Your website is your digital shop window, so you can’t afford to offer a clunky and difficult user experience to visitors.
Thankfully, improving the performance of your website doesn’t have to break the bank.
Even if you only have a rudimentary knowledge of website development, there are many small steps you can take to ensure your site operates at peak performance - and delivers great results for your business as a whole.
1. Insert keyword rich headings
Header tags can help your website rank higher on search engine results pages, so they’re more likely to be found by people searching for relevant keywords.
When you create a page, Google’s crawler bots ‘read’ your header tags to get an idea of what a page is about and how it could help the search engine’s users.
It therefore makes sense to add some of the terms you want to rank for in a search engine to your headings.
If you’re not sure what keywords are valuable for your business, then simply try to put yourself in a customer’s position. What terms might they search for when trying to find a mortgage broker? Then, use a tool like Google Analytics to see how many people search for them.
Use this data to come up with your keywords and then add them to your H1 and H2 tags. Use H1 tags to give page titles and H2 to divide pages into different sections.
Google Analytics is a free tool that gives you valuable insights about your website, such as who is visiting and how they’re behaving when using your site.
The latest version - GA4 - gives you more data than ever, including clicks, form submissions and even predictions on average churn rates and revenue, based on existing data.
This can give you a very clear picture of how people are interacting with your site, highlight what features and pages are working particularly well and show you where improvements need to be made.
It may also be worth setting up Google Business Profile to boost your online visibility, specifically to people in your area.
3. Simplify your homepage
Websites with too many links on the homepage are extremely confusing for users.
If visitors are faced with too much choice, they may miss the link they are actually looking for and that you want them to click on.
They can end up ‘lost’ on an unhelpful part of your site or, worse, click back to Google to find a competitor’s website where they can get the information they wanted more easily.
Think about developing a website link structure that channels your visitors in the direction you want. Some digital marketers now argue that there’s no reason to have more than five links from your home page… Certainly food for thought.
4. Add calls to action to your pages
A Call to Action (CTA) is an on-page button, perhaps on a blog or landing page, that links to another page where your visitors can take an action you want them to take.
For instance, they might be directed to book a call, fill out a form or download a piece of relevant content.
CTAs can help to push visitors to your website to the next stage of your customer journey, turning prospects into paying clients and helping you gather useful information about the people engaging with your brand online.
5. Place the user at the centre of your site
The best website designs always consider the perspective of the user. Does the site offer a good user experience?
Is it easy to navigate and is important information easy to find?
Asking these questions while designing a site from this standpoint will almost invariably lead to it being more profitable and beneficial to your business.
6. Make sure it’s easy on the eye
Cluttered and confusing websites reflect badly on a business’ brand. Your website is your brokerage’s number one marketing asset, so it’s essential that it expresses your brand in a positive light and is easy to understand.
Current website design trends favour a sleek website. This means taking a slightly minimalist approach, so that you avoid visually overwhelming your users.
Rather than overwhelming your visitors with lots of copy, try using white space to let your content ‘breathe’.
If your website looks out of date, by association your audience may get the feeling that your service is also outdated. Making sure your site leaves visitors with a good impression is key.
7. Look for and fix broken links
Broken links can really damage your website’s user experience and also harm your chances of ranking highly in search engines.
You can easily find broken links using tools like Dead Link Checker if you have a small site. If you have a bigger site, Site Audit might be a good option, as it will do a live crawl of your website.
When you find the broken links, you have two choices - remove them or replace them. Easy.
8. Create landing pages
Landing pages are a great way to make your site more conversion-focused and start taking your digital marketing to the next level.
You might not have heard the term ‘landing page’ before, but you’ve certainly visited one. Essentially, they are standalone web pages, separate from your other pages. They serve a distinct purpose, usually to convert a user into a lead.
Whereas a homepage might provide lots of different information, landing pages focus a user’s attention on one issue, product, service or action.
In most cases, the page’s purpose is to encourage them to take a specific action, such as submitting information to a form or booking a call.
Landing pages are a great option if you’re thinking of investing in pay-per-click online ads. A bespoke landing page on the other side of the ad will maximise your chances of converting the user into a customer.
9. Include testimonials
Before we spend money with a particular business, many of us will go online to read customer reviews and comments.
In many cases, that can swing our buying decisions, so it’s well worth gathering testimonials from happy clients and adding them to your website.
Not only do they showcase how your business can provide great mortgage advice, they can also give you an extra level of credibility and trustworthiness.
While testimonials can be displayed on your website in written form, it might also be a good idea to get happy clients speaking on video. Videos can be extremely immersive and immediate, and build an impactful picture of how your business has helped past customers.
10. Remember that a great website is never finished
You might already have a website that has generated plenty of new leads and massively boosted your online presence. But that doesn’t mean you should rest on your laurels and stand still.
The best websites continually use data to improve and adapt. You should do the same, so you can always be in a strong position to attract and engage prospects that are the right fit for your business.
For example, you might notice that many users click back to Google after reading your “Our services” page.
If that’s happening, you should think about changing your existing page to encourage users to stay on the page. Perhaps the copy needs to be simplified, or you need more prominent CTAs and links to other pages that may be relevant to your target audience.
Information on this site is for use by authorised intermediaries only and should not be relied upon by anyone else.
Accord Mortgages Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Accord Mortgages Limited is entered in the Financial Services Register under registration number 305936. Buy to Let mortgages for business purposes are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Accord Mortgages Limited is registered in England No: 2139881. Registered Office: Yorkshire House, Yorkshire Drive, Bradford BD5 8LJ. Accord Mortgages is a registered Trade Mark of Accord Mortgages Limited.
References to 'YBS Group' or 'Yorkshire Group' refer to Yorkshire Building Society, the trading names under which it operates (Chelsea Building Society, the Chelsea, Norwich & Peterborough Building Society, N&P and Egg) and its subsidiary companies.
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