Websites are an investment. It requires a lot of time and effort before you can see it delivering traffic and leads. But if you already had a website up and running for months or even years, it would be a surprise to see your website reeling little to no traffic at all – and in today’s digital marketing age, a poor website can and will definitely hurt your business.
So what’s wrong with your website and how can you improve it to become a lead-generation tool? Ask yourself these four questions:
Is my website visually appealing?
A website’s design plays a big role in user experience, a key indicator of whether or not your website will attract and retain visitors. Look out of crowded sections, tacky layout or low quality photos, and non-interactive elements. If your current website has any or all these traits, they are hurting your website’s performance at attracting and keeping visitors.
You also have to pay close attention to navigation. According to Forrester Research, an independent technology and market research company, 50% of sales opportunities are lost when people find it difficult to find information and 40% of users don’t return to a website where they had negative experiences. To avoid this, make sure that critical information is easily available; the less clicks users have to make, the better. Put links clearly and in places that are easy to spot, such as the menu bar or as a large button in the middle of a page. Your website or page should lead the users’ eyes to what they’re looking for, not tease them with a wild chase.
Is my website searchable?
What is the average journey a user takes to find websites? They search for keywords in a search engine like Google then choose the top results on the first page. Now, if your website doesn’t appear in that coveted position, consider yourself non-existent. Consider these tips in boosting searchability:
- Use relevant keywords. If you’re a tech company offering app solutions, be sure to have related keywords such as “app development,” “app maker,” and “mobile apps” embedded into your site’s back-end. No idea what keywords to use? Google’s Keyword Planner offers insight on the most and least popular keywords related to your industry. Use the tool to search related keywords you can include in your site’s tags or target less crowded spaces with potential for less competition.
- Use social signals and attract visitors. Social signals such as likes, shares, link-backs, and mentions tell search engines like Google that your website is relevant to real people, therefore pushing its ranking upwards on search results to drive traffic. Foster social signals by creating relevant and engaging content and sharing them on social media platforms to cast a wide net for users who are interested in your website.
Is my website responsive?
We live in a mobile-obsessed world with more than 50% of traffic coming from mobile devices – and the number just keeps growing. So when it comes to your website’s interface, it should first and foremost be compatible with mobile devices in its many forms such phone or tablet. Google’s algorithm prioritizes mobile-friendly websites and penalizes those that aren’t, so make sure that your design not only loads within the socially-accepted norm of 3 seconds, it also doesn’t force users to pinch their fingers and zoom just to read web text. Avoid burying relevant information in clicks and inside pages, and make your layout simple. Your site’s content is your most important asset so there’s no need to hide it under flashy designs that weigh down your website.
Is my website valuable?
You may have an aesthetically pleasing web page and maybe you built your site’s SEO like a fortress but if it doesn’t contain information that’s valuable to your target market, then your website is nothing but empty digital space. Invest in your audiences and make them the center of your website’s existence. What does your audience want or need to know? They don’t care about your company history or board of directors. They want to know how to make smart financial investments, the latest trends in food, health, and wellness, and how to build their business or ace that first job interview. Attend to your customers’ needs and supply their questions with answers. Create a community that loves your content and rallies behind your product or service. Not only do you get third-party voices to help spread your customer base, you also have a loyal market to keep your business stable.
The digital space is fast-evolving and there will always be a new app or platform that promises to bring sales and improve brand awareness. But the most tried, true, and tested tool that modern marketers and business owners can use to help their brand is the good old fashioned website – and you only need to get started to reap its many benefits. Use these tips in creating your own or improving your website and you’ll soon see it working for you more than any other salesman or TV ad can ever do. ##