Your site is the best representative of your business. This is the hotspot of all your digital marketing activity. When people want to learn more about your business, they’ll first visit the site and only after that read the reviews. That is if they like what they see. If your site is too slow to load, too complex to use, and seems a bit shady, more likely than not, they won’t even give you a chance. Here are nine ways you can improve your business site and not allow things to come to this.
1. Optimization for mobile users
Most online audiences are mobile users, so you must ensure that your site provides a great experience. First, you must pick a layout that will be great for a narrower screen. Second, you should pick a font with greater readability. Speaking of readability, you also want to leave a lot of whitespace so that your layout is finger-scroll-friendly.
Also, remember that you want to keep the site a bit resource-lighter. This means you may want to use an animation or a gif instead of a video and pick a resolution that will allow it to load significantly faster.
The navigation of your site is vital for your customer retention. You should never underestimate how little patience your visitors have when your navigation is not working right.
If they are afraid to wander deep into your site out of the fear that they’ll have to go back to the homepage every time, they might be discouraged from exploring. This reduces their average time and number of pages visited, which are important ranking metrics. It also reduces user experience, which damages the customer lifecycle and reduces the chance of a return visit.
All of this could be solved with a more user-friendly navigation. The navigation needs to be simple, intuitive, and transparent. Everyone needs to know where they’ll go when they click on which link.
3. Better web hosting services
One of the simplest ways to boost your online presence is to invest in building better web hosting services. However, don’t let this phrase “immediate boost” fool you; finding a better web hosting provider is one of the most scalable decisions you could make. The sooner you do it, the better.
There are many great enterprise hosting companies here, but you should always research before you make your pick.
Some of the things that you get this way are enhanced security and greater scalability. Chances of downtime are drastically reduced, which is one of the biggest problems that you’ll otherwise face. Not to mention that better web hosting also improves your loading speed, and it’s one of the key components of better SEO.
4. Improve the response speed
Arguably, one factor that affects your site’s performance, UX, and reputation more than anything else is the response speed of your site, even if we set aside the fact that most of your audience will immediately leave if the site fails to load within two seconds.
So, how do you improve the response speed?
First of all, reduce the number of HTTP requests. Every interactive element you add is another HTTP request for your site to send and await a response.
Second, try to compress these images as best as you can. A smaller image will load faster, and with the right tool, you can compress it so that you don’t lose the quality of an image.
5. On-site SEO optimization
Everyone from non-profit organizations to Etsy sellers can benefit from better SEO. However, SEO starts on your site.
Even the best site doesn’t mean much if there’s no one to see it. This is why you need to invest in SEO optimization. SEO optimization of your site, technical optimization, or on-site optimization is a series of steps that make your website algorithm-friendly. This way, bots can crawl, assess, and index your site much quicker.
Even with a good link-building effort, all the traffic will lead back to your site, and if it’s less than optimal, everyone will be quick to pick up on it. Most of these efforts will also increase the usability of your site, which is why you’ll also get a UX boost.
6. Invest in security
You must ensure your site is safe and secure at all costs. So, if you have the option, ensure you outsource your cybersecurity to a trusted provider. If not, look for means to keep your site safe.
Remember that the biggest threat comes from the lack of updates to your software. So, to avoid this, try to keep it all up to date. Once again, if you’re unwilling, incapable, or not interested in actively maintaining the security of your site, hire someone to do it for you.
A secure host is also a major factor in this. Most importantly, you must use SSL/TLS encryption and a web application firewall. Lastly, in case everything goes wrong, make sure that you schedule regular automated backups.
People’s first interaction with your site will always come with a certain hint of suspicion. To reassure them, you need to persuade them that you’re trustworthy, and there are a few ways to do so.
First, you must show that you have HTTPS in your address bar, indicating that you have the necessary level of encryption and that all interactions between visitors and your site are safe.
Second, you need to understand the importance of testimonials. People want to hear the experiences of others working with you. Providing these snippets is simply invaluable.
Lastly, some sites list brands and partners they work with. This adds an extra layer of credibility and may help sway some of your site’s visitors.
8. Provide contact information
People need to know how to contact you for collaboration, partnership, or a problem. While a single email address may suffice, segmenting these into different emails is usually better. You can have one person in charge of sales, another person listed as an editor, etc.
Remember that you can also provide a spot where they can fill the ticket and make an incident report.
More importantly, include as much information as you can. Give them an email, a social media handle (to send DMs), and an option to call in via VoIP. All of this will increase your brand’s authority and give people a privilege of choice. It increases the chance they’ll reach out, but you must respond quickly.
9. Regularly perform analytics and testing
Remember that things change. Traffic grows and falls, site speed changes with each update, and you need to keep an eye out for many trends and metrics. Some of the KPIs you should track are:
- Website traffic: How many people are coming to your site? Here, you’re looking at unique visitors, page views, and bounce rates.
- Traffic sources: Are people coming organically (this is how you’ll know if your SEO works) through direct or referral traffic? Even social media traffic is worth paying attention to.
- Page performance: Keep track of page speed and response time. It will change over time, and usually not for the better.
If nothing else, you should keep track of these items.
Working on your site should always be a high priority
There’s so much you can do to improve your site, and it’s never a question of whether this is necessary. Anything that makes your site faster, more appealing, or more functional is worth it, no matter how small of a difference this appears to be. To your users, this is a big difference, and it affects how they see your business or interact with it.