If you haven’t already gone mad from being shut indoors in Lockdown, or grown tired of your own company, then you might appreciate looking at applying our 5 simple website updates that will really help your business online during this tough time.
Let’s take a look at the top five simplest ways we feel you can update your website to make it perform better, and be found more easily online.
1. Increase your website usability
Like a customer coming into your store, when new traffic lands on your site you have a measly 50 milliseconds (yes, that’s only 0.05 of a second) to make a lasting impression. So, can you do that easily and simply you ask? Well, firstly our advice is to spend 10-15 minutes looking at your competitor’s websites and jot down the ones you spent longer on and what impressed you the most. This could be messaging, a clear call to action or an easy to use navigation / menu bar. By just updating one or all of those things on your homepage, you’re off to a flying start in ensuring you’re telling visitors exactly what you want them to know and not waiting for them to ‘find’ it. Sounds simple, right? More times than not, it’s the obvious things that are overlooked and help you stand out above everyone else.
Outstanding website usability doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple is often better and spurs interest to keep the number of steps a user has to take to a minimum. With 88% of online traffic less likely to return to a difficult to use website, you only get one chance to make a first impression as they say! Simplifying your navigation bar can mean keeping pages short and sweet, with no more than six items visible. For your website copy, have a read through and compare it to those other sites you liked – does it drag on a bit or take ages to get to the point? Are you making your content too hard to find and hiding things from customers behind signups or registration features? Have a look at what you are asking people to do with your call-to-actions – could you make them clearer? The answer is almost certainly yes to some of the above, and can be very easily solved by your own feelings and likes/dislikes of other websites. Keep your users in mind and make the site as fun and easy to use as possible.
Tip: A super-easy way to start improving usability – and help search engine optimisation (SEO) along the way – is to simply break up your content with header tags (known as ‘H’ tags) which are used to break up website content with headings. Start with H1 tags (the title of the main page) and H2 tags (subheaders) to make it easier to digest as well as more visually appealing. For more information or if you would like help with increasing your website usability, we’d be glad to assist you so please just get in touch.
2. Start measuring your own website traffic
Without any form of analytics, or regularly checking it, you’re blind to what’s happening on your website. Is it profitable for you, or just sat online with nobody looking at it? You could liken it to running a clothes shop; If you don’t check how much you are selling or what stock you have left, what’s most popular, etc. it’s then impossible to know if you’re making a profit or not and what is and isn’t working!
This directly applies to your website as well. Whether you opt for Google Analytics, Matomo, WordPress or similar, isn’t’ really important as long as you understand it and it’s easy for you to use. Measuring your website traffic and conversions means you can immediately understand what’s working and more importantly; what isn’t. If you are selling online (E-commerce) as well, it’s even more vital to understand where people are not converting to a sale or leaving your site, which links to updating copy, call to actions and doing your research in point 1 above.
Perhaps you need to find out if your pay-per-click (PPC) or social media marketing campaign is really worth what you’re spending on it, or if your organic search (those finding your website by keying in text to a search engine) is still your most vital traffic source? If your organic visits (traffic not from paid ads) are down, it’s time to start looking at improving the quality of your website content with blog articles, more focused terminology and using free tools like Ubersuggest to scout your competition and see why they are coming up above you in search results. Seeing bounce rates (the percentage of visitors that leave your website after viewing only one page on your website), most popular pages, and quality of audience traffic insights free in the likes of Google Analytics – measuring your traffic is a no brainer! You’ll gain insight into ranking factors, search queries and less mobile-friendly landing pages.
If you need any advice or help in setting up Analytics, please just get in touch as we can certainly help with that.
3. Increase your website visibility through effective SEO
If you’re not paying for ads and relying solely on traffic finding you organically through search engines, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) needs to be your absolute priority.
You might not even realise how poorly your website is being found until you use a tool like Ubersuggest to get a very basic idea in comparison to your competition, or by simply pulling up Google and doing searches yourself. These options are ok and provide some indication, but if you want a more detailed in-depth breakdown, please get in touch as we can help with this and use tools such as SearchMetrics to gain greater insight for you.
