Looking back through the archives I found this post from 2013 – still as valid today as it was back then….
How to improve your website
While we’re out and about meeting local business owners at networking breakfasts and other events one of the most common questions we get asked is “How do I improve my website?!”. So here are a few hints and tips to help you on your way. I’ve broken it down into two main areas, looks (or usability) and technical.
1. Make it easy
Make it easy for your website visitor to get the information they need very, very quickly. We are all squeezed for time these days and if we don’t find what we need very quickly we’ll go and look at the next website in the list instead. Some simple ways to make it easy are,
- Use a picture (or series of pictures) at the top of your homepage with a few words to illustrate what you do.
- Make contact details very obvious, don’t hide them on a subpage of your contact page
- Use internal links (underlined clicky words) in your words so that people can “hop” to the bit they want to read about quickly
- Don’t crowd too much information on one page or try to squeeze everything into dense long paragraph blocks
2. Build Trust
“People buy from people” – it’s old but so, so true. Show your potential customer who you are, what you do and perhaps most importantly “why” you do it. Pictures, biographies, history all work well but the best of the lot is testimonials. Real comments from real people you have helped. If you don’t have any – ask for them!
3. Solve a problem
This “Improve my Website” tip is critical particularly for B2B service industries. You need to demonstrate what you can do to solve the readers problem and then prove it. Case studies, testimonials and telling people your approach are key but the first step is to show them that you understand their problem, have seen it before and know how to deal with it.
4. Keep it fresh
This one can start to enter the realms of the technical tips but essentially there’s nothing that Google loves more than fresh, relevant content. The easiest answer? Add a blog to your website. By adding articles on a regular basis (the more the better but start with one a month if you are unsure) about topics relevant to your business and your customer.
5. Less is more
Don’t make the mistake of trying to tell them everything you do or can do, they’ll have no reason to call you. Concentrate on the main ways you can help and illustrate those. The home page of the Apple website is a classic example of this.
Getting these ones right will improve your search engine rankings if you don’t have them in place already.
5. Page Titles
This is Google’s main signal as to the content of the page, it’s not words on the page but rather words “behind the scenes” though they can been seen in the tab at the top of your Internet window. Get your keywords at the beginning of the title tag.
Again not a real part of the page that people see, this is the section, or snippet, that appears under the title in a Google search. It is your opportunity to encourage people to click on the link so don’t waste it! So many people forget to do this that it’s often a real chance to stand out against your competitors.
7. XML Sitemap
Google sends its googlebots out on to the Internet to search through as many websites as possible and it does this by following links. An XML sitemap is just that, a map, full of links that the googlebots always looks for to find it’s way through a website. Essential to have one.
This really shouldn’t be last on the list but when everything is important somethings got to be bottom of the list!
If you are trying to optimise your site for Google searches the very first thing to do is to get a good idea of which words people may be searching for. Best tool for this is the Google Adwords Keywords tool. It’s free and there are loads of articles all over the Internet on how to use it.
So that’s our 8 tips to answer the “How do I improve my website” question.
As a web design company in Hampshire we specialise in helping companies improve their websites. Through experience we have found that the best way is to build a new website from the ground up rather than try to tinker with a wide variety of older technologies.
Our Pay Monthly affordable website design service is designed to make sure that your business is represented in the best way possible to your potential customers. We make it really easy for you, do all the work and then, after your website is live, work with you to make sure it’s always up to date – at no extra cost.