7 Ways to Improve Your Website

Written by: Kavin Gardner

Your website serves as a virtual storefront for your company. You want it to look neat, clean, appealing, inviting, and professional, just like your normal place of business.

Here are seven low-cost techniques to update a site to match today's standards, some of which may be simpler than you think.

1. Conform to Current Standards

A website created in 2005 will appear outdated when compared to one created in 2015. An out-of-date website design can show that your company is out-of-date as well. It is preferable to update the entire website. If time and money are limited, at the very least, rebuild the site to make a strong first impression. Other pages will be updated as time and funds allow.

Request a homepage makeover from your Web developer. Purchase a low-cost template if you're a do-it-yourselfer — you can get a professionally created template for under $100 from various sites. Also, make sure your site conforms to current SSL and HTTPS standards. 

2. Make Your Contact Info Prominent

Examine your homepage with a critical eye. Do you make it difficult for people to find you or make educated guesses about how to contact you?

Contact information is often included in the header or footer of each page for small businesses. Include an email address and a phone number at the very least. Add your address if you receive customers at your location. Add a large visible link to your Contact page if you'd rather use a separate "Contact" page.

3. Keep Your Content Fresh

Have you ever been to a webpage advertising content from a holiday that happened last month? Keeping the content on your page fresh with new information or advertisements on upcoming events will maintain the interest of your customers. Set a monthly reminder to visit your website and update the homepage content. 

4. Make It Visually Appealing

Take a look at your main page. Is there a lot of text? Large blocks of text can be broken up with images, which makes the site more engaging to visitors. Include at least one image of your company, team, or products. Invest in professional photography if no one in your company is a good photographer. A professional photographer may usually be hired for a few hundred dollars in most locations.

Videos are also really good. So make a how-to video, a product demonstration film, or a video of you greeting people. Upload it to YouTube or another video hosting service. Then, to post it on your site, incorporate the code.

5. Add a Call to Action

What would you like your page visitors to do the most on your site?  It could be signing up for your email list, shopping in your e-commerce store, or filling out a lead form. Whatever it is, adding a call to action will help funnel them to that part of your site. Most people won't take action unless directed to do so. Pointing out that part of your site you want them to visit could give them the nudge they need to click. 

6. Make Your Page Faster

Visitors may never stay on your home page if it takes too long to load. In addition, extremely sluggish pages might have a detrimental impact on search engine rankings. Take a minute and do a website speed test to make sure your site is fast enough. You can also search for tips on how to optimize its speed. 

7. Make It Mobile Friendly

Last but not least, today's websites must be compatible with mobile devices. This is especially true for local businesses because customers may be looking for a nearby business on their smartphones while driving. In search engine rankings, a website that is not optimized for mobile devices can be penalized. If you give your website a makeover, make sure the new design is "responsive," which means it can adapt to mobile devices. The same is true if you buy a template.

With just a few steps, you can make your webpage a place customers will come back to again and again. 

Related: How to Create a Professional Services Tagline