People are looking for answers to their problems and you may very well have the best solution in the world, but if people can’t find you or they do find your website but can’t easily navigate it, then you might as well not even have a site.
Optimizing your website helps people find your business faster and makes it easier for the bots to index and rank you so that you will appear higher up in the SERPs. You can be sure that your competition is already doing everything they can to get to the top of search results pages so you have to make sure that your website is working just as efficiently. And even if your site is receiving plenty of visitors, are you seeing favorable conversions?
If you’re not seeing the traffic or conversions that you ought to, it may be time to comb through your site and make improvements.
Here are 7 things you can do to improve your website right now:
#1 Focus on User Experience
By 2020, a customer’s experience will be more important than price or product when it comes to choosing one brand over another.
Even if you’re not ready to hire a branding expert, there is a wealth of information out there about improving the user experience—so take advantage of it. Check out articles, posts, and e-books for research that demonstrates what digital consumers expect today, especially in your field. That means making sure your page load time is as close to 2 seconds as possible (and faster would be great), using colors that resonate with your target audience, cleaning up the design of your homepage, and testing your links and buttons for functionality.
If you want to know what frustrates your visitors, spend some time engaged with your website from the other side of the glass. Try to make a purchase, send an inquiry to your customer service team (and measure the response time), and read your content with a critical eye. You may be surprised at the things you learn. UserFocus recommends you run a usability test.
#2 Modernize Your Pages
If you have a website that is several years old, it’s time for an update. Fresh, current content sends a message that you are investing the time and resources to stay ahead of the competition.
Replace outdated photos with new images, add a video or two (welcome, product demo, tutorial) update leadership profiles, post relevant industry news, and invest in some epic blog posts that prove you are the industry’s go-to expert. Basically, show your visitors that you are an innovative and “in-the-know” company about everything that matters to your customers.
Did you know that today’s users prefer scrolling web pages (rather than different pages that you have to click on in a drop-down menu)? Time.com saw a 15% drop in bounce rates when they switched to infinite scrolling. So check every detail: content, color, font, etc. Your visitors should receive your information in a seamlessly integrated package that is easy to navigate and explore.
#3 Take Your Analytic Tools Out for a Spin
Every single website has back office analytics these days, so there’s no excuse for not knowing what’s going on with the performance of your site. And your web hosting partner probably provides proprietary tools, too. The Google Analytics wheelhouse has tools to help you dig deep into the data to discover who is visiting your website, where they come from, which pages they browse, and how long they stay on your site.
Invest a few hours exploring this hidden treasure because these insights can turn data into actionable information that you can use to enhance user experience, boost engagement levels, and improve click-through rates. Check out this list of 11 best analytics tools for your website.
#4 Create a Clear Call To Action
Your content must be compelling and crafting a killer Call To Action (CTA) is imperative. The CTA is the last part of your landing page, newsletter, or blog post where you reel the reader in after having captured their attention for the entire article. A properly-written call to action can be the deciding factor between a reader and a customer. In fact, studies show that e-mails with a powerful CTA get 371% more clicks than those that don’t have one.
Tell your story in a way that leads your readers to take the specific action that you want them to. Buttons should clearly explain what’s in it for the reader and why right now is the time to take the next step. Every business has its own goals, but consumers are looking for a reason to build a relationship with your company. Make your CTA personal and benefit-rich whether you want to generate high-quality leads or motivate website visitors to buy your products.
#5 Master SEO
You probably already know that building a website that attracts traffic and generates solid leads relies on SEO content that boosts page ranking. Learning the “logic” behind proper keyword placement, crafting tags and headlines, and using linking strategies to your advantage can be overwhelming. This blueprint from MOZ is a couple of years old, but it still has relevant and valuable information about creating your own SEO strategy to move up the search rank ladder.
You don’t have to start from scratch, though. If you have well-written content on your site, you can optimize your existing copy with WordPress plugins that simplify the process. There are dozens of plugins that offer diverse benefits from identifying long-tail keywords with low-competition scores but high-conversion potential to plugins that add video thumbnails on search result pages. Check out this list of WordPress SEO plugins for inspiration.
#6 Reconsider Your Content Management System
Many small business owners are still using “transaction oriented” CMS technology. To give website end-users the “best” experience (and make sure your site is functional for administrators), consider switching to a scenario-driven approach. This approach doesn’t ignore transactions; rather, software responds to what really matters: how the technology will be deployed every day.
If you aren’t sure how to get the most out of your CMS, or you are still in the website development stage, get the facts on finding a best-fit CMS from Theresa Regli over at INC.
#7 Motivate Mobility
Last year when Google announced they were adding a mobile-focused label to search results to enhance user experience, marketers and SEO professionals panicked. But nailing the mobility challenge isn’t really that difficult. Google just wants people to be able to find websites that are readable on mobile devices.
According to Google, web pages are eligible for their “mobile-friendly” label so long as they:
- Avoid non-mobile-friendly software (like Flash)
- Use easily-legible fonts that don’t require zooming
- Make sure the design eliminates having to zoom or scroll horizontally
- Position links with enough space around them for easy tapping
In order to ensure that your website meets the “mobile-friendly” criteria:
- Test pages with their Mobile-Friendly Test
- Read the Webmasters Mobile Guide on creating (or improving) your website
- Identify major mobility issues on every page with the Mobile usability report
- Learn more about using mobile-friendly templates via the how-to guide for third-party software (like WordPress or Joomla)
Optimizing your website doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You can take steps today to improve user experiences and boost search rank. And one simple step you can take is to make sure that your web hosting partner has the tools to power your business pages without interruption 24/7. If you need a better hosting service, check out Bluehost for unparalleled customer service and budget-friendly service packages.