5 things you can do to improve your website right now
It’s no secret that we love a bit of networking.
And while we’re out and about we often get chatting to small businesses about their websites and how they feel about them. We hear the same thing time and again: “I really want a new website but I’m just not ready to invest at the moment,” and “I wish I had the knowledge to freshen up my website myself, but I’m a bit nervous.”
That’s why we’ve pulled together this list.
These are simple, practical steps you can take today to get your website not just looking better but working harder too. What’s more they’ll tide you over nicely until you’re ready to make that investment in a swanky new site.
1. Check your headers and subheads
Concentrate first on your main header. Is it clear? Will people understand at a glance what you do or what your key message is?
Are there subheads on your page?
If not, add some by pulling out important points. Regular subheads can break up a long passage of text making it easier to read. They’ll also help your readers to scan down a page and pick up your key message.
Include your main keywords - the kind of things your audience are searching for - in headers. This is important for the purposes of SEO (search engine optimisation). Google and friends take clues from your headers when they’re working out what your page is about and whether it’s likely to answer a searcher’s query.
2. Declutter your pages
Look at the overall layout of each page on your site. Is there plenty of white space? By this we mean is everything on your page spaced out rather than being squished together looking messy, disorganised and slightly terrifying to navigate.
Spread out your text, break up paragraphs and remove anything that doesn’t add to your main message. Not only will this make it easier for your audience to read, it generally looks better and more appealing to visitors. Try using bullet point lists, pull out quotes and subheads to add interest and break up the monotony of lots of copy.
3. Update your photos
Over time, photos date. This could be because your business moves on and changes, or simply because you inevitably age (sorry!). But don’t despair. It’s amazing how much a simple photo refresh can help give your site a new lease of life.
You have a few options when it comes to photos. If you have a product-based business, you should be able to achieve some reasonable shots with a decent camera and some research on Instagram for inspiration. But if you’re service-based it can be a little trickier. Why not invest in some good quality stock images or even a brand photoshoot if you have the budget? If you’re considering a new website in the near future anyway this will pay dividends down the line.
Find out more about the types of photos that work well on websites.
4. Tighten up your CTAs
Arguably the most important part of each page, your call to action (CTA) tells the reader what you want them to do next e.g. buy something or sign up to your newsletter.
First and most importantly check you have a CTA on every page. This is vital. Don’t let your reader get to the bottom of your page and then just click away because they don’t know what to do next.
Now check over your CTA copy, whether that’s a button or a simple text link. Even microcopy, as it’s known, can pack a punch. Just because you only have space for a few words doesn’t mean they have to be dull ones.
Finally, make sure you don’t stray from your brand tone of voice when you’re writing CTAs. Every word on your site needs to sound like you otherwise it might jar with your audience. And if you make them hesitate, even for a moment, they might not click on that button at all.
5. Review your portfolio or testimonials
When was the last time you got around to adding any recent projects to your portfolio? It’s the kind of job that keeps moving down the to-do list, isn’t it?
But it is an important one (and generally not time-consuming once you get cracking).
When potential clients are checking out your site it’s likely they will want to see what you’ve been up to. If you only show work circa 2012 then it’s not likely to create a great impression.
But what if you don’t have a portfolio? Perhaps you’re in a service industry? Then make sure you update your testimonials. Named and recently dated testimonials are a hugely powerful way to show would-be customers that others like them have used (and loved!) your services.
Your website should be a dynamic thing; you should never just leave it uncared for. Apart from anything else Google loves to see you making updates and changes all the time.
All five of these tips are things that you should commit to reviewing regularly. That way your website will stay shipshape and working hard for you for years to come.
To find out more about our website services, drop us a line. You might find a brand new site is not expensive as you think after all.