Top 10 Simple Ways to Improve Your Website Right Now
Now more than ever, it’s important for your website to make a good first (or second!) impression. By engaging your visitors with fresh content, providing value, and new information, you give them a reason to stay on your website — and keep coming back. This is a great time to improve your website, making sure it’s working for you and your audience. Use this time to “test” various landing pages, products or services to see which performs at a higher conversion rate for your users. Here are 10 simple ways to improve your website right now:
1. Review Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a valuable source of data on just about every conceivable aspect of your site, from your most popular pages to visitor demographics. This data can provide valuable information to help guide your marketing and content strategies. When reviewing your Google Analytics, focus on which posts and pages are proving most popular and creating website traffic. Inspect visitor data to see when, how, and where your site traffic is coming from. By taking a close look at the pages visitors are going to most, and where visitors are leaving the website, you can use this information to perhaps test a different approach to try to retain the user. You might consider creating a stronger call-to-action (CTA), highlighting key information, eliminate, or restructure unpopular pages.
2. Update Homepage Content
As the old saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression. When is the last time you updated your homepage? It’s usually the first thing people see when coming to your website. Now is a great time to give your homepage a refresh. Updating images, switching up headlines, freshening up content are all easy to do. Consider using some of the information gained from reviewing Google Analytics to highlight popular pages — putting the most sought after information on the forefront. The homepage should not only echo the goals of your website, but consider the needs of user.
3. Connect Social Media
Social media is a great tool to stay connected, share important updates, and drive traffic to your website. If you are active on social media, make your channels easy to locate on your website. Have a great Instagram? Consider including an Instagram spotlight on your website to highlight that content. Don’t just link to your channels in the footer — include a call-to-action encouraging users to follow.
4. Boost Your SEO
If you want to rank higher on search engines and bring in more user traffic, optimizing content is a valuable practice to help your website. Are you utilizing image alt text? Do you have internal links to connect your content? Are your meta descriptions generic, or highlighting the specific page? Optimizing for SEO doesn’t have to be a massive effort, but it is highly worth your time. Some SEO elements include page title, header, meta description, image alt-text, and the URL. Simply put, showing up in search engines will generate more traffic for your site. Check out: Essential SEO Checklist and our Top Five Ecommerce SEO Tips For Your Website for more information!
5. Test Responsiveness
As the world of technology increases, more people are using mobile devices to access the web. Google now penalizes websites that are not optimized for mobile devices, which can drastically hurt website traffic. Your website should be accessible and comfortably viewable across a range of devices, browsers, and especially consider smartphones. Beyond ensuring everything works on mobile, it’s necessary to tailor your website to fit the needs and wants of your visitors. What are visitors looking for most with their mobile experience? How can the website help them find information easier? You can create a unique version of your website for your mobile audience. By tailoring content, omitting large photos, simplifying navigation, and including a prominent call-to-action might help increase conversion rates and eliminate frustration for those on the go.
6. Run a Speed Test
According to Section.io, an extra five seconds of page load time can really impact your website traffic — as much as 20% — increasing your website’s bounce rate (percentage of visitors who leave after viewing one page). Most users are not going to wait for your website to load — especially on mobile. To improve your page speed, start by compressing all your images before loading them onto your page. Image file size is one of the leading causes of a slow page speed, so make sure you are using web-friendly images. The easiest way to do this is to check the file-size of your images (a 15MB image is too large, while a 125KB image is better size for the web). Beyond checking your images, get your score. Google has a free service to give you information on your page speed. Google will also offer some suggestions for improving your load time on mobile and desktop.
7. Internal Linking
When a visitor comes to your website or blog, the goal is to create a deeper user engagement and spark curiosity to explore your website. That’s why internal links are very important. When creating and publishing content, keep an eye out for opportunities to include internal links and increase a users journey. This not only helps with SEO, but provides a better experience for the visitor. By using a plugin like Yoast, it can suggest relevant links based on your content.
8. Implement Calls to Action
Do visitors know what to do after landing on your website? By strategically directing a users journey, you can guide them to a call-to-action. Call-to-action (CTA) buttons, phrases, or sentences indicate to a user what action to take on a page. It’s a good idea to include a CTA at the bottom of major pages, so if users haven’t found what they are looking for, a CTA can direct them rather than lose them (and increase your bounce rates). But don’t wait for your user to get to the footer to find what they need (that’s a lot of scrolling!) — sprinkle in useful CTA’s throughout the page to engage the user as soon as possible.
Some example CTA’s include “click here for more information,” “learn more,” “download our guide,” “sign up for our email list,” “watch the video,” and “see pricing.” Users are accustomed to following visual cues to determine which content is important to them. Clear CTA’s enable users to easily navigate through your site and get exactly what they want, in the location they expect.
9. Catch Your 404’s
No one likes a 404. Encountering a 404 error page discredits your website, and immediately sends the message to your visitor that your website cannot help them. A 404 experience can be very frustrating for your user, and they are likely to go elsewhere for a solution. Although search engines don’t punish severely for soft 404 errors (page not found), a user will. When a visitor clicks a link, they are expecting this link will take them where they want to go. Next to slow load time, a 404 is irritating for a user and disrupts their journey throughout your website.
10. Keep It Up
Once you’ve done some (or all!) of the above steps, you can’t just set it and forget it. Websites should constantly be evolving. Keep generating content, review your Google Analytics, and make sure your website is performing well for your users. Set aside regular time to keep your website updated — you will be rewarded with increased traffic and happy users!