By now, it ought to be abundantly apparent that your business needs some kind of online presence in varying degrees of complexity, depending on the type of business you operate. Nonetheless, what tends to be more elusive to most novice entrepreneurs is what needs to be done over and above the standard get a domain name, get hosting, and make a homepage” workflow. In fact, there are several steps one must take to ensure their website delivers if you want to make sure it is visible to their target audience. There are typically only a few easy steps to follow, even though this can frequently seem complicated and convoluted. Moreover, more often than not, the lowest-hanging fruit can yield the most immediate results. So let’s take a look at four of the most straightforward steps you can take if you want to optimize your website and bring on the crowds of customers that you know you deserve!
Conduct A Thorough Website Audit
Your first action after you’ve built your site should be to implement an in-depth audit of the site. Sound scary? That’s because, to the untrained business owner, it is! It takes a keen understanding of the nuances of website optimization and search engine guidelines to dig deep and understand where issues and potential quick wins might lie. In order to find such problems and/ or possible results, it might be prudent (read, beneficial) to hire a dedicated search engine marketing company with staff trained in the dark arts of website optimization and SEO to trawl through your property and generate a detailed report that you can use to maximum effect. However, it’s worth spending some time researching the myriad of companies that exist out in the wild before settling on the first one you come across because this step will serve as the foundation for all subsequent choices you make.
Optimize Your Website Structure
Once you have identified the various steps necessary to bring your website up to par, it is time to start putting them into practice and improving the structure as a whole. A well-structured website is like a city map for search engines – it helps them navigate your content smoothly, understand it better, and ultimately rank you higher. Plus, a clean layout makes life easier for users, too, helping them quickly find what they’re looking for on your site. So how do you make sure your website structure is up to scratch? Start by building an organized hierarchy of pages – think of this as the blueprint of your virtual property. Group similar pages into dedicated categories that are easy to grasp. Ensure each category and page label speaks clearly about its content, with no vague or complex jargon! Each webpage should also sport a unique title tag that shouts out loud what’s in there.
Eliminate Unnecessary Website Elements
Page speed has long been a relatively important factor in optimization. Even though engines like Google have recently dropped it as a specific ranking factor, it can still affect how your users interact with your site and, thus, how many conversions you make. Consequently, the more unnecessary elements you have on a page (images, links, formatting, styling, etc.), the more likely your site will begin to slow down to a crawl, resulting in disastrous effects on user participation. So do yourself a favor and rid yourself of the early 2000s CSS that you think looks amazing but actually results in a diminished user experience.
Implement Clear Calls-To-Action
Do you know what really cranks up your website’s marketing game? Clear calls-to-action or CTAs. Think of them as road signs on your webpage directing visitors to take specific actions like subscribing to a newsletter, filling out forms, or, better yet – making purchases. Without persuasive and standout CTAs, people browsing through your site might just end up feeling lost or even annoyed that they are unable to take a desired action. Here’s how you avoid that:
- Position those CTAs where they’re hard to miss.
- Use strong action-oriented language that tells users precisely what they stand to gain by clicking that button.
- Add a dash of urgency in the mix for good measure.
Getting your website up to snuff need not be a complicated or convoluted task, only available to those with deep knowledge of the human psyche. As long as you follow a few basic rules and are open to hiring a dedicated agency for the more complex actions, you can create a site that not only ranks highly but keeps your users engaged enough to convert them into a final sale.