Whether you run a tool and die shop or a 24-hour diner, your website is an essential part of making sure your business and its products and services can be found and utilized by anyone who needs them. But not all businesses seem to benefit from their websites as much as they should.
If you’re not sure your website is performing as well as it ought to be, it may be time to make some improvements. Here are eight, straightforward tips to help you improve your website.
Improving the quality of your content isn’t just something your customers and potential customers will appreciate; although that’s the main reason you should concern yourself with it. It turns out that search engines’ algorithms are evolving to increasingly taking content into consideration when it comes to rankings as well, which means that if you aren’t providing high-quality, legitimate content throughout your website, your rankings will suffer, resulting in less web traffic.
Pare It Down
Websites that have a lot of pages and a complex system to navigate will confuse newer customers. Not every piece of information about your business needs to be on your website, and the information you do include needs to be efficiently conveyed. Consider your site from the perspective of the customer.
When you go to a website that has too many images, too many links, too much text and too many pages, you have a negative experience that is unlikely to result in a sale. Only provide what your customer is likely to need throughout your site, and leave the rest for the occasional email inquiry.
Keep Content Current
Keep the content on your website completely current. For some businesses—like bakeries that update their daily offerings—this may require a daily effort, but for most companies, ensuring that all your content is up-to-date just needs some focused energy put into it every other week or so. That way, you can make sure all your sales, announcements, events and the like are up-to-date, which will please your customers and the search engines so that you increase traffic to your website.
If you haven’t built an app or otherwise taken measures to ensure that your website is truly mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on business. More and more Internet users are accessing the web via tablets and phones, and that trend is only going to become more common as time goes on.
Make sure your site will load easily on a smaller platform and screen—no Flash, frames or complex graphics — and you’ll be surprised at how much more business you get.
Make Navigation Intuitive
When a site is difficult to navigate, people will usually quit it and go to another one. To make the navigation on your site more intuitive, keep important links, calls to action and other primary concerns for your customers at the tops of landing pages, and put less important links and information along the bottom of the page.
A web page that looks cluttered will only keep the attention of a very dedicated user. Keep images, graphs and photographs to a minimum, and be sure to keep paragraphs short as well. Make sure that each page is only trying to accomplish one main idea and that there are no competing calls to action. By de-cluttering your website, you’ll improve your user experience, which will yield a higher conversion rate.
Treat Every Page Like a Landing Page
Most websites were designed with the assumption that a user will always land on the home page first, but because of the way search engines work, any page on your site might become a landing page. With that in mind, make sure every page on your site can function as a landing page so that visitors can navigate your site regardless of where they enter it.
Test and Monitor
After you’ve done the work of “improving” your site, you need to test and monitor it to see if your improvements have actually improved anything. Google Analytics is a great, free tool that will help you find out how people are getting to your website and what they do after they arrive. From letting you know which pages see the most traffic to giving you insight into what pages people leave immediately, testing and monitoring your website is the best way to know what’s working and what isn’t.
Just having a website isn’t enough to increase or maintain business these days. From ensuring that your web presence is mobile friendly to doing the follow-up work of testing and monitoring any changes you make, use these eight tips to improve your website so it can help you improve your business.