12 Ways To Improve Your Website in 2017 - Calmlock Web Design - #1 Web Design Company - Zimbabwe
It’s time to match your website with the current trends and designs of websites. It’s a great idea and I want to give you 11 suggestions on how you could bring life to your website. Talking of updates, the most visited website in the world, google.com is always making improvements and revamping some sections and functions of the website. How much more us who are making far much less from our websites. So, I am suggesting to you 11 ways you could improve your website.

1. Call to Action.

What are the actions you want your visitors to take on the website? ‘I want them to call me or come to my office!’ Not too good. Why? The best call to action is one that a visitor can do right away on the website. For example, signing up, sending a message via a contact form, subscribing to a newsletter and getting a discount coupon. Why do I say  ‘call to actions’ will revamp the website? Well, let’s get to the basics here. The purpose of having a website is to help the business meet its goals. If your goal is sales, for example, your call to actions must help direct the visitors to a road that will eventually make them buy your product or service. So, take some time and think about which actions you want your website visitors to take.

2. Lead Magnet

A lead magnet is a bait that attracts people to act on your website. Ideally, you will need to give website visitors attractive reasons to respond to your call to actions. For example, the call to action could be to subscribe and the lead magnet could be “Subscribe & get 30% discount”. You want to create good reasons for impulsive actions here. These must be good enough to get the website visitors to take that action immediately and not want to wait or delay.

3. Get a Free SEO Review.

A SEO review will help you to immediately see the things that need fixing on your website. The SEO review report highlights what causes your website pages not to rank well on Google and other search engines. I know a big business in Harare which ranks number 23 on Google for their brand name. Not that they can’t afford to get the things fixed but I think they are not aware. Get a free website SEO review now. Getting a Free SEO review will open your eyes to many things that can help the website and eventually the business too.

4. Blogging for Business.

You can revamp your website by adding a blog to the website. In my eight years’ experience dealing with businesses regarding websites, I have seen that they generally resent this idea. How can a blog be said to be improving a website? Here are the advantages of having a blog on your website.
  • Fresh content encourage repeat visits
  • You can hide your marketing material in helpful information
  • Reduces load on your support call center
  • Get a chance to cater for the clients through the buying cycle
  • Prove that you are an authority in your industry
  • Improved SEO performance due to wider key phrases coverage.
My advice is that you use WordPress as your blogging platform if your current website doesn’t have blogging functionality. Also, as much as possible, the blog should be on the same domain with the main website especially in a subfolder and not a subdomain. So, adding a blog to your website will greatly impact your website and that’s what we are aiming for.

5. Social Media Integration.

When someone comes to your website, you want to make it super easy for them to share or like your content on social media. Shares are not money, why would I need more? The more your content is shared on social media the more people get to see it. This may result in so many good things like more website visitors, higher search engine rankings, more repeat visits and more. So, one way to revamp your website is to make it easy for people to share your content online. But we already have integrated our social media pages into the website for likes, follows and pins? Isn’t this good enough? Well, it’s good you have some kind integration already. Honestly, my observation over the years is that these two integrations play different roles and each has its own pros and cons. Having a like button will help convert website visitors into social media fans. You can then reach them there periodically. So, this works fine if you are into building the community but not trying to get a piece of content seen by many people. Making your content shareable from the website is more directed towards getting more people to see specific content on your website. When someone shares your content on social media, it’s likely that most of their friends and followers will see it. It’s not like that for a page like.

6. Adding Website Analytics.

Am sure you have heard someone bragging about the number of people coming to their website. Sometimes they use the old ‘hits’ word! Website analytics is a cool way of getting to know some facts around your website. This include:
  • Number of people coming to the websites
  • The region, countries, and cities the visitors are from.
  • The pages they viewed when they visited and how long they spend on them
  • How they got to the website (from Google, directly or social media etc.)
  • Whether people are taking your ‘call to actions’ or not via goals
  • Bounce rate and number of page views before the website.
There are many other interesting numbers and facts that analytics tools can gather over time on your website. Why would this be an improvement? Many times, people improve websites based on assumptions and personal preferences. Well, that’s not good because it leaves the clients/website visitors outside. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to get to know how people are interacting with your website? It would make it easy to make a website that clients/website visitors enjoy using and most likely, the business would benefit more from the website. Having an analytics tool on your website is a great way to prepare yourself to keep improving your website based on facts gathered over time. I personally have been using Google Analytics as my analytics tools and I have no doubt that its good enough for anyone especially when starting. It’s free but has a paid version as well.

