Managing and growing your website can seem like and impossible task. Many of our clients admit they don’t even know where to start. With the market place getting increasingly competitive and Google algorithm shifts as well as a serious change to how search functions occurring, a high-quality website is more important than ever. You need something that puts you ahead of the pack. So here are BSO Digital’s top 7 tips for improving your website and customer experience in 2019.
1. Responsive Design
Over 80% of Australians access the internet via their smartphones and tablet devices, making us one of the biggest mobile device users in the world. As a result, in 2019, there is really no excuse to have a website that does not work seamlessly on both mobile and desktop devices. Further, Google’s search updates mean that it gives priority rankings to sites with mobile-friendly or responsive design.
In fact, many businesses have taken a “mobile first” approach to design, ensuring that their site scales well to smartphones and small devices, first, before focusing on having them gracefully scale up to larger devices.
However, no matter what approach you choose to take, your website needs to have responsive design in 2019 or you will be losing a vast chunk of your online customers. If your site is not yet mobile friendly, contact BSO Digital today for help!
2. Improve Website Speed
With the vast array of camera phones and digital cameras on the market, as well as the abundance of stunning sock images and professional photographers, it is tempting to upload beautiful high resolution images. However, this comes at a cost to your website. High quality images often affect your website’s load time. Other issues that affect load time include excessive plugin use, uncompressed and unminifed Java and CSS scripts, hosting, and lack of cache.
Why is speed so important? Studies show that the longer your website takes to load, the more likely it is users will abandon your website for a competitor. Even in 2019, not everyone has the luxury of high-speed internet, especially in Australia. As a result, a large percentage of your customers will be viewing your website on phones or tablets, possibly while on the go and possibly on limited data plans.
So you want to make things as easy as possible for them. Compressing larger image files while retaining the beauty of your chosen picture is important to maintain the look of your design without impacting the speed of your website. This can be difficult an is best done by an experienced web designer, like those at BSO Digital. Further, many of the issues we’ve mentioned that affect page speed require coding knowledge and a skilled web developer to handle in order to ensure your website does not crash.
If you would like to improve the speed o your website to keep up to pace in 2019, why not contact BSO Digital today?
3. Simplify Pages
Just like our homes and lives, de-cluttering a website is a fantastic way to prioritise what is important to your business. Having a homepage that is crowded with text, images and even animations can not only leave your visitors overwhelmed and unsure of where to go next to find what they need, it can also slow your site down. To keep users from leaving your site for a competitor it is important to assess your pages and tidy them up.
Keep your pages simple. Rather than thinking of what can be added, consider what might be removed to streamline the information you already have. Determine the keyword you want that page to rank for and then check whether the content – including images – helps boost ranking for that keyword or hinders it.
Avoiding leaving large gaps of white space, page breaks or page spacers. On mobile (and on desktop) these do not scale well and can look as if the page is broken or missing content. Simply format your paragraphs better to break up large chunks of text instead.
Finally, use headings and paragraphs to break up large sections of texts. Not only does this allow users to find the specific information they need, it also allows you to target secondary and longer form keywords for your page.
4. Improve and Freshen Up Your Website Content
Checking your content regularly for updates and out of date information is important. Consider how recent your product date, latest news and blog articles are. Take the time to do a quick inventory of your content and see if it is still current and correct.
Not only will your customers appreciate up to date information but search engines like Google will actually prioritise websites that show they are taking the time to regularly update their content. In fact, Google bots like websites that are active and will crawl them more frequently.
Further, while we are talking about optimising your content, have you considered working with a copywriter? Often writing and improving copy takes time that you might feel is better spent running your business. A professional copywriter, like those at BSO Digital, can work on your copy for you, ensuring it is SEO friendly, leaving you time to work on your business. Further, a copywriter can help produce content that is easy for customers to understand, free from jargon, and free of typos.
Search engines prefer websites that are active. While we’re talking about optimising your content to improve your search engine ranking (SEO) have you thought about hiring a professional copywriter? They can ensure your content is keyword-rich for search engines, provide an external point of view to make sure your content is easy to understand a free from jargon, and most importantly make sure there are no typos or grammar mistakes.
5. Reorganise Your Sitemap
It might have been years since you built your current site. As a result, your business is likely to have grown, providing more products and services. And unless you are diligent, you have likely just placed new pages and sections wherever they fit in your navigation.
As a result, your sitemap and navigation journey might be a little out of whack – or a lot if you are a big business.
A great way of diving into 2019 is to evaluate what the main sections of your website really are and how best your content can be distributed or arranged according to this new page hierarchy. This is also a great time to assess your keywords, page titles, H1s and metadescriptions for accuracy.
Having well thought out navigation and page hierarchy contributes to a sitemap that allows you to direct clients where you want them to go. If the aim is to get a customer to buy, then you can make that journey easier by rearranging your pages into a logical flow. Further, it will also improves your search engine ranking, driving more traffic to your site.
Need some help on deciding your page hierarchy and navigation? Contact BSO Digital today and our web design team can help you out!
6. Call to Action
You may have seen the phrase “call to action” before but not known exactly what it meant. A call to action is essentially the goal you want a user to do on your page. This may be contacting you, filling in a form, buying a product, clicking a banner or link, etc. Making calls to action clearly and easy to reach is incredibly important. You want to move your user from lead to conversion as quickly as possible. So placing barriers that prevent users getting to your CTAs quickly makes it harder to convert them. This is not a time you want to make your customer “work for it”. Always make the journey from point A – information – to point B – conversion – as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
7. About Us Pages and Staff Bios
As strange as it sounds, About Us pages and Staff Bios are actually big selling points when it comes to online transactions. In this day and age, customers want to feel like they personally know who they are buying from. They want to feel connected and that they can interact with the people behind the brand. This is apparent in all areas of society, with users flocking to the Instagram pages, Twitters and websites of celebrities, YouTube personalities, and brand CEOs. Allowing people to get to know you and your staff goes a long way to forging a long lasting business relationship.
These pages can be simple, with staff bios being only as much as a headshot, name and position. However many companies like to have fun with their About Us and Staff pages, with quirky facts, lists of accomplishments, and fun photos that give customers the feel that they are glimpsing “behind the scenes”. This allows you to build trust in your company and in your staff and, as a result, grow your business further.
Want to know what else you can do to make your website shine in 2019? Contact the crew at BSO Digital today and come in for an obligation-free chat. We love building websites and we love helping you grow your business!