Excellent web design can be a big challenge for businesses of all types. Getting your pages precisely right isn't always as easy as choosing a template, writing some content and uploading a few stock images.
If your current site is not performing as well as you hoped, here are some proven ways to improve your design and boost engagement. Here's our 12 simple ways to improve your website.
1. Avoid off-the-shelf-web designs
It's easy to buy a ready-made web design solution for your site nowadays, and it's an inexpensive way to get up and running in next to no time.
The trouble with these designs is that they are meant to appeal to as broad an audience as possible, and the underlying code is always more than a little over-bloated.
Bespoke web design will have the elements that are appropriate for your target audience and your business. It will perform more efficiently, improve your SEO and be easier to maintain as your business grows.
2. Make your site mobile friendly
We all own at least one mobile device. The critical thing to remember about this is that your web pages need to look as good on a smartphone as they do on a desktop. Being mobile-ready is not just a desired option; it's an absolute necessity to improve your website and search rankings..
This is all about responsive design. Your audience may be viewing your site on their iPhone; they might be using a tablet, a laptop or even a widescreen TV. It's essential to test out how your site looks on each possible device and ensure the coding is in place that optimally renders your website.
3. Invest in good content marketing
Content is still king, and it's an essential part of any online business. It's not just a question of throwing pages onto your site and hoping for the best. You need to have a serious content strategy in place.
Well-produced content will reduce problems such as high bounce rates, where people visit your site but only see one page before leaving. In other words, good marketing content makes your audience want to find out more.
4. Make the most of your assets
If you're going to optimise your pages, it's essential to have all the right assets in place. New businesses generally don't get this right. Each page of content, for example, should routinely have:
- Keywords: These are search terms that people are likely to use to find your products and services.
- Meta descriptions: These are the descriptions of individual pages that appear on Google when you search. They should be tailored for each page and written to improve the likelihood that someone will click on the link.
- H tag use: Using tags for your main title and subtitles is essential and plays a role in search engine optimisation.
- Page title: A title with your main keyword in it also appears on the search results. It needs to be relevant and compelling.
5. Add a blog
Regular blog posts are a great way to introduce additional content and attract more visitors to your site. This kind of content can be used to target particular keywords, build your reputation and give visitors more opportunity to find you online. Blog posts are also a great way to get people linking to your pages and provide a chance to engage on social media.
6. Include internal linking
Linking to different pages within your content is essential. It not only gives visitors more opportunity to discover what you have on offer, it's also useful for SEO and allows Google to understand the structure of your site and how best to order it in their results.
External links are also essential. Creating great content such as blog posts that people want to link to from their sites is one way to achieve this.
7. Make the most of white space
What you exclude from your website design is almost as essential as what you include. Filling up every bit of space makes things look cramped and means it is difficult to read.
White space can transform and improve your website if used correctly, making the user experience pleasurable and connecting people to your brand in a more organic way.
8. Create strong landing pages
Landing pages are focused pieces of content that are designed to achieve one particular outcome. You might want to create landing pages that are designed to sell a specific product, for example, or which are focused on a specific keyword such as a location where you offer your services. They can be powerful tools in improving engagement.
9. User experience
The average website user is pretty knowledgeable nowadays. If you don't give them what they are looking for as soon as they land on your site, they will end up going elsewhere. UX or the user experience is all about seeing the world from their point of view.
10. Link to social media
Social media has become indispensable in marketing for any business online. Make sure that your site includes social sharing tools that are visible on each page. This gives visitors the chance to engage with you on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well as share content like blog posts and product pages.
11. Reduce load time
Speed is vital online. If your pages are taking time to load, it will be frustrating for your visitor. We expect an immediate response nowadays because we have faster broadband speeds and full connectivity.
One mistake that businesses make with their websites, for instance, is including assets such as images that are too large and take time to download. Who you choose to host your site and the package you opt for, may also make a difference to download speeds.
12. Use Google Analytics
Finally, it's crucial always to monitor your site, and you can't do that without the right tools. Google Analytics is still the industry standard, and it's free to use. The metrics you collect will tell you a lot about your site and give you the information you need to make informed changes that actually improve performance significantly. You'll be amazed how a little tweak here and there based on the evidence can improve performance.
Many of these steps are aimed at those with intermediate and advanced skills. If you need help, then we are here to assist. Why not get in contact today to find out how we can help?