Important elements your website is missing | Part One
Having a website is one of the best things that you can do for your business, product or service and it should give you the results that you want. There are a few things that are missing from your website and that means loosing potential clients, less web page views and even worse is looking unprofessional to your visitors. Most of these things can be easily fixed with a few tweeks here and there.
Doing a website audit frequently makes sure that you are creating the best user experience and also profiting from it and the end of the day.
1. SEO OPTIMIZATION
Yes I said it! The dreaded SEO! Three letters that can make even the best of us shiver. Now, don’t let fear of the unknown hold you back from making the most out of your website. SEO stands simply for Search Engine Optimization and it means just that, optimising your website so that search engines can find you easily.
Squarespace makes it so easy to do this. First of all, squarespace has a sitemap set up for every one of its users. A sitemap helps search engines like Google be able to crawl through your website to understand what content you have which for you means that if you work on providing the best content for your niche then that is what you will be found under when your potential clients search google for resources.
The second thing to do is set up meta descriptions for all your pages. Meta descriptions are short summaries of your web pages that show up in search engine results. Usually they are found under the blue clickable link.
The third thing you must do is label all your images correctly. This works in three ways, it helps google know what the content is about, it gives a description of the image if loading fails and lastly, it helps screen readers provide descriptions to visually impaired users of your site.
The fourth thing is to have clear and short URLs. Make it easier for search engines to show your work and people to remember your urls when they want to refer back to your content. Instead of having www.yourdomain.com/dpp/239_stringshairties use instead www.yourdomain.com/strings-and-hairties.
The fifth thing is backlinking to your own content. This notifies search engines that you have read-worthy content.
2. CLEAR CALL TO ACTION
Think of your website visitors like tourists. You need to give them the right directions in order for them to get to where you want them to be! This means that, if your like me and you offer services, make sure that your potential clients have multiple ways to get in touch with you.
If you want to book clients then have a link or button stating exactly that were ever possible.
If you want to build your email list, put newsletter sign up forms or create freebies for most of your content in exchange for that email. Do not be afraid to use the occasional pop up forms to achieve your goals.
If you want to increase your social media following, let your audience know in the emails you send out or at the end of your blog posts.
Let your audience know what it is you want them to do next. No guessing games. The minimum you can do is have a call to action on every page of your website.
In order to be seen as legit, you need those testimonials. Humans are geared to look for any form of social proof. So if you claim to be the best at what you do and not have someone else back you up, then your potential client will have a hard time believing you’re a legit business.
You really don't need many. Think of quality over quantity on this instance. Having 3 well Written testimonials is much better than 10 testimonials that don't bring any benefits to your website.
These testimonials need to express your work ethics, services offered, the problem and how you helped your client solve it. Be careful about who you get a testimonial for because the work you did for them will act like a portfolio for your business. If it's not your best work then make sure to update the testimonials once you do a job that you are 100% in love with.
Your blog. Remember that place where you promised will get your undivided attention this year? And one week into your new year resolution you've already given up? Well, get back to it! Potential clients will always go through your blog to see if what you offer is what you also talk about.
Besides being great for SEO, a blog also positions you as an expert on the niche your working in. If you consistently give out content that will help your potential clients solve problems they're facing then sooner or later you'll be the person they go to when they're ready to work together with a professional.
Start of by posting just twice a month but market the heck out of those two blog posts. Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram should be your best friends. Then slowly see if you'd be able to do it 3 times a month until your comfortable enough to be consistently giving out content.
5. A RESPONSIVE DESIGN
Your website is beautiful, but is it responsive? My job as a web designer is to make sure that your website looks good whether someone is viewing it on a pc, phone or tablet. It's very important that your site is responsive because majority of your viewers will be on their phones when they stumble upon your website and you need to make a great first impression.
A responsive website adapts to any screen and makes sure that your content is displayed in the best way possible. Without this, you end up having a website that forces users to zoom in or out in order to read your content or slide across your site just to finish reading that long sentence. Or even worse, they leave your site without a second glance and that is very bad for business.
6. CLEAR NAVIGATION
The three pages that need to be visible on your website navigation are your about me page, contact page and your services or products page. Potential clients will want to know more about you, see the work you do and also want to be able to contact you easily.
What happens is that we fail to correctly label our navigation buttons and that's not helpful when Google crawls through your website. Let's take an example of a lifestyle coach. Instead of only writing services in your navigation, label your services for what they are for example, workshops, speaking, group coaching etc. This is not only easier on Google but faster for anyone browsing through your website to find what they're looking for.
Another example is of a freelance illustrator with a shop. Categorise your items in the navigation. For example, about me, custom work, prints, illustrations, contact me. Make it so that as a potential client, I know exactly what it is you do and what it is you have to offer.
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