Improving the content on your website is not as difficult at you would think.
Take some of these tips and bring your site into the 21st Century.
#1 Improve Your Navigation
Is your navigation structure easy to use? Is it easy to find? You may be able to find the information easily on your website, but can a first time viewer? Look through your website as a first-timer to get a fresh perspective.
#2 Links Abound
You can help your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and usability of your site by making sure you have links to all the important sections of your site. By adding links to the body of the text in your site, you will help your viewers find what they need. It may seem a bit redundant to have links in the body and in your navigation structure, but if the customer finds the information they were looking for – they won’t mind the redundancy.
How long does it take to download all of the images and elements on your front page? If it’s more than 10 seconds, you might be scaring away some customers. Remember this – not everyone has a super fast internet account, so just because it loads fast on your machine, doesn’t mean it loads fast on your customer’s.
Web optimizing your images really speeds up the loading process and makes the viewer find the information they were looking for. You have about 5 seconds to grab your viewer’s attention, do you want to waste that on loading time?
#4 Text & Whitespace Usage
Open up your website and take a look. Do you really need every available space with text, image, element, etc? Too much content on a page can reduce the value of the information on it. Meaning that if a viewer finds himself on a page full of text – do you really think the average viewer will read all that text? Unlikely. You have to listen to your customers and find a happy medium of content and whitespace.
Think of it this way: You own a gift shop – would you put all of your products crammed onto one shelf, or would you space things out in a organized fashion allowing white space to emphasize the important items?
#5 There’s no I in You
A potential client is not interested in you, sorry. Don’t let that hurt your feelings, but for the most part, the customer is not interested in how much you’ve sold, what you’ve done or how efficient you are doing it (to a point). They are interested in what you can do for them.
Take a look over how you approach the client on your website. If there are more I, me’s and we’s than you’s and your’s, you need to re-write your text. Approach selling your business online as how what you do helps the client and how you can find a solution for their problem, not how good your product is.
#6 User Interaction
How do you interact with your customers on your site? How can your potential customers see how you interact with your current customers? If you don’t have any way of doing this – consider a blog or a forum.
Do you have a blog or a forum? If not, you should. There are so many reasons to have a blog, I can’t go into all of them without running out of room. But here are a few:
The short of it – you should blog to get people coming back to your site to see what you are up to. Keep your regular viewers excited about new happenings and intrigue new viewers into the depth of what your company is about.
Having more pages on your website with carefully selected topics (of course, using keywords that people would search to find your site in a search engine) boosts your site’s ability to be found online.
A forum is a great way for customers to interact with each other. Forums are quickly being replaced by Facebook, etc – but still have an important place in today’s marketplace.
#7 Encourage Viral Promotion
This is a tough one if you aren’t willing to be creative. But the way a site really gets noticed is if your customers do your advertising for you. We’ve all heard of ‘viral videos’, but what does that really mean?
Viral videos, and more importantly, viral marketing is giving away content that customers pass along to their friends at an exponential rate. We can get into a further conversation of what rate it needs to be to be truly viral, but if each customer passes it along to 2 of their friends, they each pass it to 2 of their friends – you’ll have a lot of traffic in a short period of time.
The creative part is coming up with new, intriguing content that can’t be found anywhere else. Whether that’s a funny or creative video, coupon, email birthday club or something else is up to you and what your business is about. The important part is that people pass your name along to people who may not have heard of you before.
#8 Dancing Clip-Art
If you have any of the following: Dancing Clip-Art, moving backgrounds or MIDI music playing in the background, your site looks/sounds out of date. Those kind of gimmicks looked were eye-catching 15 years ago when people needed a reason to be on the internet – but not today.
People aren’t impressed by those things anymore. Furthermore, even the least tech-savvy viewer will see that as outdated. Get rid of the gimmicks and fill it in with useful content.
If I hurt your feelings by saying that, I’m sorry – but you need to know that those things don’t work anymore. A new site with bold images, big (easy to find) text and original, useful content are what drive web traffic, not a flying goose across my screen.
#9 Slow Loading Flash
Another thing that has gone by the wayside recently is Flash. Don’t get me wrong, Flash is a wonderful scripting tool, and when used correctly is a perfect accent to a website. But people have relied on Flash to have a splashy intro, or have large sliding images on a front page.
There are several problems with Flash. One, it is ‘bulky’; meaning that it is computer resource intensive, slow loading and can really bog down the user experience of your site. Two, with all the mobile users these days, (iPhones, iPads, etc) – not everyone is able to load Flash, do you want those people not to see your site if is completely designed using Flash? Be mad at Steve Jobs about that all you want – but there are several million people that use iDevices that can’t see Flash scripts on websites – that’s a hard fact to just ignore.
#10 “Splash” Page
A Splash page is a page before you get to where you wanted to go in the first place. Why have a user click “Enter the Site” and make it harder for the user to get to the content? Is it because you have a pretty image that you want the people to click? I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve just bypassed going to a site because of a splash page.
With the multitude of content and information on the internet today, you should be jumping at the chance to get a viewer. Why make the experience that much harder to get into your site?
#11 Call Me
Whether you are already doing some of these things and need more advanced help or you don’t know what some of these things are and want to talk about how they can help your business – I can help you get attention online and start making your website & online presence work for you.
With nearly 15 years experience with online & print media, I can help your business reach new heights using the internet. If you don’t have a website yet, we can help. If you have a website that hasn’t been attended to recently and are looking for a fresh, new design, we can help you too. Need help finding a presence using Social Media Marketing? We helped a local small business grow from 500 to nearly 20,000 Facebook fans in under a year.