First of all, if your page loading time is unnecessarily slow or problematic (usually caused by uploading large images or video sizes), Google recognises this and can lower your organic rank as a result. On the flip side, if your page speed is good, this will ensure your search ranking is as healthy as possible. You can get an indication of your website speed for free online using GTmetrix.
Optimising images by keeping them small with a tool like ImageOptim or online at https://pixlr.com/x/ and making sure they are named to be found in image searches is a great way to improve your organic SEO ranking. Strategically name your main content images with keywords, keep your file sizes small and resize and compress images when needed.
If you’re not already, start blogging. Blogs are a great way for your business to build lead generation and allow you to easily accomplish up-to-date, relevant content, all the while helping your SEO. Read what competitors are writing and put your own spin on things, and start to link to others’ content in return for links to your own – backlinks. This builds trust and loyalty for a Search Engine.
If, however, this still all sounds a bit ‘too’ technical, or you would love to learn more about your website’s SEO and how visible you are online, we’d love to help with that. We use premium tools like Search Metrics to give our clients the edge and boost organic search results against their competition. We always like to talk SEO so please just get in touch.
4. Create content with your audience in mind
Do you know experts in your industry or just people that know or write well about your services? Why not invite them to guest post on your website blog, where they speak about specific topics relevant to your audience. Thinking about your customer again, you’re providing a wider variety of content for them to read from different perspectives – what’s not to like?
Make sure to remove any irrelevant, outdated and thin content as all of it will not help your website performance in search results if it’s never found.
5. Repurpose your web content
When it comes to tweaking your website, it doesn’t get much simpler and effective than repurposing existing web content. You can re-share, trim and edit old blogs to maintain up-to-date web pages to build trust with readers and look to improve older blog posts by adding more relevant topics to keep them current or look to add a fresher topic to the mix.
But repurposing content isn’t limited to blogs. Re-share old work and improve on strong testimonials from your clients in order to shout about them more.
Repurposing old content is a time-effective way of building up your domain authority and maximising bang-for-buck on outdated, irrelevant content. Once you start lightening your load and getting content creative, you’ll find yourself enjoying the process!
Armed and Ready to go! Our Final Thoughts.
Hopefully, our advice and tips have really helped you out with some simple and very effective website updates you can make at home during the lockdown. COVID-19 has provided uncertain times for all businesses and we want to offer some support and advice during these tough times – which applies at any time of the year and will stay relevant for years to come.
Whether you need some extra help with your website or not, please get in touch with any questions you might have, no matter how big or small – you know where we are.
Why should I update my website content?
Keeping your content up to date is a great way to fine-tune your content, keep it relevant and stay on top of your domain authority game. With Google regularly updating its algorithms, which each time could affect your SEO score, it’s important your SEO settings are on top of these new iterations.
How can I identify keywords for a website?
Keyword research is easier said than done but none the less vital to ensure your website targets industry-relevant, highly searched-for keywords that drive relevant traffic to your site. To do so, a free tool like Ubersuggest is a great way to start. For something more professional, you need to use a high-end tool like SearchMetrics, with very reliable insights and a huge database of data. We can help with this, just get in touch.
How do I improve website traffic from social media?
Social media gives you the power to target your audience directly and in turn get relevant quality traffic to your website. With platforms such as; Linkedin, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, make sure to link to relevant pages on your website in social media posts and shout about your latest blog post on social media.
Will SEO make my rankings increase straight away?
That really depends on so many factors. You could liken it to asking “Will buying a new car make my neighbours jealous?”
On one token, it might do, and it might happen instantly! But, it also may take them a few weeks to pick up on the fact you bought a new car, and even then, they might not be as bothered as you thought. It’s really down to the quality of your content and how many people are engaging with it to deem it worthwhile and valuable. How much extra effort you put into sharing it, shouting about it, and helping people to find this amazing content will further help to increase page value through durations and visits.
Will COVID-19 affect my website ranking?
This is again very hard to say. Take some comfort in the fact that given it’s a global pandemic, it will affect the whole world in some way or another, so you’re not alone. What is worth holding on to during isolation is that people are at home more, surfing the web more, and learning to use digital and online technologies more in everyday life. This is only going to be a positive thing for websites as a whole moving forward.