9 Simple Strategies to Improve Your Website

Category: Web Design

February 3, 2022

Building a nice looking website isn’t enough these days. The average visitor to your website has an attention span of about five seconds, which means you need to grab their attention and engage them quickly – or you’re going to lose them.

In this short guide, I lay out the nine key components your business website should have if you want to see an increase in conversions – i.e. turning more visitors into paying customers. 

1. A Simple Message That Even A 10-Year Old Could Understand

Imagine you stepped into an elevator with a stranger and they asked you about your business, and you only had twenty seconds to explain it to them. Does it take you more than twenty seconds to explain it? 

Could you condense what your business does into a sentence? Because when someone comes to your website, you don’t even have 20 seconds to explain it to them, you have about 3 seconds.

Let’s take my business for example – web design and development. I could say: We use HTML, CSS, JavaScript and the WordPress content management system, combined with copyrighting and search engine optimization to convert visitors into customers. Now, let me ask you – would a ten year old understand that? 

Or, I could say: We build beautiful websites that convert.

See the difference? 

When a potential customer lands on your site, you have to catch their attention quickly; get them engaged with your business, what you do and the value you will give them. The deeper dive into your business comes later. 

2. Create a very clear Call-To-Action (CTA)

Have you ever landed on a website, and the page had buttons asking you to:

  • Sign up for a newsletter
  • Schedule a consultation
  • Get a quote
  • Join our free webinar

Which option(s) did you choose? Chances are, none of them. You bounced back to Google and found something else. 

That’s because the website was asking you to do too much. It’s confusing to visitors; they are thinking: what is the most important thing I’m supposed to be doing here?

Remember: a confused visitor will not convert.

To prevent this, you should only have one main CTA per page. That doesn’t mean you only have to have one button per page; you can have that same CTA in several places, but it’s asking visitors to do the same thing.

Figure out what you want your visitors to do – what action do you want them to take on that page, and craft one compelling CTA. 

3. Color

When browsing a well designed website, you’ll notice that they don’t go crazy with color. A good rule of thumb: have one main color, and one to two accent colors for the entire site.

Let’s say you have three colors that work well together – where do you use them? The main color can be used as the background color for buttons, or as an overlay color for certain large images. The accent color can be used with your Call-To-Action, in the footer, or it could be used to highlight certain text or headlines.

How do you choose which colors? I like to pull these colors from the business’ logo if at all possible. If your business doesn’t have a logo with color, there are a ton of resources online discussing which color combinations work well together.

Two good resources are: https://www.happyhues.co/ and https://coolors.co/

4. Good Typography

A problem I see a lot in web design is the overuse of different fonts on a website. Our brains look for patterns – subconsciously, we like consistency. We can also identify which items on a page are important based on the size, boldness, font and color. 

When designing or redesigning a website, I like to use two fonts: one for all the headings, and one for the body text. I will occasionally use a third font sparingly just as an accent. 

This allows visitors to know which items are important, and when seeing an accent font, it can highlight something important – like a call-to-action.

So, how do you pick these two fonts, and which fonts work well together? One resource that shows you many different fonts that pair well together is: https://www.fontpair.co/.

5. Social Proof

This could be testimonials from past customers who have worked with you, written or video. Another way to go about it is to dive deeper with a case study or two, detailing a client you worked with and the problem you solved. If you go the case study route, this should be a dedicated page on your site, linked from the main menu.

Testimonials are good; testimonials with a picture of the person providing it is better; a video testimonial is best. Testimonials work so well because, just like product reviews, potential clients don’t want to feel like they’re going into uncharted territory. If other people have used your product / service and have been happy with the result, they feel more comfortable moving forward. 

6. Social Media Dilema 

Many businesses have business profiles on social media, like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Social media is a great tool to drive potential clients or customers to your site. 

The problem is, once they are on your site, you shouldn’t be driving them OFF your site back to social media. I’m not sure who coined this phrase, but you want to limit exit signs for social media on your site. This means, yes, you can have those little social media icons on your site, but they shouldn’t be prominently displayed at the top of every page, in the navigation bar, or all over your pages. 

The best place for them is at the bottom of your page, in the footer. Whatever the main color for your site is, they should be the same color, or make them a muted gray. They are there; visitors can click on them to go to your social media pages, but they don’t distract visitors into leaving your site prematurely.

Remember: limit the exit signs.

7. Is that really you?

We’ve all been to websites that display “pictures” of their “staff”, but you can immediately tell that these pictures are cheesy stock photos the company purchased. Don’t be that type of website.

Your visitors can tell, almost immediately. Then they may start to wonder, “Why don’t they have any real pictures of their staff? Is this a legitimate company?” I don’t know about you, but that’s the first thing I think when I see these types of photos.

If you have a small staff, take a group photo and place it on the “About Us” page – if you’re a solopreneur, have a good headshot on your homepage. Your potential customers want to see who they are doing business with; it builds trust and credibility. 

A small caveat – you want to avoid a page of staff bios. Although this was popular a decade ago, it doesn’t have the same punch it used to. Video is really where it’s at right now, so a substitute for a staff bio page would be a short promo video that is a compilation highlighting what your company does, and some of your staff on camera speaking to potential customers. 

8. Give something away for free

This would be considered a lead generation giveaway; a way for you to capture a potential client’s name and email address so you can follow up later on.

You create something of value for your potential customer, for example:

  • a guide
  • a thorough checklist
  • a video training
  • even a short ebook
Example of a free guide

You should be thinking about a problem or question these folks are searching for or trying to solve. You have the answer and are willing to give it away (for free). To receive it, they just need to provide their name and email.

These giveaways, whatever form they take, should reveal your expertise and be of real value to your potential customers. Don’t overpromise and under deliver; do just the opposite.

9. Transform the Contact Us Page

Many small business websites have a contact us page. There’s nothing wrong with providing your website visitors with a way to contact you – that’s actually a great thing. 

The problem is the page itself – it’s very vague. “Contact Us” for what? To book a call? To ask a question? To get a quote? What action do you really want them to take? Remember what I said before – a confused visitor does not convert. 

Let’s reinvent the Contact Us page. First of all, you can now have your business phone number and email address in a secondary header at the top of every page, as well as placing it in the footer so you don’t have to worry about them not knowing how to reach you.

Why not transform the contact page into a ‘Book an Appointment’ page, ‘Get a Quote’ page or a ‘Schedule a Consultation’ page. You get the idea. Now, visitors know what you are asking them to do, not just ‘Contact Us’. Be specific.

Conclusion

If you incorporate these nine strategies into your website, you will see a dramatic increase in conversion rates, which is the whole reason for having a business website to begin with. 

And if you’re not tech savvy or don’t have the time to update the design of your website, Deacon Design Studios can help. We specialize in building websites for small businesses like yours that give you a huge advantage over your competition when it comes to conversions. Reach out to us and see how we can help.

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