10 Ways to Improve Your Website on a Budget (or, “Don’t Rebuild It – Trick It Out!)
Welcome to 2015! I hope you took the suggestions in my last post to heart and are busily working to get that website up to snuff for the new year. Remember, websites are living, breathing entities in need of constant attention and maintenance. As you work your way through the previous five items on my list, here are five more to really get your site singing. Many of these are things are DIY (if your site is built on a CMS or you know html) or have done for you fairly quickly by paying someone on an hourly basis.
6. Add video
Visitors love video and search engines love video. It’s a great way to introduce your proposition, your philosophy, your leadership, your team members, your workspace—maybe all at the same time. Maybe it’s a helpful “how to” video (nail trimming for CareFirst), maybe it’s a series of video testimonials. You don’t need high end equipment, either—even a home video camera on a tripod can be polished in a free editing program like iMovie.
7. Update your “recent news” section or integrate social media and post regularly
Also good for search engines and to show activity on the site for the sake of visitors. Shows you’re engaged with your customers, share photos of you with clients, of recent work, talk about how you solved a customer’s problem. Talk about landing a contract or a job, talk about hiring new people, talk about new equipment or capabilities.
8. Have a visitor goal and a clear calls-to-action (CTAs) for every page, and one main CTA for the entire site
What do you want your visitors to DO when they visit your site? They need to know, so tell them on every page! Secondary CTAs are okay if they don’t conflict. Example: direct visitors to a contact form.
Visitors came to your site for a reason, and you can direct them based on that reason—have them call you, have them fill out a brief contact form, have them ask for a free quote. This can be present on every page so no matter where they click, they’re always reminded of what they need to do before they leave.
9. Put a face to a name: who’s in charge?
People would rather work with people, not companies. Show your visitors your leadership, your sales team, your customer service agents. Humanize your company—after all, a company is only a collection of people and cumulative expertise. It’s something else that makes you different.
10. Even a website can have a soul—give it personality.
Hey, I said it’s a living, breathing entity, didn’t I? So give your copy a voice, make it conversational, make it friendly. Write for a wide range of visitors, so don’t try to be overly cute or clever, unless you really know your audience. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, find someone to help.
Bonus tip: does it work on phones and tablets?
Think of a website you visited recently where you were turned off, but you couldn’t put your finger on it. It was probably due to one or more of the items I’ve just discussed. All these problems create barriers to doing business, either through confusion, credibility, confidence. And don’t we all have enough barriers that we can’t control in our lives?
Firstsiteguide.com is a resource we’ve been pointing clients to, where they can get more help with their online journey. There you’ll find in-depth online and PDF guides, video tutorials and other helpful web development tools and resources.