Whether your website is nonexistent at this point, an antique from five years ago, or vital and thriving, technology is ever evolving. it’s good to catch up on new ways you can improve it. It’s always a great idea to go back and review the basics though, as even those change.
Make it super easy for people to contact you
Put your contact information on every single page. Do you want them to call you? Email you? Open an online chat? What’s the next step you want them to take? Be sure to have a button that’s easy to find that will take them to a way to contact you.
These days, all online businesses pretty much require a blog. Having a blog is the number one way to connect with your customers on a human level. What you write sets you apart from your competition, draws your website visitors in with your stories, invites them to engage and hang around for awhile. A website that showcases your offerings is great, but there’s more to your business than utilitarian descriptions of your products, right? Telling stories and being human, not just a pretty website, builds compassion and relationships. Your products will change over time, but your customers will remain loyal with a strong human connection. Read this page for more on storytelling as a way to engage visitors.
Besides building relationships, a blog creates content that is easily shared on social media.
And another important reason, a blog establishes you as an expert in your niche.
Your blog should live on your website; a separate URL makes you harder to find, seems confusing, and doesn’t help build your brand. There are other reasons too: makes it easier for search engines to find your site, and is a channel of communication between you and your customers.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy
It’s a huge and complex field. Simply put, SEO is to use a set of tools and strategies that will make your site easy to discover. For those of us who don’t specialize in SEO, there are great tools you can use right in your website builder, such as Yoast, to help you do your own SEO. It involves entering “keywords” in strategic places in your post, and crafting a Meta Description to make Google (and other search engines) searches more effective. I’ll be going into SEO in more detail in a later post, so stay tuned.
If you want visitors to stick around, make it easy to navigate in your site. Make it attractive and fresh, but avoid unnecessary pages and content. Ideally, your site should direct visitors to place a order, so keep it uncluttered and clean. An important point that’s often forgotten: make sure your site is mobile-friendly. I read recently that more people browse the internet on mobile devices than laptops and desktops. Always test to make sure your pages load properly and your content is not cut off.
Testimonials and/or Case Studies
Use your website to promote your credibility and show that you can be trusted by posting testimonials from customers. If your business lends itself to case studies, write some articles describing how your product or service has improved customer’s lives. They show your credibility, and that potential customers can trust you.
Photos and Videos
Photos, images, and videos catch more attention than a screen full of words. Show before-and-after photos, works in progress, behind-the-scenes videos, your portfolio. If you sell services rather than physical products, show your friendly smiling team, your beautiful office, your happy clients. If your business is a physical store rather than internet-based, show photos and videos of your area so people can see you’re an active part of your community.
Growing an email list is gold. A list is your foundation for future sales, and is the one thing you own 100%, unlike your social media members. You should always focus on growing your list, and one of the best ways to do that is to offer a reward in exchange for a visitor giving you their email address. One of the best ways to do this is by offering website visitors an email every time you post something new, or to subscribe to your newsletter, or to receive something of value for free, such as a PDF.
Visitors to your site shouldn’t have to hunt for the most basic but important information about you and your business, so have everything they need to know right up front:
- Who are you? What is your mission statement? Who are your team members?
- What are you offerings? Products and/or services, how will they change your customers’ lives?
- How can customers buy from you? Make the whole process easy, from selecting your products, to checking out, to delivery.
- Why should they buy from you rather than a thousand other sites offering similar products or services?
- When and how can customers contact you? Again, make your business super accessible, and your customers will appreciate you!