A great way to keep customers engaged virtually is by strengthening your website. Websites have literally become the front door to businesses over the past 12 months, so it’s incredibly important to optimize them. It’s not just about “having a website” it’s about “having a GOOD website” and driving traffic to it! These tips will effectively enhance your website for search engines and end users in 2021.
DOMAIN NAME—Create a simple domain name that’s easy to share with others. Having a large combination of letters makes it difficult to ask someone to visit your site. Using your business name in the domain is the best way to assure this. A website such as xyzplumbing.com is simple to say and easy for customers to recall. It’s also smart to purchase the .com, .net and other website endings for your domain name to ensure someone else doesn’t snag them up before you do!
DESIGN—A solid website design includes an easy navigable menu, visually appealing elements and quick load times, among others. Not only does the site need to look nice from a user’s standpoint, but you also want Google and other search engines to think your site is “pretty” from an SEO perspective. There are great tools available, such as SEM Rush, that can grade your website and help identify any broken links, spelling errors, missing descriptions or other potential issues.
PURPOSE—Whether you want to build brand awareness, educate your customers or convert prospects into buyers, it’s imperative to answer that distinctly with the direction of your website. Provide clear call to action buttons and information that align with your goals.
This could very well be THE most important piece of your website. Good content, especially unique content, can set your website apart from all others. Content can help generate leads, improve search rankings, increase referrals, pre-qualify leads, create excitement and keep users engaged. It can also lead to longer website visits and more pages visited. Consider incorporating video into your website to compliment the solidly written content.
NAVIGATION/UX—When someone clicks on a menu item or link on your website, it is important to make sure that it takes them to where they are expected to go. This lowers bounce rates and makes your site appear to be more relevant in search engine’s eyes. This also helps them find the information they are looking for much faster, which in turn provides a better UX (User Experience) all around. Make sure users can easily navigate between pages and have a good menu structure. UX can define the online customer journey with your brand.
CONTACT INFORMATION—Have your business phone number easily available on each page of your website. Also, have a menu item for contact info that immediately takes a user to your phone number, address and/or other pertinent contact information. A contact form allows customers to easily get in touch with you and triggers a conversation. Make sure that the submission form works properly and notifies the appropriate employees immediately once submitted. Also, prompt follow-up ensures a good customer experience.
MOBILE RESPONSIVENESS—With more than half of online searches being done on mobile devices, it’s more important than ever to ensure your website is optimized for mobile performance. With a mobile responsive website, the layout, images and content adapt to whichever device a person is viewing it from. This ensures that site navigation works properly and that pictures load quickly and that your users have the best possible experience.
SPEED—Naturally, users spend more time on a website that loads quickly than those who don’t. Instant gratification has become the norm for many and waiting for a website to download an image or load a page is like watching paint try. Keep customer’s interest and attention by selecting proper website hosts and website speeds.
BROWSER COMPATIBILITY—Provide an optimal user experience across all platforms and web browsers. With the plethora of website browsers available today, everyone has their own preference. A great way to make sure your website is compatible is to actually test it. View your site from all browsers and see how your experience differs or doesn’t.
FORMS—Forms are a great way to capture accurate customer data. They can help determine what a customer’s purpose is for visiting the site and make the follow-up more effective. Again, it’s utterly important to make sure that all forms work and go to the correct group of people within your organization that need to follow-up on it. Website forms also add a bit of convenience for your users.
SECURITY—Website security is crucial to your business reputation. Keeping hackers from accessing customer data or other sensitive information is a must. Not only is security important for good SEO, it can help you avoid lawsuits or fines involved with breaches. Make sure your SSL certification is up to date and that your site is PCI compliant.
ACCESSIBILITY—An accessible website allows those with disabilities to actively interact with your brand. This makes sure that EVERYONE has a good experience on your site. ADA web accessibility reduces barriers or discrimination for anyone wanting to view your website.