Now that it’s 2020 and nearly everything is connected to the internet, your website is more important than ever! It’s where everything takes place.
If someone wants to learn more about what you do – They go to your website.
If someone wants to share your business with a friend – They share your website.
If someone wants to use your product or services – They go to your website.
Though it pains me to say that many businesses have quickly fallen behind. Their website is either old, it not mobile-friendly, or something doesn’t work.
Granted, now that everything is moving so quickly, it’s really easy to miss new trends and features that could improve your website.
But, don’t worry, you don’t need to go fix 100 million things to have a good website. We’ll cover the 6 things that are critical to any website and why they make such a large difference in the long term.
6 Ways To Improve a Website
1) Your Website Should Work on Mobile Devices
60% of all Google searches around the globe are made from some type of mobile device, so regardless of the business you run, having a mobile-friendly website is incredibly important.
But, this isn’t just an improvement for your visitors, it’s an improvement for your website’s SEO as well. Google has been penalizing websites for not working on mobile devices.
You heard me correctly. If your website doesn’t work on mobile devices, Google will actually drop you lower in the results compared to your competitors.
Frankly, if there’s one thing you improve on your website – it should be this!
Not only does it hurt the experience of the visitor, but it’s also preventing your website from ranking well in the Google search engine. Ultimately, keeping new people from finding your business.
Now, of all the things on this list, this will be the most time-consuming task, especially if you have a large website with tons of pages. But, after you make this fix, you will instantly see an improvement in how your website performs.
2) Know Your Audience and The Goal of Your Website
Nowadays, you need to have a clear idea of who you’re talking to and what you’re wanting to accomplish.
Because within five seconds of landing on your website, your visitor needs to quickly know who this product or service is for and if it meets their criteria.
If your website doesn’t quickly address those questions, they’ll leave and go check out a competitor’s website.
So, let’s break this down.
When building a website, it is hugely important to know who you’re building it for. Similar to marketing, you need to know who your target audience is.
With that information, you’ll know what causes them the most pain, how they talk, and what they want. This means you can begin to send signals to them saying “Hey! My service is for you!”
With all the different options out there, if they don’t feel like your product or service is for them, they’ll go somewhere else.
Along with that, you need to know the goal of your website.
Are you trying to sell something? Are you trying to spread a message? What about getting mailing list subscribers?
By knowing your goal, as opposed to going in blind, you can more easily build the website around funneling people to one specific action.
That could be having them call you, sign up, share your post, or even something else beyond these.
When you know what you want your visitor to do when visiting your website, you can identify the steps to get them to that point.
For example, let’s say you want someone to schedule a house cleaning service. You would need to figure out what would keep someone from making a decision and address those objections on your website.
After that, once they have everything they need, you need to provide them with a clear call-to-action.
This call-to-action should be created to help people take the desired action. If you want them to call, have a “Call Now” button.
3) Keep Things Consistent Across Pages
As you’re designing your website, it’s easy to go overboard with the design. Remember to keep things simple and consistent across all your pages.
By doing so, this will help your visitors quickly navigate and find what they are looking for on your website – which is super important.
All of your pages should feel like the same website.
If you have one page that uses the colors blue and white, but the other page using white and green you need to fix that. Pick a color scheme and stick to it.
This also applies to:
- Menu bars
- Headline banners
- Page footers
Though consistency isn’t just for cosmetics, it also plays a roll in your website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
See, as a small business, you have a business name, contact information, and store/office locations. This is called your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) information.
Google looks to see if this information is the EXACT same across all the places your business shows up online.
When I say exact, I mean EXACT!
For example, if the address on your website is 123 ABC Dr, Dallas Texas, 12345.
You can’t use any other variation. No extra commas, no abbreviation of the state, and no suite number.
And Google is actively searching for these mistakes.
Places like your website, Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook are all being monitored. So you need to make sure it’s correct, otherwise, it will hurt your SEO.
And this is especially true for your business name and phone number. Using an inaccurate or old phone number is not a good thing to leave unfixed.
