It’s surprising to see how much room for improvement there is on many websites we see. Here are some of the things we check and improve if necessary for our clients. Check which ones apply to your website too.

1. USPs and benefits on the homepage

You have such a short amount of time (reportedly just 6 seconds!) to grab a visitor’s attention before they move onto another website in their search results. An important way to entice them immediately is by highlighting your unique selling points on the homepage. Why should they stay on your website instead of clicking their back button and listing one of your competitors? What makes you special? Make sure your homepage immediately tells them this.

2. Clearly state what you’re about

It’s important that your homepage shows the visitor straightaway what you offer and how you can help them.

3. Do your URLs contain keywords/phrases?

The page URLs need to have relevant keywords/phrases in them, e.g. about-us could be ‘about-typeofcompany-location’ so the URL could be www.yourwebsite.com/about-landscape-essex – which would help you appear higher in results when the search term ‘landscaper Essex’ is entered.

4. Include links to your social media pages

More and more consumers are checking out the social media pages of businesses before making a purchase. Not only should you have links to your social media pages on your website, but these should be high up the page – ‘above the fold’.

5. Google Analytics integration

This enables you to view your site statistics. It provides the number of visitors, where people on your site came from, what they did while there and more. If you want to improve your marketing and get more visitors, your website needs to be visible on as many platforms as possible. Tracking your visitors and where they come from is critical in knowing what marketing tools work.

6. Meta tags

These are code snippets in the background of your page containing words and sentences that search engines can read and display in results. People often put loads of keywords in the code hoping that Google will then place them in a higher position, but Google’s crawlers are cleverer than that. Title and description tags are vital as these are what are shown for your page in search results. They need to stand out from your competitors and grab the attention of the people searching.

7. Keywords and phrases in the content

Think about the words your target market will enter into search engines – anything they might want that you provide. Ensure the content of your site includes these keywords and phrases. For example, if your target market includes say, renovations for office buildings, think about what a business owner, or commercial property owner might enter into a search engine to find your services, or some advice on that topic and make sure that phrase is within your content.

8. Site colours

Many websites that we have redesigned have had too many colours and fonts. The colour scheme needs to be simple and consistent. Links/buttons should all be the same colour to help visitors become familiar with navigating around the site. Don’t use more than 4/5 colours in the site’s main content or it will look untidy and unprofessional.

9. Using stock photos

Avoid using those typical stock photos on your website. There are numerous websites where you can download great quality royalty-free images that look professional, including Pixabay and Unsplash

10. Is your website mobile friendly?

Over 50% of website visits are via mobile phones. Your website should be able to adapt in size for a mobile or tablet. Google give mobile-friendly sites priority positions in search results performed on mobiles.

11. Navigation labels

The labels on your navigation need to be clear and concise, as well as relevant to what the pages are about. They should also be enticing – for example instead of ‘Blog’ it could say ‘Free Advice’ and instead of ‘About Us’ it could say ‘Get To Know Us’.

12. Regular blog posts/news/articles

A great way of keeping your website updated regularly is by having a blog. It will also show that you’re an expert in your industry; building the ‘know, like and trust’ with your potential clients. Blog posts could be top tips, ways to avoid something, etc. These need to include keywords that your target market are likely to enter into search engines.

13. Have ‘Where did you hear about us?’ on your forms

This is a simple way to keep track of how people heard about you, to see which advertising and marketing methods are most effective.

14. Are there clear calls to action?

On every page of your website there should be a clear call to action to encourage visitors to take the next step in your sales cycle, whether you want them to subscribe, contact you or make a purchase.

15. Testimonials and reviews

Saying how great you are is one thing but having other people say it is so much better. Also consider case studies to show how you have helped your clients.

It’s all well and good knowing what needs to be on your website to make it most effective, but do you know how to implement these features so they can be most beneficial? If you would like us to review your website and give you a personal list of recommendations that apply to your business and target market, please get in touch.