Friday March 10, 2017
To remain relevant in the online universe today, you have to work hard to keep up. And while having a website as an "online brochure" is better than having nothing at all, if you want to ensure your website actually gets found and viewed you have to do the work.
So to help you stay relevant, or at least keep up with your competition, here are six ways to improve your website that you should begin implementing today.
1. Check Your Site’s Validation
Just as standardization guarantees that when you buy a gallon of gas it is truly a gallon, there is an organization that sets the standards for web technologies such as HTML. This organization is called The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The W3C helps standardize how code works on the Internet while ensuring the same website will appear the same way on different browsers, mobile devices, and tablets so all users have a similar experience.
If you don’t know how your website is appearing on different platforms, you can (and should) check it out here: http://validator.w3.org/
2. Make It Mobile Ready
Years ago, mobile website traffic outpaced that of desktops, and the use of mobile devices continues to rise. It’s no longer a good idea to build your website for mobile devices, it’s a necessity. Is your site mobile ready? How do you know? Does it look good on your phone? What about other phones and tablets and all different versions of browsers on those devices? Is it easy for mobile users to quickly find what they are looking for? These are all things to consider when designing or re-designing your website for the next decade.
3. Create Great Content
Content is, and has always been, the most valuable asset on your site. But today, it’s important to consider content in many different ways. Whether it is a webpage, chat room, blog, RSS feed, or social media channel, the Internet is a means of transferring ideas through communication – and your ideas need to be there. One of the biggest mistakes most small businesses make is believing that “if you build a website (or have a Facebook account), customers will be lined up to buy your product or service." This could not be further from the truth.
Just being online will do very little to increase your bottom line. You must communicate regularly with your prospects by creating and promoting quality, insightful, unique content that is optimized for SEO. This content will help you increase site visits, referrals, likes, shares, and more that will turn prospects into customers.
However, don’t be tempted to cut corners with your content marketing. You may be able to hire an inexpensive writer overseas to create your content but you will likely receive exactly what you pay for – content that is not valuable at all. Take the time to strategize, write, or pour out your ideas to a writer who can organize your thoughts for you in a powerful way. If your content doesn’t have passion, why would anyone else want to read it? Your content, after all, is one of the primary drivers of visitors to your site, so make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.
4. Consider the User
When you are looking for something on the Internet, what makes you decide to stay on a webpage or leave? While having a beautiful website is important, providing easy access to information your visitors are looking for is paramount. Identify what your visitors are looking for and present that information quickly and effectively on your site. If you do, your visitors are more likely to stay on your website and may even put up with some less-than-stellar design flaws to get to it. If you give them what they are looking for, you will have a constant flow of traffic.
5. Capture Information
One of the most valuable, and frequently missed, elements on a website is a contact form. This goes beyond utilizing a simple contact page and asking people to reach out to you for more information. You can build a valuable database of leads by placing a contact or lead form on a page with the intent of capturing your visitor’s name and email address. There are many ways you can capture information from your website visitors but the best way to encourage them to give you their information is by providing them with valuable content in return. This can take the form of a checklist, guide or other piece of useful information. Neglecting to capture visitor information on your site is a huge missed opportunity. Without it, you can’t market to that individual once they leave your site and have no way of encouraging them to make a purchase with your business.
6. Use and Understand Analytics & Webmaster Tools
It is surprising how many websites are built without incorporating Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools. These FREE tools provide incredible value by helping you understand a lot about your online audience. These tools can tell you:
- Who your website visitors are
- Where they came from
- How they found you
- Which pages on your website they liked most
- What errors or problems on your website need to be corrected
By paying attention to these features Google is essentially telling you what you need to do to improve your website’s online ranking. Oh and did we mention they are free?!
Building an effective online presence is anything but easy, but AllProWebTools has the tools to help you do it right. Our robust platform of tools can help you build or improve your website at a price every small business can afford. Check out our demo to see what AllProWebTools can do for you.