Could you be getting more out of your company’s website? That’s the kind of question that doesn’t necessarily have a clear answer. It’s also something that can drive business owners and executives in search of new apps, coding, and advertising channels to find new opportunities to improve business.
What often gets overlooked in the hunt for the latest trend, however, is that many of the most important changes you can make to your web presence aren’t complicated or cutting edge. In fact, they can be deceptively straightforward.
In the digital age, where everything seems to be complex and moving at increasing speed, there are a handful of simple but powerful ways to improve your website and engage customers in a more meaningful way.
Here are five in particular that could make a bigger difference than you might imagine…
#1 Clear the Clutter from Your Design and Coding
User experience, or UX, is an often-discussed topic in web design these days. Those of us in the industry use heat maps, usability tests, and a host of analytical tools to figure out where visitors scroll in our sites, what moves them from one link or topic to another, and how we can best direct them to the information or answers they are looking for.
the heart of good UX is a clean, simple interface that makes it clear what your business does, and how to use the content you’ve provided.
However, the heart of good UX is a clean, simple interface that makes it clear what your business does, and how to use the content you’ve provided. In other words, it’s largely a matter of getting out of your own way and letting buyers discover the resources they need.
That sounds simple, but it’s an ever-present challenge at a time when it’s so easy to add another headline, video, or bulleted list to each page in your website. Given that more than half of your visitors will spend 15 seconds or less on your website the first time they arrive, it’s critical you clear away the clutter from your pages and encourage them to stay.
#2 Think “Mobile First”
For years, web designers have been telling clients to think in terms of “mobile compatibility.” Now, we are reaching a point where that term is antiquated. That’s because mobile smartphone and tablet users don’t just make up the majority online, but virtually all growth and internet usage is coming from those devices.
Mobile smartphone and tablet users don’t just make up the majority online, but virtually all growth and internet usage is coming from those devices.
In fact, one recent market survey referred to traditional desktop and laptop PCs as “secondary touch points.” And yet, many marketers still consider the full-screen display version of their website to be the one that’s “real.”
Instead of ensuring your business website works on mobile devices, why not take a “mobile first” approach, optimizing it for views and conversions on smaller screens? You can always change a responsive layout to accommodate larger displays, but given that the majority of your traffic will come from pocket-sized technology – now, and more so in the future – it makes sense to concentrate on your most likely source of new business.
#3 Embrace the Trend Toward Local Visibility
Around the same time that most of us started carrying around the internet in our pockets, we stopped being satisfied with bulky and outdated print directories that were filled with advertisement, instead of reviews and other useful information. And in that moment, a move toward local search visibility was initiated.
The search specialists at Google have come to realize that more than half of all searches on mobile devices are for local businesses. In return, they have begun to prioritize geography within the context of search engine listings, matching buyers to stores and vendors in their area.
Savvy marketers are taking advantage by adding city and state names to their websites, along with landmarks, maps, driving directions, and other features that show search spiders where they are, while at the same time making it easier for real-world buyers to find them. Increasing your visibility for local customers is easy and inexpensive, so why wouldn’t you make an effort to draw them in?
#4 Upgrade Your Hosting and Security Package
For a couple of dollars per day, you can gain access to faster dedicated servers, newer equipment, and added security features.
To instantly improve the performance of your company’s website, it’s hard to find a better option than upgrading your web hosting package. For a couple of dollars per day, you can gain access to faster dedicated servers, newer equipment, and added security features.
These might seem like an afterthought to an aggressive business owner or executive who’s looking to keep costs to a minimum, but buyers like webpages that load quickly – and so does Google. In addition, automatic backups, virus protection, and improved email delivery can all be had for a very small ongoing expense.
In addition to those benefits, better web hosting can help your search engine visibility, give you more storage space to work with, and allow you to add SSL connections that make online transactions more secure. That’s a lot of value for a very small item on your budget.
#5 Focus on the Right Kinds of Results
There are many different ways to “improve” a business website, but finding the right ones often comes down to aligning your web presence with your increased business goals. You can’t really get better online until you know what that actually means for you.
Do you attract local retail customers, or B2B buyers from around the globe? Are your sales opportunities coming from search engines or social interaction? How important is content, and are you well-positioned for inbound lead generation?
Before you can devise an online marketing campaign that works, you have to know what your goals are. That should be part of a bigger conversation with your team, with an eye toward building clarity and focus into each new activity. After all, an improvement is only an improvement if it shows up on your bottom line.
- Keep your website clean and uncluttered.
- Adopt a “mobile first” approach to web design and conversions.
- Maximize your local search visibility.
- Upgrade your web hosting package if needed.
- Use your website to drive business goals that matter.