It’s not just larger businesses who need a high performing website - a revenue boosting site is essential for small businesses too! Fortunately, having an impressive website doesn’t mean spending tens of thousands on a crack team of website developers. There are many small steps that even someone with a rudimentary knowledge of website development can take to ensure your website operates at peak performance.
Collectively, these steps could revolutionise your site’s profit generation potential.
While you might not feel as if you have the time and resources to improve your site, having a clunky and outdated website that deters potential customers is certainly one thing you cannot afford. Here are 10 things you can do to improve your site’s performance:
1. Insert keyword rich headings
Header tags serve an important SEO function. 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.
As a result, you should try to add some of the terms you want to rank for in a search engine to your headings.
Not sure what keywords are valuable for your business? Try to put yourself in the position of a customer. Think about what terms they might search for when trying to find your business. 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.
2. Set up Google Analytics on your site
We just mentioned Google Analytics in the last point without fully explaining what it is. Google Analytics is a free tool that can enable you to gain valuable insights about your website once added to your site.
It can help you see who your website’s visitors are and how they behave when using your site.
Once you’ve got it set up on your site, you can use the data for a whole range of things, from gaining an accurate picture of your online traffic to getting an idea of the return on investment of your online presence.
Setting up Google Analytics involves a bit of work at the beginning, but it’s well worth it in the long run. This excellent guide by Hootsuite shows you how to set up Google Analytics in five simple steps.
As well as Google Analytics, we’d also recommend you setting up Google My Business, which will improve your website’s SEO, especially for local searches. On the Growth Series Library you can find our guide to setting up Google My Business.
3. Simplify your homepage
Websites with too many links on the homepage are extremely confusing for users.
Visitors faced with too much choice may miss the link they are actually looking for. They can end up ‘lost’ on an unhelpful part of your site or end up clicking 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
On the subject of encouraging visitors to take relevant journeys, adding calls to actions (CTAs) can help drive your potential customers to take the action you want them to.
A CTA is an on page button that links to a page where your visitors can take an action you want them to take. You will have seen them before when reading online blogs or webpages.
These buttons usually lead to a page like a ‘book a call’ page or a page with a form where users can give more information about themselves in exchange for some helpful content, which could be something like a guide to different types of mortgages. Adding CTAs is a great way to improve your site’s return on investment.
5. Place the user at the centre of your site
Good websites continually take into account the perspective of the user. Rather than taking an insular perspective, they constantly refer back to how users will react and behave on the site. Designing a site from this standpoint will almost invariably lead to a more profitable website.
In web design, they call this UX - short for user experience - design.
This type of design combines the principles of graphic design - like attracting attention with size and eliciting the right emotions with colours - with website development, factoring in additional concerns like load speed and site organisation.
6. Make sure it’s easy on the eye
Cluttered and confusing websites reflect badly on a business’s brand. Your website is your brokerage’s number one marketing asset, so it’s essential that it expresses your brand in a positive light.
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 SEO equity. Broken links are links on your site that point to non-existent resources.
You can easily find broken links using the tools like Dead Link Checker if you have a small site. However, if you have a bigger site, you might need to use Site Audit. This will do a live crawl of your website, ensuring that you don’t miss any broken links.
When you find the broken links, you have two choices... You can replace the broken links with live links or simply remove the links. 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 simplify things by focusing their attention on one action, eliminating the intermediary steps and removing distractions.
They don’t have the range of options that other pages have. In most cases, the page’s purpose is to encourage them to take a decisive action, like 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.
Although they might sound complicated, landing pages are a great conversion tool. After all, if you make the effort to build a great website, you may as well do your utmost to ensure all of that hard work eventually translates into sales.
9. Include written (or video) testimonials
Testimonials are incredibly powerful. They let you showcase how your business can provide great mortgage advice by using real life examples. People are often careful to read testimonies before coming to a decision, treating them as case studies that reflect your service.
Written customer testimonials should give a backdrop to how your firm delivered great mortgage advice and could also include some real life quotations.
What’s more, video is an increasingly popular way of giving client testimonials. Videos are far more immersive than other types of media, building a profound picture of how your business has helped past customers.
If you spend the time and resources to create riveting video testimonials, you can share them on social media where they are powerful marketing material.
10. Accept 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. However, even a website like this should never stand still. The best websites continually use data to improve.
This is a radical approach to web development, sometimes known as growth-driven design, that helps you create an agile website that is the centre of your business’s growth. By continually adapting, you can attract and engage prospects that are the right fit for your business.
For this approach to website design, you need to collect data from your website and then make changes that would improve the data. For example, you might notice that many users click back to Google after reading your “Our services” page.
If you noticed this, you should think about changing your existing page to encourage users to stay on the page. For instance, you might think that the copy is deterring visitors, so you could look at simplifying the copy to make sure you clearly get across what your service does.
We hope you find these tips useful and are able to use them to grow your business. If you have any tips that you think should be featured here, please talk to one of our team. We’d love to hear your thoughts.