”. If your site passes the test you’re still not done. While that test will test the technical aspects of your site, it doesn’t ensure that your site is easy to use and navigate for mobile devices. It’s a good idea to go through the site and make sure that everything looks correct and functions correctly. There’s been many times we’ve seen sites where the menu doesn’t work properly on mobile devices, or images are cropped in odd ways that ruin the message of them. It’s little things like this can really ruin the user experience. If you have the means, it’s also wise to do the above in a couple different screen sizes and resolutions. Things can be subtly different between devices, so it’s good to get some verification that your site looks good across them.
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