Your boss may not know it yet, but you do: Your website needs an update. A good website includes helpful content, strong SEO practices, and a flawless user experience.
If your business website isn’t helping you by generating more leads, it might be time to optimize. There are plenty of ways you can optimize your website. Some are relatively simple, like switching out old images with higher quality ones or updating the templates of your pages so your site looks more modern.
Other methods, such as search engine optimization, can be a bit more complicated. Website optimization is usually an ongoing process, so don’t feel stressed if it takes some time. Here are 5 things about your business website your boss will want to improve.
1. The User Experience
The experience people have when visiting your website is perhaps the most important and all-encompassing focus of your optimization process. There are a lot of factors that contribute to it. Design problems, faulty page layouts, and navigation difficulties can all contribute to a negative user experience. But to make the best of your website, you can start by considering a few basics.
If your website takes a long time to load, users may abandon it. You can’t assume all your users will be on desktop computers. Therefore, design your website load on older smartphones and computers as well as newer ones. Condense images, clean up messy code, and update your CMS when possible.
Mobile-friendly Web Pages
More and more people are switching to their mobile devices to access online content. If your website doesn’t load properly on a mobile device, you may run the risk of losing access to some of your customers. Making sure every part of your website is viewable on a mobile device like a smartphone will give your customers multiple pathways to access your content and cater to those customers who prefer to use mobile devices exclusively.
Clear Contact Information
If you like your website but you still aren’t being contacted, look at the contact information on your website. Customers will access your site through a number of different pathways. Some might find your homepage through a direct search with a search engine. Others might stumble upon one of your blog posts when trying to find the solution to a problem.
Place your contact information strategically on your homepage and throughout your website. Regardless of where a visitor is in their buying journey, the ability to contact you should always be a click away.
Make sure your contact information is placed strategically throughout your website. Regardless of where a visitor is in their buying journey, the ability to contact you should always be a click away.
Easy and Standardized Navigation
Poor and difficult navigation is one of the biggest detriments to your visitors’ experience. Even if you have a lot of great content on your website, you'll lose readers if its difficult to find. To avoid this, make your website navigation simple and standardized across every web page.
Many websites accomplish this by including a short navigation list as a header. Avoid including too many links in your navigation field. Let your visitors reach your content organically by making links clear, short, and logical.
Many businesses include a short navigation list as a header. Avoid including too many links in your navigation field. You want your visitors to reach your content intuitively. Therefore, make links clear, short, and logical.
2. Your Website’s Content
Even if you’ve already populated your website with blog posts, infographics, ebooks, and other content offers, part of the optimization process involves taking a second look at your content to make sure it will perform the way you want it to. If you aren’t acquiring a respectable amount of leads and traffic on your web pages is down, your content probably needs a bit of a boost.
Thankfully, you don’t have to get rid of the content you’ve already produced. You can make new content! And if you’re attached to your old work, you can always edit your old content to make it more effective.
First, determine which pieces of content performed well and which didn’t. Then, generate a content creation plan and adhere to it. Once your content goes live, you can promote it through social media channels to get even more traffic on your website.
When writing content, always keep your target audience in mind. Content that performs well will usually offer the reader something valuable like practical advice or interesting research.
Images are also part of your content strategy. Users tend to recognize stock images and images of poor quality almost immediately when they visit a website. When this happens, they'll lose confidence in your business website.. To build trust with your visitors, only source the most quality images for your website and make sure they’ll load efficiency on any device.
You want your user experience to be unique and memorable, not underwhelming.
3. The Way You Target Customers
Determine how your website should look and function by looking at your target customers. Your customers should factor into every decision you make for your website. Your choice of content and color should be based on your customer's interests, rather than your own.
For example, a teen clothing store's website will look very different than the website of a life insurance company. If you’re getting traffic to your website but you aren’t generating leads, it could be because your website isn’t attractive to the types of visitors you are receiving.
You’ve probably already done extensive research on your target customers. Now, it’s just a matter of applying that research to your website.
Keep your target customers in mind when writing content as well. If you’ve already developed a list of marketing personas, it should be easy to determine which persona to engage with when writing a piece of content. Pay attention to the language choices you use, the usefulness of your piece of content, and where your audience might be in their buying process.
You don’t want to promote your services too much in a blog post that should be addressing a frequently asked question, for example, and you don’t want your language to sound too casual if you’re trying to target an industry CEO or decision-maker.
4. Your Website’s SEO: Keywords, Content, and Authority
Optimizing your business website for search engines we get you more new visitors. There are several ways to do website search engine optimization. Some are easier than others, however. The keywords you choose to include in your bodies of content, your titles and headers, and in your meta descriptions will determine how search engines read your website. Furthermore, it will affect which search queries show your business website as a result.
At first, you might be tempted to fill every page of your business website with as many relevant keywords as possible. This isn’t a good tactic, as search engines will label a page with too many keywords as spam, earning it a lower ranking.
A better idea is to include a smaller list that is a mix of short, searchable keywords and industry-specific “long-tail” keywords in your text. This is especially important if you are trying to compete with a large number of other businesses or a host of giant, well-established companies.
Chances are, they have already staked a claim on the best keywords, so you’ll have to find your own mix if you want to stand out.
Content plays an important role in SEO as well. Search engines have become so sophisticated that they can tell how many words are on each web page and how well your website functions. Blog posts that are over 500 words long fair better in search engine rankings than blog posts that are under 300 words.
Writing good content that visitors will want to share is also a great way to garner more authority. You'll gain backlinks from other reputable sites and shares on social media. Finally, make sure all the content on your site is equipped with title tags and meta descriptions.
5. Avoidance of Common Mistakes
By taking a look at the list above, you probably already have a good idea of what to avoid when optimizing your website, but there are a few common errors that are noteworthy.
An Untested Business Website
First and foremost, make sure you do some trial runs of your website’s performance after you have optimized. If you are only viewing it from the back-end, you may miss some of the things that aren’t translating well into your outward facing website. Test your navigation and the load times of your pages.
Take a look at your design work and make sure it’s appealing. Any issues you catch now won’t be seen by potential clients, saving you embarrassment and headaches in the future.
Again, don't be tempted to include as many keywords as possible on each web page. Try not to only use keywords that have high search rankings. You may rank for some of these in time, but you'll need to build out your content library first.
Content Written for Search Engines
When writing content, write like another human being is eventually going to read it. Content written only with SEO in mind might get you search results and even clicks, but it won’t translate into actual leads. Generate content organically rather than manufacturing it.
Videos that Play Automatically
Video marketing is increasing. In fact, professionals around the world have named video the one type of content with the best ROI. If you include videos on your website, don’t make the mistake of setting them to play automatically. You may be excited to get your video content out there, but users tend to be turned off by auto-play.
Let your visitors make their own decisions regarding what content they want to view.
Improve Your Business Website
Optimizing your business website might seem daunting, especially if you haven’t updated it in a long time, but if you keep the benefits of optimization in mind and focus on one task at a time, you’ll have a highly functioning website before you know it. With a fully optimized website, you’ll have a better chance of standing out amongst your competitors and you’ll be well on your way to generating the types of leads that turn into lasting customers and sales.