After years in the business, I’ve learned a few things. As with many things in life, it’s easy to get bogged down in the details. But really, if you have the basics down, your website can be very successful. Whether you’re building a new site, or wanting to tweak an existing site, these tips can help. Below are my top 5 recommendations for your website.
1. Branding You
There’s a lot that goes into making a brand; the perfect logo, color schemes, typography, photography. Your brand is your business identity. That’s why it’s super important to insure your website matches your brand. Otherwise you’ll just confuse your visitors. And confused visitors do not convert into buying customers. Be sure your website design compliments your logo and includes the colors within your branded color scheme. Matchy, matchy, that’s the goal. Also, be sure to select photos that represent your company. Stock photos are a great start, but use too many and you run the risk of looking “fake”. Invest in a good photographer. You’ll thank me later.
Another, often forgotten about section, is your About Us page. This page should tell your visitors who you are and what you do. Want to take it a step further? Include testimonials, success stories and/or employee bios. Don’t be afraid to add a little personality to your verbiage. Let the tone of voice of your company stand out on this page.
2. Organized Content
We know you have a lot to say, and your website is the perfect place to say it! However, it is crucial that your content is organized in an intuitive way. It doesn’t matter how much information you have on your site, if the visitor can’t find it, it’s useless. Use the home page to highlight your most important content and most profitable products or services. Make sure your navigation menu is clear and organized. Ideally, you want the visitor to find the info they need in 1-2 clicks. Don’t make it hard for them.
Another important practice is to add Call to Action buttons and links. Want your visitor to sign up to your mailing list? Add a link or popup directing them to the sign up page. Want your visitor to purchase a particular product? Add links to that product everywhere. Think through your desired visitor path and present a clear call to action guiding them in that direction.
Speed matters to users and search engines. There are 2 major contributors of slow websites. The first is large image file sizes. Be sure all photos you upload to your site are optimized for web. Transferring photos directly off your camera or iphone will most likely result in large image files and slow load times. Not sure how to optimize those pics? I recommend this free tool.
The second contributor is too many plugins. Yes, we all love plugins. For good reason. They provide additional functionality and give special features to our website. In a nutshell, they can be awesome. But too many plugins can slow down your site considerably. My recommendation? Deactivate and delete any plugins that are not in use. You’d be surprised how many you’re not actually using.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s important to make sure your site is “search engine friendly”. I wrote an entire blog post on this topic. You can read it here. Here are the basics.
- USE YOUR HEADINGS PROPERLY. Be sure to format your page title with the Heading 1 paragraph formatting. This let’s search engines know what the page is about. Limit H1 headers to one per page (usually the title).
- PERMALINKS are also very important. Every one of your website pages has a specific URL. Many times wordpress defaults that unique address to a series of numbers, instead of the actual title of the page. This is not so good for SEO. Luckily, there’s an easy fix. Just log into your worpdress dashboard, go to Settings, then Permalinks. Most likely it’s set to Plain. Change the setting to Post Name (by clicking on it), then save your changes. That’s it!
- KEYWORDS. When anyone mentions SEO they almost always talk about keywords. Keywords are just words that a user might search to locate a web page or post on your website. Anticipating the right keywords and writing your content with these keywords in mind is a huge step in the right direction. However, be sure to use no more than one or two keywords per page. It’s best to focus on one keyword per page.
- If you want to take your SEO to the next level, I recommend installing the Yoast SEO plugin. It gives you more control over how your page descriptions appear in search results, among other amazing features. And if you want some additional instruction on how to set up the plugin, see my article – SEO Tips for Your Website.
- MOBILE FRIENDLY. Last but certainly not least, make sure your website is mobile-friendly! The best way to accomplish this is to choose a responsive design template. Most design templates today are responsive and look good on all devices. But, if you’re still working with an old HTML site, you’re probably in trouble. Aside from not being visually appealing on a mobile device, Google is also giving responsive sites preference in search results. In other words, if your site is not responsive, you’ll show lower on the search list.
5. Social Media
Most businesses today have at least one social media account (Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter are the more popular ones). Your website should have easily identifiable social icons that link to your social accounts, as well as traditional sharing icons on posts so content can be quickly shared across social media networks. YouTube is another platform I highly recommend. Embedding your YouTube videos into your website helps SEO. A win, win!
Hopefully these pro tips will help your website stand out from the competition. If you would like assistance implementing any of these tips, contact us today …notice my call to action link 🙂
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I hope you enjoyed this article – Pro Tips For Your Website or Blog