Your website is a really important tool! It can help you to grow your business if it's built and maintained correctly.
In this article, I've put together 17 different things that you can do to get your website ready to win! You might already know about some of these points, but there might be one that you haven't thought of before.
1. Make Sure Your Pages Load Quickly
A key to driving traffic to your website is by ranking higher in the search engines. Google uses the page loading speed as a ranking factor. So, by making your website load faster, you'll be able to give yourself a nice boost up the rankings.
Having a fast-loading page is also really important for your actual visitors. Having a page that loads slow can discourage your visitors from staying on your page and can possibly cause them to leave.
A useful tool for analysing your page load times is Google PageSpeed Insights.
For any of my Laravel developer readers, you might find my article about "6 Quick & Easy Ways to Speed Up Your Laravel Website" useful.
2. Make Sure Your Website Is Using HTTPS
Your website should be using HTTPS rather than HTTP. By using it, it means that you are allowing your visitors to connect over an encrypted connection.
It's really important to make sure that you're using HTTPS because Google penalise any websites not using it.
As well as this, it also gives your visitors confidence to put their payment details into your website.
3. Carry Out an SEO Audit Now
The more visitors you get to your website, the more likely you are to make a sale! So, carry out an SEO (search engine optimisation) audit on your site. Use this to identify aspects of your website that you can improve to rank higher on Google.
You can use free tools such as SEOptimer and Neil Patel's SEO Analyzer to highlight any obvious places that you can improve on. But, if you're looking at getting an in-depth audit of your website's SEO, I'd recommend getting in touch with an agency or freelancer who specialises in SEO.
4. Add 'Live Chat' or a 'Chat Bot'
We live in a world where we can get instant answers to our questions. Why should your website be any different?
Don't make your users sit around waiting for an email response. Give them immediate answers with a chat bot or live chat. By giving your visitors a quick way of contacting you, you can reduce the chances that they'll go to another website to find their answer.
5. Make Sure Your Website is Responsive
This point cannot be emphasised enough! Almost 60% of all internet access is done using mobile phones. So we can probably make the assumption large majority of your visitors are going to be on their smart phones. Of course, if you have analytics set up on your website, you can get more accurate figures on the types of browsers and devices that your visitors are using.
So, it's important that the site looks great and works well on mobile devices, tablets and desktops.
6. Add Your Website To All Of Your Social Media Profiles
A large proportion of your target market are going to frequently use social media sites and apps. So it's important to make sure that you have a page for your business on all of the platforms. This will help people find you!
Make sure you also add a link back to your website where possible so that you can direct traffic there to make a sale.
It's also important to make sure that you don't spread yourself too thin and try to manage too many social media accounts at once. If you're needing help with your social media accounts, I'd highly recommend getting in touch with a social media marketing agency who will be able to help you out.
7. Reduce Clutter in Your Pages and Navigation
Website visitors can easily get confused if there's too much clutter. Giving a user 20 different links in your navigation will just overwhelm them.
Try to aim for no more than 7-9 navigation links. The less choices that a user is given, the quicker they can make their decision. And the quicker that a user can make a decision, the more likely they are to make a purchase. Hesitation and delay kills sales!
8. Give Your Website a Face Lift
This doesn't apply for every website. But it's likely that some of you reading this won't have updated your website for the past year or two.
It's important that you keep your website looking modern and fresh. If your website looks neglected, dated and stale, what does that say about you and your company? This doesn't necessarily mean that you need a full website redesign every couple of years, but making minor changes to your website's styling to keep up with current trends can work wonders.
9. Show Off Your Testimonials and Past Projects
As humans, we rely on "social proof". We like knowing that someone has bought something before us and would recommend the product/service. That's why we loving checking for 5-star ratings before buying anything online.
Show off your testimonials online! This lets your potential customers know that they're making the right decision choosing you and not your competitor.
If you don't have any testimonials so far, maybe try and reach out to your existing clients/customers and asking them if they'd be able to give you a sentence or two as a review? Depending on the type of website that you're running, it might even be helpful to get some a review on Google, Trustpilot, Facebook and LinkedIn.
10. Special Offers/Discounts for New Customers
Getting new customers and clients is much harder than keeping recurring ones. You've got to build the initial trust and convince them to buy from you.
Offering a first-time buyer discount or special offer is a great way to get new customers on board. Next time they're looking for a product/service like yours, they're more likely to come to you rather than a competitor.
11. Invest in Better Photography and Images
A large amount of websites use stock images and photography. This has a knock-on effect and makes your website look very "cookie-cutter".
Why not invest a little bit and get bespoke images and graphics for your website that show off you or your company more? The more bespoke imagery can definitely help your website to stick in your visitors' heads for longer and make it feel unique.
12. Start a Blog
If you haven't already started a blog, then start one. This is a great way to drive traffic to your website. It's also a way of you showing your readers/potential customers that you are knowledgeable in your field.
You can also share your blog posts across your social media profiles to drive even more traffic to your site.
13. Start a Podcast
Podcasts are growing like crazy at the moment! The way that people are consuming content now is changing.
So, why not start a podcast for your potential customers to listen to?
To get started quickly, why not provide all of your blog posts in an audio format for people to listen to?
14. Set Up Google Analytics
It's important that you know what your website visitors are looking at when on your website.
By using Google Analytics, you can identify the user-journey of your visitors and see which pages they're viewing when they're on your site. As a result of doing this, you can update your navigation or your page layout to influence your visitors' actions if you'd prefer them to do something else.
15. Invest in a Copywriter
Writing content for your website can be harder than you'd think (or at least it was for me). You have to make sure that you're writing the content for your website with SEO in mind so that your pages rank well in the search results. But you also need to make sure that the content is also going to convince your visitors to complete your call to action (for example, buying a product).
I originally wrote the content for my site and I was never too happy with it. So, I got in touch with a copywriter and he rewrote the content for every page. As a result of doing this, I saw a clear improvement in my Google rankings and the amount of people contacting me for web development services.
So, I'd definitely recommend getting in touch with a copywriter who can write the copy for your website for you.
16. Make Sure You Have a Clear Call to Action
What do you want your website visitors to do? Buy a product? Register? Book an appointment? Contact you?
You need to make it clear to your visitors that you want them to carry out this action. This is what you'd call your "call to action" (sometimes seen as CTA).
For example, with my website in particular, I have a button in my navigation bar saying "Contact" that is a different colour to the other links. My main goal of any visitors who visit my site looking for web development services is for them to get in contact with me. I do this because I can then talk to any leads and find out what they need from me as a developer.
Your call to action is likely going to be different to mine though. So, I think it's important for you to look at your website and ask yourself two questions:
- What do I want my visitors to do on my website?
- Is it clear and obvious how a visitor could do this?
17. Grow Your Email List
Growing your email list can be a really great way to help your website grow. You can use it to let your visitors know about new promotions, or to notify your users about things like new blog posts or podcast episodes.
So, by using your email list, you can drive traffic back to your website. But one of the best parts of it is that the visitors coming from your emails will already have built some form of trust with you (because they'd already provided their email address to you). As a result of this, there's a higher probability that you'll be able to convert your visitors to paying customers or clients.
Hopefully this article should have given you an idea or two that you can use to improve your website.
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Keep on building awesome stuff! 🚀