Sometimes a minor change to your website can have a major impact on your business success. These 8 simple changes will help boost your website's performance and get you more visitors, more customers, and more money.
1. Put the most important information first.
Usually, the most important thing to get across to your visitors is who you are, what you do, and why it matters. Put this front and center on your website. This is your value proposition, and it shouldn't take more than one or two sentences to make it clear.
After your value proposition, your visitors need to see how to get started, written in the form of a call-to-action. “Call now.” “Apply today.” “Sign up here.” Short, specific statements like these tell your visitors exactly what to do. Make your call to action bold and clear.
2. Make your contact information easy to find.
If you want your customers to contact you, make it easy for them to find your contact info—phone number, email address, physical location, and so on. You might be surprised how many businesses fail to do this. Most visitors know to look for contact information in the header or footer of a website. Having a “Contact Us” page in your main navigation is another best practice you should follow.
3. Shorten contact forms.
Short contact forms almost always get filled out more often than long contact forms. How much information do you really need to collect? Often, name and email address is sufficient, though this will depend on the nature of your business. Shorten your contact forms as much as possible, and your visitors will be more likely to contact you.
4. Simplify your website's navigation.
Don't confuse your visitors. If your navigation is cluttered with nonessential pages or crowded with dropdowns, your visitors will get lost. Make it easy for them to find what they need. Keep your navigation simple and brief, make tabs large and eye-catching, and eliminate or hide any pages that aren't absolutely essential.
5. Write clear, compelling title tags and meta descriptions.
Each page of your site should contain a title tag and a meta description. The title tag is what will show up first in search engines, and the meta description is the brief paragraph of text that appears beneath it. If you're planning to get traffic from search engines, your title tags and meta descriptions need to convince searchers to click on your site rather than your competitor's.
Write a unique title tag and meta description for each page, and use these fields to introduce your value proposition and call-to-action. Keep your title tags less than 70 characters and keep your meta descriptions less than 150 characters.
6. Keep your site current.
If your website has a blog, when did you last write a blog post? Most blog posts contain a date stamp by default, and if visitors see that your most recent post was uploaded months or even years ago, they may conclude that the information on your site is not up-to-date. If you're going to blog, do it regularly, at least once a week, or else remove the date stamps altogether.
If your site includes a “copyright” date, make sure it's current. A site with “Copyright 2008” in the footer may appear old and possibly untrustworthy to some visitors.
7. Include “trust icons” on the homepage and other critical pages.
Trust icons are small decals that you can place on your site to show that your company is reputable. Where applicable, you should also include icons for the Better Business Bureau (BBB), industry trade groups your company is part of, certifications you have received, accreditations, and more. For e-commerce sites, many secure payment portals like PayPal, Authorize.net, and VeriSign provide icons you can place on your site to show visitors that their payment information will be kept safe.
Social media icons are also considered trust icons, and they're absolutely essential. Linking to your company's social media pages shows your visitors that you are a real business with an established presence on the web.
8. Check for broken links, misspellings, and other basic errors.
This is an easy step that's often overlooked. Check for basic errors like misspelled words, missing punctuation, broken links (use BrokenLinkCheck.com to find them), grainy images, missing information, and so on. Errors like these can hurt your brand image, and they often take just a few seconds to fix. It's time well spent.
Get Help if You Need It
These changes can help improve the performance of your website by getting you more visitors and making it easier for your visitors to become customers. Changes like these can often be made in a few minutes, while larger changes may take a bit more dedication and skill. If you need help updating your website, contact us today for a free site consultation.