7. Website Loading Speed.

I was doing some research recently around digital marketing. I saw that there was a local company which was running Google AdWords for ‘Digital Marketing’. Out of interest, I decided to check the website. Guess what, till now I have not managed to open the website. It took more than one minute to open and I had to move on. Sounds familiar? This happens many times. Many websites take too long to load and engage the user. Did you know that on average, internet users expect a web page to load in five seconds or less? Mobile users are among the most impatient of website users. Your page speeds must be good enough for people to stay on your website. So how many seconds does your website take? You can use this free website page speed tool here to check. You will also get some insights into what you could do to improve the situation from the same tool above.

8. Conversion Rate.

The conversion rate is the percentage of people ending up taking your call to actions compared to the total number of the website visitors. I think you can figure out the deal here. You want to have a higher conversion rate if your efforts are going to be rewarding. Note that the information about conversion rates is found in your analytics tool in my case Google analytics. Typically, conversion rates below 5% will need attentions. Anything above that is considered good enough in online marketing circles.

9. Consider having a Periodic Newsletter.

Even though there are claims that email marketing is dead because of spamming, the truth is that it is the best way of nurturing leads and generating sales. To improve your website, it may be a good idea to encourage website visitors to sign up and keep them updated about your blog. Then periodically you can then send them a digest of your monthly or weekly posts. I don’t like spamming people, I hate spam. That’s a good policy! I am not saying spam anyone. I am saying periodically send people interested in what you do updates on what’s going on in your business or just a feed of the recent articles on the blog. Why would this be counted among website improvement methods? Because it helps improve repeat visits to the website and works wonders in lead nurturing. Not everyone will open your periodic emails, though. An open rate of 20% and above is considered good enough. It’s useless to have a long email list of people who don’t open your emails. It’s a good practice to purge your list of all dormant users. Anyone who hasn’t opened more than 10 emails should be asked to re-subscribe, in most cases they won’t.

10. Change the Theme.

Currently, it will be a great thing to have a Content Management System (CMS) powered website. Popular CMS include WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and Typo 3. The advantages are overwhelming:
  • It’s easy to add new features to the website through the extensions libraries. With a few clicks you add a whole new feature or service.
  • Non-programmers can learn how to manage websites built on CMS. This dramatically reduces the maintenance costs.
  • You can change the way the website looks without losing the information.
That’s the point I am emphasizing here. You can improve your website by changing the CMS theme. All CMS keep the design and outlook files separately from the information on the website. My favorite CMS is WordPress and I will use it as an example right here. The things to consider when changing website themes in WordPress.
  • Theme options – it’s so boring to find a nice theme free or paid but then discovers that you cannot customize it easy. Before you choose a theme, check out how easy to change the logos, colors, and other options.
  • Responsiveness – you want to make sure that your new theme works well on Desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones. This may sound obvious these days but do you know that more than 80% of Zimbabwean corporate websites are not responsive?
  • Functionality and plugin compatibility – some plugins like Woo-commerce in WordPress require theme compatibility for it to work well. Before you settle on a theme, better check out if it won’t break the core business functionality of the website.
Changing your website theme can give you the freshness you are looking for without the pain of restarting the website building project.

11. Update the Content.

Maybe over the years you have been producing tons of content on your website. Sometimes, the idea of a new website or improving it is a nightmare. Don’t worry I have good news, you can update your old content and repost it. If, for example, in 2013 you wrote an article ‘How to make it big in 2013’. All you must do is to update the title top ‘How to make it big in 2017’. Be careful though to make sure that you go through the whole post to make sure that all the points and ideas shared are relevant to 2017. I’m sure you’d agree with me that it’s much less of a hustle to upgrade content than to write for the first time. In fact, upgrading content will save you from the fight of having to come up with great title and subject that interest people. Going through your website and updating and reposting all your old content will help improve your website.

12. Allow People to Leave Reviews and Comments.

Sometimes you need to get other people to give you their views about your products, services or blog posts. Opening reviews and comments help people to feel more connected to your business. Of course, there must be a control on the comments and reviews posted there. Every review or comment may have to be verified before it goes live. But in cases where the traffic is a lot, automatically filtering spam looking user content can be useful.

Conclusion

This is not all you could do to improve your website but I am sure these points will get you started on the process of identifying what you need. What’s your favorite point and why? What else could be done to improve a website?

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