You're scrolling through Pinterest, desperately searching for a way to improve your website.
You know it could use some work, but you're not sure where to start. The more you search the more confused you become. How do you juggle user-friendliness, conversion rates and a beautiful design? Well, you're not alone. Most small business owners are struggling to improve their websites and they just don't know where to start.
Improving your website doesn't need to take you weeks or months. A few simple steps can make all the difference if you know where to start. In this new blog post, I'm sharing 5 web improvement that you can make easily that will have a big impact.
Let's get started!
1 | Advertisements and Pop-Ups
People tend to have strong feelings about promotional advertisements and pop-ups on websites. I find it's similar to the Squarespace vs. Wordpress debates, everyone has an opinion and each side makes a good point. Personally, I err on the side of caution when it comes to advertisements and pop-ups on my website for a few reasons.
First, they can be intrusive to your users and distract them from what you have to offer. Secondly, if people can't easily navigate away from them, they may just leave your website. Lastly, it pulls attention away from your brand and business.
For those of you who use advertisements or pop-ups on your website, here are a few simple ways to improve them and your website.
Remove ads and pop-ups
Of course, removing your advertisements and pop-ups completely is the fastest and easiest way to improve your website's design. Understanding that this isn't an option for all business owners, I've listed a few other methods of improvement below.
Create a delayed pop-up
We've all been there, you click through to a blog post and before you're able to read anything on the website a pop-up appears asking you to sign-up for their newsletter. It's frustrating. You haven't had the opportunity to enjoy their content and they're already asking you to opt-in. For me, that's always a no-go.
That's why I suggest using a delayed pop-up whenever possible. Allowing users the time and space to interact with your content and enjoy it goes a long way with building a relationship and increases the conversion rate.
Minimize advertisement sizes or visibility
If you can't remove your ads or delay the pop-up, I suggest making the advertisement small and easy to navigate away from. A full-page, intrusive advertisement can be overwhelming and annoying to your audience. Consider making it smaller, the exit button more visible or use a top banner. Below, you can see the top banner I'm currently using to promote my booking period:
2 | broken links
One of the fastest ways to discourage people from returning to your website, is broken links.
Of course, this happens to the best of us. As our business grows and adapts, the pages we use adapt as well. But, that doesn't keep people from feeling frustrated or turned off by your website. Here are a few easy ways to combat this issue:
Check for broken links
The first thing you can do for your website, is to scan it for broken links. There are a few ways to check your website for broken links.
First, manually scanning it. I recommend this for general website reviews that should be conducted roughly four times a year. It helps you to navigate your website the way your audience members might. This helps you to not only find broken links, but find additional errors or inspirations for your target audience.
Second, there are a few websites that check your website for broken links automatically. One of my favorites is: Online Broken Link Checker
Update your 404-Error Page
Once you've found your broken links and they have been amended, I recommend updating your 404-Error page. No matter how well you manage your website, people will eventually find themselves on this page and it's best to leave them with a positive impression.
Learn more about how to do this, here: How to Make the Most of Your 404-Error Page
3 | Clutter
As a minimalist designer, clutter is my number one pet-peeve. It's also one of the most common website mistakes that I see non-designers making. Clutter tends to come from a desire within business owners to share and promote ALL THE THINGS. Unfortunately, this tends to leave your audience confused and overwhelmed. They're unsure on who you serve, what you offer or what you want them to do next.
Luckily, there are a few simple tips to de-clutter and improve your web design.
Rank information by importance
The first thing you can do to improve your website is to de-clutter your content and the easiest way to do this, is to rank your information by level of importance.
When you rank your information by importance, you can display it to your audience in a relevant way. Think about what's most important to your business. Is it growing your email list, promoting your webinar or booking out your client calendar? Once you have an ideal outcome, you can rank your information around it and ensure your messaging is clear and concise.
Establish visual hierarchy
Another common issue that occurs with clutter, pertains to the visuals. Your brands visuals have the power to foster community, promote your business and communicate your message. But, if you have competing messages or an un-established brand, this can leave your audience feeling unimpressed.
There is a lot that goes into creating great designs for a business, but if you want to learn more, start here: 5 Tips to Streamline Your Brand Graphics
4 | Call-to-Actions
A call-to-action, or CTA, is when you intentionally ask your audience to perform a specific action. This may be signing-up for your newsletter, viewing your portfolio or commenting on your blog post. *hint hint*
The truth is, people are lazy and unlikely to do something unless you ask them to. But, when we urge or suggest someone to perform an action and ensure it is easy to complete, they are a lot more likely to do it.
However, CTA's are hard to get right. So, I have a few ways you can start utilizing CTA's and ensure yours are working.
Place Call-to-Action's prominently
Call-to-action's are a great way to maximize on the number of people visiting your website. But, people can't complete a call-to-action, if they don't see it. Luckily, I have a few suggestions for where to start placing your CTA's, today.
I suggest placing a call-to-action above-the-fold on your homepage, at the bottom of blog posts, along your blog's sidebar to get started. Below, you can see the call-to-action on my homepage:
A/B test your CTA
It's also important to test your call-to-actions for effectiveness. Not every CTA you use will instantly appeal to your target audience, so it's important to consistently analyze their performance.
If you create a CTA and notice that it's not having a successful conversion for your website, try a new attempt or test multiple ideas. You may need to improve visibility, prominence, wording or your offering.
5 | Old Content
One of the theoretical downfalls of blogging is that you are creating endless amounts of content with little return. I don't believe that in the slightest. I have found nothing but great benefits from blogging consistently and I'm excited to start revamping my content. Here are a few tips on how to make the most of your old content.
A simple way to update old content is to update the promotional graphics for your website. This allows you the ability to seamlessly share the content to your social media accounts. It also ensures your branding is continuous when someone stumbles upon an older blog post. This is especially important if you utilize Pinterest.
Write content from a new point-of-view
Often, when we create content we approach it from a specific point-of-view and as times change our opinions change as well. If you are running short of content ideas, consider writing the same blog post with an updated perspective. This may include updated statistics, opinions or strategies.
Use content on a different platform
Another simple and effective way to revitalize old content is to share it on a new platform. We often feel that our audience see's all of our content, but that often isn't the case. To get the most out of your content, you should be sharing it across multiple platforms.
I recommend sharing content on all of your social media platforms to start. Once you've done that, consider turning an old blog post into a podcast, social media post or live broadcast, webinar, etc.
The more creative you can get, the better!
Are you planning to make one of these website improvements? If so, I'd love to hear which one you implemented. Let me know in the comments!