4) Avoid Stock Photos
Stock photos are an easy way to get those first few photos on your website, but in all honesty, they don’t scream professionalism.
And nowadays, people have gotten really good at spotting which photos are real and what’s stock. So, going the extra distance and getting your own photos will say a lot to the visitor.
Not totally convinced that having real photos will make much of a difference? Listen to this.
A case study was done by Spectrum, Inc. of Harrington Movers, a New Jersey and New York City moving company, which showed that the company was able to increase its conversion rate – just by removing stock photos. How much? The company was able to increase its conversions by over 45%!
With all this said, it isn’t bad to use stock photography temporarily. If you aren’t able to get your own photos and have to make do with what you have – That’s fine!
Just remember, that as you are improving your website, that stock photography should be one of the things that are removed.
5) Make Your Contact Info Easy To Find
For a small business that relies greatly upon visitors contacting them – this is critical to get right.
Making it easy for your visitors to find your phone number, email, or mailing address should be a priority when designing any website.
But, as you’re improving your website, where do you put that information?
There are 3 places that you generally see contact information.
First, and most obviously, you need to have a Contact Us page. When somebody needs to ask a question, they immediately try and find your contact page. This page should generally have a contact form, along with your phone number and email (if you have/offer one).
Second, have a phone number or email in the top right corner of your website. By having one at the top, new and returning visitors can quickly find the contact information they are looking for.
Lastly, have your phone number, email, and mailing address in the footer of your website. Your footer should be used to provide any information a visitor might need and that includes your contact information.
Regardless of where you put this information, the most important thing to remember is that it should be visible almost immediately.
Your visitor should not have to search five different pages just to find your phone number!
6) Establish Trust With Reviews and an About Us Page
Trust is an essential part of any business; it’s what keeps them coming back again and again. If your customers don’t trust you, they won’t have any motivation to come back, unless you have the best prices.
As you’re making improvements to your websites, this should be one of the things you focus the most on.
And frankly, as long as you’ve been collecting reviews/testimonials over time, it shouldn’t be difficult to start getting the ball rolling.
By simply adding the testimonials of happy customers to certain pages, you can quickly establish trust with the people looking to give you a try.
Why are testimonials so important?
Well, the powerful thing about testimonials is that other people are advocating for you, you’re not advocating for yourself. As the owner of the business, people don’t care about what you have to say, they want to hear from people who have tried you first hand.
The best part, you don’t need hundreds of testimonials for it to be powerful. Even one will be tremendously helpful going forward.
Now, in terms of your About Us page, this should be one of the first pages you build. When I think of the four core pages of a website, you have the home, services, about, and contact page.
These four pages cover what the visitor may be searching for.
The About Us page is used to establish a connection with the reader and, of course, create trust.
Unfortunately, I find that many About Us pages sound robotic or like a template, which doesn’t help anyone – frankly, it’s just taking up space!
Now, if you want to get serious about your website and have a real About page, this is what you’ll need.
First, you’ll want to talk about the basics.
- How you got started?
- Why you got started?
- When was the business founded?
Then, you’ll want to start talking about things that the visitor can possibly relate to. If it’s a one-person operation, get into your family life or personal hobbies outside of work. If you have a team, you could provide a short bio for each team member.
Lastly, you NEED pictures! And they need to be REAL! If you can put a face to the person who founded the business, that is huge.
People want to know who they’re working with and images can provide them with answers.
At the end of the day, the goal here is to create a connection. With even the smallest connection, it feels less like a business transaction for the potential customer.
You need to make them feel comfortable that they are going to work with a trustworthy person, who will help them get the value they want.
Remember this, people don’t like the unknown. Be totally transparent about who’s behind the business and I guarantee you’ll see an increase in the number of people giving you a call.
Have Any Questions About Improving Your Website?
If have any questions, please feel free to reach out, I am always happy to help! Or if you’d like to see some examples of great websites, check out this post where I outline the top 10 house cleaning websites.
Are you starting a new business? Check out our post on how to find the perfect domain name!