When was the last time you updated your website? …showed it some love? (#ValentinesDay tomorrow!) It might look pretty, but if it is just sat there gathering the proverbial dust, it is no better than a print leaflet. I know that doing a complete website re-design is difficult and time-consuming (although definitely worth it when the time is right) but don’t just create your website and forget about it. Here are some quick wins you can do today and then monthly or quarterly.
1. Check your calls to action
This is the biggest thing I think we forget on our websites but the most important for small businesses. If someone visits your website, you probably want them to DO something, not just browse. So check each page for a ‘call to action’ (CTA). This can be as simple as a button that says – ‘Get in touch’ and links to your contact page or email address. Consider CTAs like ‘Learn more’, ‘Read this’, ‘Check out x’ …and, if relevant ‘Buy now’ or ‘Visit us’ too. Remember when you are taking a website visitor from one place to another to be very clear where you are sending them as this reduces your bounce rate. Also make it clear if clicking will lead them to another site or to download something. Make it clear what will happen when they click. Finally, remember for blog posts to ask for comments and thoughts to help increase engagement.
2. Update images
It is really important to have ‘asset banks’. It will make your content creation so much easier and this should include a collection of images for your website. Replacing images not only makes your website look fresh but also gives you a new opportunity to give your SEO a boost. Not only are you adding something new to your website but you can also add the metadata, even the filename, with lots of keywords.
Ensure that your asset bank of website images is ‘on brand’ and that the images have a similar ‘feel’, as well as being a good representation of the content of the page. It is important that the imagery on a website is good quality but make sure the resolution is not too high, as this can decrease the download speed of your website…which is an SEO ‘no-no’! Check how they look on a desktop, mobile and tablet too, when they are resized and reflow.
3. Revise headings
Headings are the main place that the Google ‘bots’ are scanning for relevant keywords. However, because Google and other search engines likes to keep us on our toes, they also don’t like it if you overuse them – particularly H1 headings. There should really only be one H1 heading (which relates to the formatting tools and the HTML code/tag <h1>) per page. Then use a few H2, then H3, for your sub sections and subheadings etc. Make sure you use the formatting tools and not just bold!
Make sure your headings are really clear, especially if you have quite a lot of text on one page. Break up paragraphs with headings and subheadings and then read them through alone…do they work like a good contents list? Are they a good reflection of the narrative? And, do they contain relevant keywords?
Finally, make sure your headings are consistent in style across your pages. Are you using initial caps or title case? Will they help your website visitor feel familiar with the content across all of the pages? Website visitors like consistency and familiarity to help them navigate easily.
4. Update every page with one new thing
You may be thinking this isn’t a quick win, but let me just make some suggestions for each ‘traditional’ page of a business website that you can easily change and see if you can just make one small change to the copy contained on each:
- Home – Give the introductory text and/or main heading a little edit (test to see if different wording helps traffic and your rating). If you have quick links or navigation menus and sub menus, check they are consistent and in the optimum order.
- About – Add something new you have done. Consider if anything is outdated. Check any dates, years of experience, etc., are still accurate.
- Services – Refine the wording so that it accurately describes all that you offer. If you have written a relevant blog post, consider adding a link. Assess the order or layout of your services – is there one that you want to bring more attention to. Assess your prices too.
- Products – As above, assess your prices. Consider any descriptions and if they are working hard for your individual products. Consider the order they appear – would a quick switch around help the sales of a particular product? Consider a discount, special offer or some other ‘sticker’. Remove or mark any items that are out of stock.
- Blog – Take a look at your categories and see if any are out of date, used rarely or can be renamed to more accurately reflect the content. Can you add more tags to any? Can you add new interlinks between past blogs and ones you’ve written more recently?
- Contact – check your details are accurate and clear. Test your contact form to ensure it is working. Consider useful additions, such as map or opening hours, or alternate contact details. Could you place your social media links here too, to offer another form of contacting you (i.e. make it clear you are happy to receive private/direct messages via your company social media channels)
5. Add interlinks
Interlinking between your pages is really important. We have already discussed CTAs which often link between pages too, but assess all of your content for opportunities to keep your website visitor on your site for longer leading them on different paths no matter where they land on your site. It is really simply to add a hyperlink to sections of text and you can also make all images and logos links too.
A final quick tip to increase website traffic…
And my last thought to round off this post, is consider one way of driving some traffic towards your new polished site once you have done these updates…this could be a social media post, some email marketing, or a teaser article (i.e. give 5 tips on LinkedIn article, then say there is another 5 over on my blog, for example, forcing people to click through to read more). Don’t let your quick wins…and hard work…go to waste!