People are always coming up to me asking how they can easily improve their websites, which always weirds me out, because how do they know that I work for a web design agency? But after that shock wears away and I take a few steps back, I always tell them the same five things:
(1) Use graphics and images to pretty up your site.
When you are creating new pages, updating existing content, writing blog posts, or whatever, make sure you use graphics and images to give your page a visual punch.
Graphics and images do many things; they especially draw the eye and pull the reader in and reinforce your content. Sites like iStockphoto.com make it easy and affordable to add high quality images and illustrations to your site.
The important thing to keep in mind is that you should choose graphics and images that suit your content, your audience, and your brand. If your audience is a senior citizen quilting group, you're most likely not going to use an image of a biker gang. If your audience is more business-oriented, graphs and charts would be a better visual to use than bikini models. Unless your business is selling bikinis (Are you hiring?).
(2) Use calls-to-action.
You've heard the term countless times, but have you added calls-to-action to your site? The "action" can be many different things:
- Download our free e-book
- Sign up for our webinar
- Request a free consultation
Whatever you want the end result to be, CTAs make them happen. Drive that incoming traffic to a landing page rife with information about your product, grab that lead, and never let them go.
(3) Use landing pages and lead generation forms.
Now that the reader has clicked your CTA, what should you do with them? Send them to a landing page where they can sign up to receive something. The best way to do this is to offer a download (whitepaper, e-book) or a webinar. Whatever the offer is, it needs to be good enough for the reader to want to fork over his email address.
One you have his email address, you can now drop that user into a lead nurturing email program that will keep the user engaged with your brand and hopefully pull him back to your site to make additional purchases.
(4) Get a blog.
Seriously, everyone from Kodak to Evernote to your Great-Aunt Sally is blogging -- why isn't your company? Blogging is the easiest way to add pages to your site, which helps you in Google rankings and adds new and fresh content to your site.
Every week Rick Segel publishes a new post on his blog, and he has been doing so for years. He talks about issues that affect his readers, and because of the quality and consistency of his content, he has a very loyal reader base who is always on the look out for his Tuesday updates. It takes time to build a community like Rick has, especially with the level of feedback he receives on posts between social sharing and comments that his readers post. Don't get discouraged if you don't see results over night.
(5) Make contact information extremely accessible.
This is incredibly important, especially for B2C websites. If a customer can't contact you to ask questions or place an order, you've lost them, and they've gone on to your competitor. Contact information should be easily found on every page on your site; the best place, of course, is the top right corner of every page.
Houston Insurance Agency Dean and Draper needed their phone number front and center so that their existing customers and prospects seeking an insurance quote could easily pick up the phone and talk to an agent if they so chose to do so.
Houston home maintenance company John Moore Services took it a step further, not only putting their call center phone number in the courtesy area of the site, but also including a link to their online service request form.
Putting this information in an easy-to-find location ensures that the information will be seen and used. If a client can't contact you, they can't give you their money.
Your website should be constantly evolving, but that doesn't mean it needs to be a massive overhaul or redesign. These five ways to improve your site can be implemented quickly and will can show quick results and return on your investment. Check out some of the work we've done for our fantastic clients, and get started on a free consultation on your own web marketing needs.
by Mike Rastiello