Six things you can do to improve your website right now
Whenever we get an inquiry from a potential customer, the first thing we do is visit their website. Aside from meeting a business owner, their website tends to be the best window to a business’ soul. It helps us to see the strengths and diagnose the weaknesses not only of the site, but often the business itself.
We’ve gone on countless blind dates with customer websites. Naturally, we’ve noticed a few common issues that might apply to your own website. Here are simple solutions for the top six small business website issues we’ve found.
#1 Immediately communicate what your business is about
As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, I am constantly surprised by how often websites just do not communicate what the business (or blog) is about. Users have little patience. They don’t want to spend more than a few seconds to know exactly where they are in the world wide web. They like to feel in control of their journey, and it’s your job to help them feel cool and confident on your site.
Run through your site as a visitor to make sure that any stranger who lands on your pages for any number of reasons will immediately know a) where they are and b) what they can do next.
#2 Make sure each page serves one clear purpose
You wouldn’t sleep in your kitchen or invite dinner guests to eat in the bedroom. Treat website visitors with the same care. One of the simplest ways to make sure you have a clear and effective website is to check that each one of your pages serves a clear purpose. If you have an About page, use it to tell people all about your business. Don’t use it as a contact page or to promote different services. If you have a page that promotes a product, don’t add confusing information about the company’s history and development.
While it’s good to have rich content on every page, it’s not good to have splintered and unrelated content jumbled together in any one place.
#3 Get better images
There’s no easy way around this one: Don’t use pixelated or blurry images. (Unless of course, that is your deliberate and unique design aesthetic.) As a designer, I’ve seen this that this issue can be a little bit of a slippery slope. Once a website owner allows a single sub-par images (maybe the only image they have of a product is one in which it’s held against a cluttered background), they tend to allow more and more sub-par images. Soon low-quality photography becomes a disease of the whole website.
The good news is, I find that the opposite is also true. Once a website owner introduces a great quality image onto their website, they tend to want to upgrade the rest of the images on their site to match the high quality. Are you heading in the right direction? If you need help in this department, we have professional photographers on our team.
#4 Too little content? Create more
Google is constantly updating their search algorithm to improve their search function. It’s a fantastic thing, except for anyone who tries to shortcut the long road to creating a great website. One Google update involves “punishing” web pages with little or no original content.
If you have pages in your website that do not provide valuable information or invite any engagement (often reflected by a high bounce rate in Google Analytics), revisit them. Remove ones that truly do not serve a unique purpose, and enrich the content of the pages that do.
#5 Too much unorganized content? Use headings and subheadings
If you’re one of the rare entrepreneurs who has created too much content on your site, the solution is simple. Just go through your copy, and break it up by adding helpful headings and subheadings. Take a little bit of time with this, because you want to make sure that all of your headings and subheadings can both intrigue your visitor and provide insight to what your content is about. Too straightforward and it runs the risk of sounding boring. Too flowery and it runs the risk of sounding meaningless.
#6 Tell your visitors where to go
Imagine yourself as a small child with very small attention span. Now enter your website through this child’s eyes. Is it super-duper obvious how this child can complete the following challenges without crying for help?
- Getting in touch with the website owner
- Buying a specific product you offer
- Knowing about the business owner
- Finding the price range of the website’s offerings
- Discovering any special promotions
For each of these scenarios, take note of anything that makes the journey at all confusing or frustrating. Keep special watch for any immovable roadblocks that would make a small child throw a fit. Then make a list of all the changes that would solve these problems and apply them!
Do you want to talk to an expert about your website? Check out our consultation services.