As a website developer I’m often asked if there are simple steps you can take to improve your website. When speaking to business owners about their website they often want to talk about the design. While looks are important, I’m going to focus this article on a couple of areas that are often overlooked or are implemented badly.
1. Be strategic with your content
Has this ever happened to you? You arrive at a website wanting to purchase a product or service, but you quickly become frustrated because you can’t find what you’re after. What happens next? Usually you abandon the website. But this doesn’t happen on your website…right?
When building a website you need to plan your content strategically. It is important to think of your target audience first. Pretend that you’re a brand new customer arriving at your website for the first time. What information would be important to you? What would you be looking to do? Where would you expect to find the information you’re after? All this should be top of mind when planning your website.
Many website owners haphazardly add information to their website without any real thought about how it’s going to help their customer. As a result their website lacks organisation, making it difficult for the customer to find the most important information – your product or service! For a professional website developer, content strategy is part of a carefully thought-out Information Architecture plan.
Professional Information Architecture involves researching, planning and categorising the type of content that will add value to your website. This leads to an organised and well structured website with an effective navigation system, making it easy for customers and search engines to find information on your website.
2. Configure pop ups correctly
So you’ve read an article and learned about the importance of building your email list. The most effective way of doing this is through the use of pop ups. Research shows that a pop up paired with a compelling customer offer is an effective way to grow your list.
However, many website owners install a pop up plugin and don’t give much thought to how they configure it. Timing and positioning is everything with pop ups when a customer is visiting your website for the first time, the last thing they want is to be hit with an obtrusive pop up. As a business owner you want your first impression to be a good one, allow your customer to view the content before asking for their email.
Another important thing to consider is where to use them on your website. Hitting customers with a pop up at the checkout will hurt your conversion rates. Pop ups are a powerful marketing tool when configured correctly, but they can also damage a customer’s user experience and turn customers off your website if implemented incorrectly.
3. Mobile-friendly website
According to a recent report, nearly 56% of all internet traffic is driven from a mobile device. Yes, you read that correctly. The number of people viewing the internet via their mobile phone has overtaken the number of people using the internet on their computer. It is important to treat these visitors as first class citizens, they expect a website that is fast and has been optimised for mobile.
It’s not only your customers that expect a good mobile experience, Google also penalises websites that aren’t mobile ready. So if your website has a poor mobile experience it’s going to reduce the amount of traffic directed to your site from search engines.
When it comes to improving your website these steps are just the beginning, but they’re often overlooked. If you need help with your existing website or you want a new website developed the right way, we would love to hear from you.