Websites can be surprisingly expensive to develop and so it is well worth your time making sure that you get a good one for your hard earned money. The below tips will put you well on your way to ensuring that you improve your website:
Have a Clear Purpose
Simply knowing you need to have a website for your business is not enough. In order to get a return on your investment, your website needs to serve a clear purpose. The purpose of your website will obviously vary depending on the nature of your business. It may be that the website needs to do nothing more than clearly communicate your services and provide a reflection of your company culture to the viewers. It may be that you need to develop your brand further by creating a more visible online presence, so the website will need to position content to make it easy to find and digest. Before engaging a digital agency, or sitting down with your internal development team, brainstorm the 3 or 4 main goals that the website needs to achieve. This will make it a lot easier to create a well designed and purposeful website.
Having established the purpose of your website, it is then clear that the website needs to make it easy for your clients and potential clients to get in contact with you, buy your product(s) or sign up for your services. This is what a call-to-action is – an item on the website that requires the user to perform an action you would like them to. Getting the balance right here is vitally important. The website design can’t be too pushy, otherwise people will immediately leave as they feel pressured. The right balance will mean that when the person is ready, they won’t have to go searching to find how to get in contact.
Speed and Performance
Ever visited a website and the home page takes forever to load? Did you hang around waiting for it or did you move on to the next thing? Exactly. This is why speed and performance are vital for your website. If your site take more than 2-3 seconds to load you’ll start losing potential customers because they won’t wait around for your website to load. Optimising websites for page load can be complicated and involved, but fortunately there are plenty of tools and addons that can be used to help make your site as fast as possible.
The majority of today’s internet browsing is done on mobile devices so it is vital that your website is mobile responsive. This means that the website automatically detects that it is being viewed on a mobile device and changes its layout so as to be as easy to use on a smaller screen as possible. Google themselves also place priority on websites that are optimised for viewing on mobile devices when running their searches. Creating a mobile optimised website can be achieved in a number of ways, but ensuring that your users have a good experience when using their phones is critical to helping your business.
Content Content Content!
Ok, so this heading is overkill, but having good content on your website is crucial for a number of reasons. Firstly, the content on your site tells the viewer what you do, offer and about your business. Secondly, Google likes websites with content, especially if this content gets updated and added to frequently. It shows that the website is active and may be of value to the users using the Google search. Lastly, the content puts your website out there and shows that you are (hopefully) an expert in your business area. This helps build trust with customers and will encourage them to get in contact with you or buy your products.
Social Sharing and Follow Buttons
Obviously your business has social media profiles right? One of the added bonuses of having a good website with good content is that people will be encouraged to search you out on social media so that they can keep up-to-date with your daily news. Why not make it easier for them to follow you by giving them the button to do so? Or, they may love your content so much that they want to share it with their colleagues, so why not give them the option to do that as well? That’s free marketing, so there’s no way you wouldn’t want to have the social buttons on your website.
Remove Errors and a Good 404 Page
Errors are never a good look, but they do happen occasionally. The best way to handle this is to make sure your website has a well built 404 page. The 404 page is where your website visitor is taken to if they try to access a page that can not be found. A good 404 page does not have to be complicated, as long as it allows the user to move on to another page within your website as you don’t want them having to leave. There’s a number of tools available to help you build good 404 pages as well as detect when a user has been sent to the page so that you can fix the errors that led them there.
So there you have it. Seven fairly simple items to implement to improve your website so it is well on its way to being a powerful marketing and sales tool for your business.
Need a new website for your business? Or maybe just an upgrade of your current one? Get in touch today for a free consultation!