When your website isn’t producing the results you expect, it can be frustrating to figure out why. So frustrating, in fact, that you’re probably thinking of scrapping the whole thing and starting from scratch.
But let’s slow down here and first make sure you that you need a redesign. If your website has a good design and lead generation strategy behind it, it may be fixable with an update rather than a redesign. However, if your site is old, doesn’t generate leads, or is frustrating to work with, those issues can be more systemic — which means you’ll probably do better to rebuild from the ground up (perhaps using a much easier to use website builder or enlisting the support of a professional website designer).
Here’s a couple points to keep in mind to make sure your next website doesn’t have the same issues as the last one.
Develop a Lead Generation Strategy
The most important ingredient to getting results online is having a solid lead generation strategy (often referred to as a conversion strategy). Basically, this means having a plan for attracting new visitors to your site and nurturing them into customers once they’ve arrived.
Common elements of a lead generation strategy include:
- Creating useful content: having a stable of useful, high-quality content for your site is like throwing extra fishing lines into a pond. The more opportunities you give people to discover you and showcase your expertise, the more likely your customers are to contact you.
- Create a plan for leading your visitors through your site: don’t just pile everything into your navigation and call it a day. Depending on where they get land on your site — the landing page for a specific product, your above mentioned content, or your homepage — your website visitor may be looking for different information and will be open to different messaging. Use call to actions or other prompts to lead them toward the action you want them to take.
- Have a plan to follow up with your visitors when they leave your site: Think about how you will follow up with your customers if they aren’t ready to buy your product or service quite yet (think about it — when was the last time you were ready to buy on the first website visit?). Giving your visitors a free piece of content such as a one-pager PDF or infographic in exchange for their email address gives you an opportunity to follow up and help them get ready to buy.
Prioritize Your Website User Experience (UX)
It can be easy to get bogged down in technical details forget about the big picture. Keep in mind that, no matter how great your content is, no one will use your site if it’s confusing.
A few points to consider for evaluating your website UX:
- Overall Design: Is your website clear and professional, or does it look like dumpster guts?
- Organization: Can your users find what they’re looking for with only a few clicks? Do they understand your navigation bar? Can they find what they need on a single page, or do they need to travel through a labyrinth of complex pages?
- Contact Information: If your visitors want to buy your products, can they get in touch with you easily? Is your phone number or email readily accessible?
- Mobile Experience: Does your site’s layout automatically adapt to a smaller screen size? Do any elements break when you try to use it on a phone?
- Clear Message: Is it instantly apparent what your business does? Don’t be like these people, you need to say it plainly on your home page.
Plan & Optimize Your Website for SEO
SEO, or “Search Engine Optimization,” is a crucial part of getting your website discovered on Google, and involves crafting your content to appeal to the big G’s ranking algorithms.
SEO is an enormous field that makes people enormous amounts of money, so don’t expect to become a master overnight, but there are steps you can take now.
Here are a few points to get you started with your website SEO:
- Include Keywords above the Fold: “Above the fold” refers to the area of your page the user sees when it first loads, and Google weights this area more highly when scanning for keywords. Make sure you’ve got a clear, powerful description of what your business is and its key service(s) at the top, and you should be fine.
- Responsiveness: Google wants the internet to be a mobile-friendly place, so it gives extra credence to designs that “flow like water” across the page to accommodate screens of any size. The best website builders will do this by default.
- Unique Meta Descriptions and Titles: Each page should have its own unique title and meta description that includes your company’s brand and top keywords. These are integral to making your page’s search engine listing attractive to potential visitors, since they’re the elements Google will use to display your site in search results.
Need help with your website?
We all want to brag about how we conquered a problem ourselves, but having another pair of eyes often reveals blindspots you didn’t know you had. Get in touch with our team to have a professional web developer to go over your site with you. Or, if you’d rather, you can use The Ultimate Homepage Checklist and still say you did it yourself.
Keep all of these tips in mind, and you should be well-equipped to crank out a much improved version of your old site. And don’t be afraid to keep tweaking and improving on your site. Hone in on the best version of your content, and you’ll get the results to match.