A website should evolve as your business grows and it’s important to keep adding fresh content as, just because your website is live, it doesn’t mean it is ever truly finished.
Look at what is in place already and ask yourself how it can be improved. This can be from simple text changes, adding new pages or even new features such as booking systems and events calendars.
To give you a good start we have put together 10 of our favourite tips on improving your website. They are fairly easily to implement and can really give you a good head start in optimising your business. Some of these get a little technical but if you get stuck, give us a shout and we will be happy to help!
Do you have a buyer persona?
Do you really know why you are making these changes and who your website is really for? Taking time to think about this can really help educate you and focus your changes.
Have a think about your typical buyer persona(s). This is a useful exercise in imagining your ideal customer, what kind of information they will relate to and where they are most likely to look for it.
Some people may only have one persona which is fine. Other people may have multiple for different products or services. Either way it’s worth spending the time to get this right. A useful tool is provided by HubSpot who help you through the process.
Are your Calls to Actions clear?
Once you know who your targeting the site at, have a think about what you want those people to do on your site. For eCommerce sites, the obvious answer is to buy a product, but for informational sites this can be different.
It may be to give you a call or fill in a form. It can also form part of smaller steps such as a downloadable guide where you can capture their emails. It’s important to make sure these are clear on a page and ideally stick to only one of two calls to action per page. Think about the visitor and what makes sense for them to do next.
Some good examples of calls to actions can be found on this useful blog from HubSpot which give some examples of how the bigger companies do it that are easy to apply to your site.
Update Your Content
People are often scared of altering their website text, but don’t be. It’s important your website reflects your business and also yourself. Try to portray your personality and don’t just be another carbon copy.
One useful exercise when reviewing your content is this:
If you took out your company name and location from the text, could anybody else be put in your place? If they can, the content isn’t unique so needs some more work!
One of the most useful places to start is with your homepage and about us page. Take a look at this Shopify Blog for some great ideas.
Check Your Text for Errors and Readability
Next, have a read through your website and make sure there are no obvious spelling or grammar errors. Your website is there to build trust and simple mistakes can quickly put people off!
The simplest way is to copy and paste your text into Word and check it there.
Alongside this, make sure its readable! Nowadays it’s easier than ever to add fancy fonts and colours to your site, but don’t lose sight of the purpose when considering the design.
Different screens will show colour differently and don’t forget about your visitors who may have vision difficulties. We would always recommend it’s better to have simpler, readable text than go too fancy. Keep it simple!
How Should People Contact You?
What is the best way for web visitors to get in touch? Not everyone has the same preferences, so it’s always worth giving different options such as an email address or a phone number.
An email address is a personal solution, but it also comes with the risk of increased spam, so we often recommend using a separate mailbox for website enquiries. If you’re going with a contact form, test it! There are a lot of easy ways to put in a contact form such as Contact Form 7 for WordPress that are easy to setup, but don’t just rely on it working, send some test emails through!
Are you linking to your social?
Your website should only be one part of your online resources. Your social media pages also play an important role in raising awareness of your business and informing clients about your message. As such, it’s important to make sure not only does your social media link to your website, but your website links to your social media. Visitors will be able to look at your social to get a real feel for your business.
This is easily done with social media icons in the header or footer.
Does it Work on Mobile?
More and more users now use mobiles to browse the internet with over 50% of visitors for most sites being on mobile devices. As such, it’s important that your site loads well on a mobile.
Does the text read okay on mobile or is it too small? Do the menus work? Most modern website systems such as WordPress do a lot of this for you but it’s always best to check for yourself.
Don’t forget the variety of devices and screen sizes. iPhone and Android phones vary and so can tablets so ask your friends and family to check as much as you can.
If you want to get a little more technical you can also use Google’s Mobile Readiness Tool. This assesses a page on your website and tells you if it works well on mobile. It’s worth doing this even if you don’t know how to fix it, as if Google sees an error, its likely to impact how visible your site is in the search results.
Is your Site Running Quickly?
It’s important a site loads quickly! People are very impatient online and will soon get bored of waiting for your site to load. If your site takes more than 5 seconds to load, there’s a 90% chance of people leaving and going elsewhere.
It can be technical to fix this but we recommend starting by using GT Metrix
This is a free tool which can tell you how fast your site is loading. Don’t get overwhelmed by the ratings but look at the page load time.
The load time is often impacted by simple things such as large images. If it’s only going in a small box on your site, don’t upload a full quality image! Images are the worse culprit for this but there are lots more so feel free to get in touch if you need any advice.
Are you Tracking your Site?
Are you monitoring how many visits it gets? At drumBEAT we just LOVE data! How do you know your changes are working if you can’t see how many people are visiting your site and if it’s growing?
There are stacks of tools to do this, but we would recommend sticking with Google Analytics. It’s a free tool and something every website can have. The data it shows can be very in-depth and complicated but keep to the overviews and it provides a wealth of useful information. It’s easy to sign up for and just needs a piece of code adding to your website by yourself or ask for help. Go to Google Analytics to make a start!
Google Analytics tracks people once they visit your site. It’s also important to monitor how visible your site is in the search results and if there are any technical errors stopping the site from being shown.
Alongside Analytics, we would also recommend setting up Google Search Console. This is another free resource focused on how visible your site is in Google search results. You can sign up for this at here
This tool does lean more to the technically minded but it’s worth a look.
Useful tip: If you have already setup Google Analytics, use the same login to access Search Console. When you add your site, it will automatically link up, saving you time and hassle!
Are your Search Engine Optimisation Basics in place?
SEO doesn’t have to be scary. Getting the basic foundations in place from the beginning can give you a great head start.
The simplest place to start is looking at your Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions. These are what you see on search engine result pages. It’s important to make sure they accurately reflect what your business offers, using the keywords people search for most.
Be creative, give some insights about the page they are seeing and why they should visit. Don’t forget a call to action!
There are limits on how much text you can put in these and different systems have different ways of entering them such as using the Yoast plugin for WordPress. However, this shouldn’t be too hard to find.
Going into detail here is well beyond the scope of this article but take a look at this useful blog to make a start.
Take your time with all this. Rome wasn’t built in a day so, don’t rush the process and make sure you are happy with the result.
These actionable tips should give you some useful ideas to improve your website. Some of them do get a little technical so only look at those you are comfortable with.
If you have any questions, drop us a message and we will be happy to give you some more information!