12 simple factors to include in your website
You’ve done it all – you’ve set up a great looking website. You’ve created your business Social Media accounts and you’ve started a blog to keep your content fresh and relevant. But your phone isn’t ringing. Why aren’t clients getting in touch wanting your services?
You could cue the violins, or you could just look into things a bit further. The choice here is yours and a great starting point is to check your website. No doubt it's looking incredible to you, but can you picture it from a client's perspective?
Maybe there's some elements that have been missed? We've compiled 12 simple factors that should be included on your website...
1. Is your phone number visible and clickable on the homepage? It can be frustrating when you find a website, your interest is piqued and you want to know more RIGHT NOW, but then you can’t find a contact number. A business phone number should be visible on the homepage, preferably along with the location. If you do have a physical location that customers can visit then also include a Google map. These days a majority of website visitors will be searching for you on their smartphones, so make sure your phone number is clickable. It just makes everything so much easier for your potential client’s already over-worked fingers. It’s just a small part of customer service that no one will ever thank you for! Depending on your business you may not actually want people to call you. That’s all good, there’s no pressure here. But if you can’t be reached by phone make sure you can still be contacted in some way. Read on...
2. Make sure your other contact details are easy to find An easy to find ‘Contact Us’ page on your website provides convenience along with a sense of trust for your website visitors. Whack a ‘Contact Us’ tab onto your main menu (one that actually links to your contact information…simples).
3. If you have an email contact form it’s a great idea to include your actual email address as well Sometimes your customers don’t want to email you right then and there direct from your site. Maybe they want to pass your email details onto a friend, or write it down to send you a special email on a rainy day, who knows? Make it easy – even if you have an email contact form, there’s no harm in showing what your actual email address is also.
4. Fonts Don’t go overboard and use an excessive amount of fonts on your site. Stick to one, or two fonts if you want to spruce up the headers. Too many fonts will make your site look untidy and unprofessional. Just like a jumble of barbies lumped together with messy hair. (You get the drift!) Also, when it comes to fonts make sure they are easy to read on both desktop and mobile devices.
5. Is your website content relevant to the service/products that you provide? Is your website copy easy to understand and does it directly relate to the services that you provide? Is it clear for your customer to quickly see what you offer and how it may benefit them? Whether it’s long-form or short-form content, be straightforward. There’s no need to go overboard with fancy words to try and show that you’re intelligent. Some visitors may see this as a turn off and feel as though you’re talking down to them. Keep in mind that this does depend on the service offered. It’s always a great idea to have someone that you trust read over your website content and ask for their honest opinion. While they're there ask if they can check your spelling and grammar also.
6. Are your website images of high quality, suited to your service/products and posted with ALT tags? Humans are visual creatures. High quality images play a major role in advertising your business and showcasing your products, services and/or yourself to maximum effect. Find out more about photography for your website. Here’s the thing though…search engines can’t see your website images. Therefore you should be including ATL tags and/or text captions on your web pictures. This is a great way to include keywords and to add descriptive text to assist in increasing your search engine ranking.
7. Is your website easy to navigate? Don’t make your website visitors continually have to click on a maze of links to find the products or services that they require. They’ll soon get frustrated and leave. Break it up and provide simple navigation. If there’s a lot to offer on your site consider adding a search button. White space, bullet points and scannable copy help your customers to find the information they need quickly. You should also check your site links now and then to ensure that they don’t lead to dead ends or error pages.
8. Does your website include organic search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies? There are a range of organic SEO techniques that you can use on your website to increase your ranking with search engines, getting your site in front of your target audience (happy dance). If you’ve heard of organic SEO but you’re not sure how to put it into practice then keep watch for my upcoming article advising of simple SEO techniques.
9. Include links to your Social Media pages & social sharing buttons Get an increase in reach by including social sharing buttons on your website. Link your site to your business social media platforms for your customers to be kept up to date. This helps to keep you fresh in their minds.
10. Is your website optimised for mobile devices? A majority of your site visitors will view your website from their mobile device. Make sure it’s optimised so that they can do this without wanting to chuck their phone out the window. It’s easy for you to take a look at your own website on different devices to see how it looks. Do the checks and make the changes if needed.
11. Is your website secure? If your site is not secure you’re going to start losing traffic. Google has started marking all non-https sites with an insecure site warning message to viewers. If your site is still set up as HTTP then it’s time to consider updating and including an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate, making your site HTTPS (the S stands for secure). The SSL is a security technology that encrypts and secures the connection between a web server and browser, keeping any information shared safe. It sounds boring but I’m not punching in my credit card deets (or any other info) if I can’t see that your site is secure. Would you?
12. Add a blog Search engines love fresh content and so do your website visitors. Consider adding a blog to your website to keep clients up to date on what’s happening, promoting new products, letting go of little hints and tips etc. Your blogs can also help to show a bit more of your personality and let your customers get to know you a little better and love you even more, if that’s possible? Can’t be f*cked writing a blog, or just don’t have the time? Then kick it to me. Well, actually don’t kick it to me because I’m terrible at sports (did you hear the recent story of me breaking my ankle in a running race with a 9 year old?) Rather than kicking things at me, please feel free to give me a call or shoot through an email instead and let’s chat.
There you have it, 12 simple steps to consider when you're updating your website, or starting one from scratch.
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