What if you could control what people thought of your business before they ever got the chance to meet you face to face and shake your hand? I’ve got good news…. you can! A website is a first impression for anyone who doesn’t know you yet. Many times, people will find your website through search engines such as Google or through other people talking about you on social media. With so many tools available to build your own website, many are quick to think “this will be easy!” WordPress, Wix and Squarespace are all great places to get started with many tutorial sources available. You have a website, but does it do what you want it to do? Have you thought of a strategy for how your website will perform? Are you converting your visitors to readers? Customers? Fans? Based on experiences in different industries and different types of websites, I’ve compiled a list of six “universal” ways to instantly improve your website.
#1 – Convert Your Visitors
Whether the goal of your website is to sell a product online, inform new customers about your brand or service or simply gain a following for your blog, you want to be converting your visitors. What does converting a visitor mean? It means either they buy your product, leave their information with you so you can contact them or they can easily find how to email or call you directly from your site. There are several tools out there to help you convert visitors depending on which platform your site is on. Add an email subscription pop up to your site so whenever someone lands on your site, they are given the option to leave their contact information. Yes – these can be annoying, but you have to make it easy for people to subscribe or sign up for email reminders. Add a contact form or ask a question box on every page of the site. Include a contact button in the main menu navigation so users will find it in an obvious place. Include you NAP information in the header or nav. The idea is to make it as easy as possible for site visitors to convert.
#2 – Be User Friendly
I never stop hearing from clients about how they much love the Apple website – and I 100% agree. I may be bias since I have to have Apple everything, but do you know why the Apple website is so appealing? Simple: it’s user friendly. It’s easy to navigate and easy to find what you’re looking for. Keep your menu short with 5-7 main menu options. Make the answers to visitors questions about you or your product easy to get to with organized navigation in sub menus. Make the purchase process simple. Make it easy for the visitor to get in touch with you. Keep the content clean and organized. Leave room for white space. An easy way to test your site is to have a friend or family member spend 15-20 minutes clicking through the pages and giving their feedback on how they think the site flows.
#3 – Tell Your Story
Just because you might be in an industry or business that isn’t necessarily interesting or new doesn’t mean you can’t make it interesting and new. Use your website to tell your story. Who are you? Where did you come from? How did you get here? What are your goals? Who works for you? What’s their story? Who are your customers? What’s their story? How are you helping them? How can you help me? How are you better than your competitors? Many of these questions are meant to be answered creatively and in a way that draws a potential customer in, yearning to learn more. It’s the story of your business or blog. Add a page to your site with the story, then add a main menu option “Our Story” or “Who We Are” or “About”. You can also include it in a slider banner on your home page. People are more interested than you might think to learn about your story and what you’re all about. Talk about you, I want to know!
#4 – Call To Action
Does every page on your website have a call to action? This doesn’t necessarily have to be a conversion. Does it urge the visitor to do something, such as go to another page, fill out a form, call, add to cart, see what’s new, suggest another post, etc..? Your home page isn’t the only place where a call to action is important. Look at the different pages you have and see if you can find opportunities to add a clearer action item for new visitors. Tell them where to go or what to do next.
#5 – Social Media
If you don’t have social media pages, I suggest creating some. You don’t have to get crazy with it by creating 10 different profiles. Depending on what you do, I only suggest certain platforms. Your website is a great place to connect customers and new visitors with your business social profiles. Add social media icons to the header or footer of your website. Add buttons such as “like us on Facebook” or “Pin to Pinterest” to different pages or posts. Social media is meant to be a place where you pull back the curtain of what happens behind the scenes at your business and show customers a closer picture of what you do and why. You can use this to your advantage by attracting new customers.
#6 – Add a blog feed
Adding a blog feed to a website is a great way to keep the site fresh in Google’s eyes. If a website is constantly being updated and adding new content, it’ll stay on the top of Google’s mind. But before you go blog crazy, be very cognizant of who your readers are and what they care most about. Writing sales-y articles that are constantly mentioning “come to me!” “buy me!” “I’m the best!” isn’t the best approach. Answer a common question in your category, appeal to your audience and be genuine in your topics. One place to start when trying to think of a topic? Google.
So, what kind of things make your website successful? Do you have any tips to share that could help improve a website? I’m excited to hear what other tips are out there! Please leave a comment below or contact me to start a discussion 🙂
~Mary E. Robb