When you pour all of your energy into creating a beautiful, functional website, it’s often hard to see it objectively—from the perspective of both visitors and search engines. But it is critical to step back and think about your traffic. This is how you’ll discover the fixes that will transform your “good” website with average traffic to an awesome website overflowing with visitors.
Here are the 10 things to put at the top of your inspection list.
Don’t play hide-and-seek with your contact information: it should be easy for visitors to find. Place your contact details prominently on your homepage and in your header or footer so they’re easily accessible to anyone looking at your website. In addition, add a Contact Us page that includes your address, phone number, email address and hours of business. You might also include a contact form that makes it easy for visitors to reach you and a map if you serve a local clientele.
Your website is only as good as its visibility: for a site to succeed, people must be able to find it. The way most people will come across your website is by entering keywords into a search engine like Google. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a strategy for ensuring that your content reflects the words and concepts your customers are looking for.
In a nutshell, your SEO strategy should include using appropriate titles, incorporating keywords into text, adding links to reputable content (including your own), naming pages and URLs clearly and appropriately and following a content strategy that focuses on your visitors’ needs.
Your website has only a few seconds to capture your visitors’ attention. If your website content is outdated or irrelevant to their needs, visitors will quickly click away from your site in search of a better option. To keep their attention, offer clear content that is relevant to your visitors. Your site should explain who you are and what you do. At least some visitors will never have heard of your business, so they’ll need to know that you are a reputable company with services that match their needs.
If your website never changes, there’s no reason for visitors—or search engines—to return to it. A blog offers you the opportunity to repeatedly engage with potential customers and to establish your company as an expert in your industry. With a blog, you can write different types of content targeted to buyers who are in different stages of the sales funnel.
A blog also refreshes your site with useful content, which will improve your search engine rank. Every time you post a blog, it adds a new page to your site along with new search terms—which makes you more attractive to search engines.
Readability matters. Don’t cram all of your information onto a single page. Use visual techniques, including subheadings, bullet points and short paragraphs, to guide readers through your content. Keep your color scheme and design simple, clear and non-distracting.
Prospective customers who have never worked with you need proof that your company is a better choice than the competition. Enthusiastic reviews help to build trust by showing how your products or services met other customers’ needs.
Ask your customers to provide a brief summary of why they enjoy working with you. Post those reviews on a dedicated webpage or weave them into your content on multiple pages. Consider adding case studies and a portfolio of your work as further proof of your capabilities.
Each page on your website should include a call to action: a clear instruction to visitors about what next step they should take to engage with your brand. For example, you might ask visitors to sign up for a newsletter, to sign up to receive notifications of new blog posts or to take advantage of a sales promotion.
Whatever action you want to encourage visitors to take, place it prominently on each page, preferably in both words and in graphics, such as a button that encourages visitors to act.
Let your visitors know where else they’ll find your content online. Link to all of your social media channels on your homepage, on every blog post and in the header or footer of every page. Although your social media presence won’t have a direct impact on your search engine ranking, it does have an indirect influence.
By building your audience through social media, you improve your company’s reputation. Larger audiences and stronger reputations lead to better search engine placement; in turn, even more potential followers can find you online.
A picture is worth a thousand words—and it may also be worth a thousand clicks: only 20% of people will read the text on a page, but 80% of people will watch a video. Images and videos are appealing to web visitors because they add visual interest to otherwise long, intimidating walls of text. They also allow prospects to visualize what it would be like to work with your team or use your products.
Help visitors find what they’re looking for by adding clear links to your most important web pages. A site map that includes links to every page on your website ensures that visitors and search engines alike can find all of your content. Many online tools will generate a map for you.
Additionally, make sure that your website is available in a mobile-responsive format. Many users will access your website on their phones—by 2025, nearly three-quarters of the world will access the internet only through their smartphones, according to CNBC. The content on your site must flex to meet your users where they are, regardless of the device or operating system they’re using. Google also assesses how mobile-friendly a site is as part of its ranking algorithm.
If you want more traffic to your website, add these 10 tips to your to-do list. The website experts at Network Solutions can also help you build a custom website designed to optimize your online presence.