1. Improve your call to actions
There are a few things to consider when it comes to your website’s call-to-actions (CTA). Your goal as a business owner and content producer is to take your reader from a passive engager to an active visitor by providing incentive for them to hand over their email address or pick up the phone to call. Once you’ve determine what awesome freebie, giveaway, enticing offer will accomplish this, ensure your reader knows how to act on this. Here are some tips to accomplish this:
Your CTAs (buttons, banners, etc) need to be in contrast to the rest of the content on your site. Now this doesn’t mean it needs to be tacky or overly large. It does however mean that it needs to pop or stand out on the page. Typically, this is achieved by your colour choices. If you site is mostly blues, your buttons could be yellow or orange. If your webpages have white backgrounds, your buttons could have solid background colors.
Once you’ve established how your call-to-actions are going to stand out, it’s imperative that you consistent with your approach. When a visitor browses your site you want them to recognize where you want them to take action. If you are using WordPress, this can be easily achieved by specifying button styles that get applied site wide, also super helpful if you rebrand your site. Simply update the theme’s defined styles and all instanced of the buttons get updated. If you are using images as pop up buttons, I recommend using Canva and then going back to the same design and duplicating a previous image and using that as your starting point for a new one.
Long gone are the days when a simple “subscribe” button would get people to sign up for your newsletter. Now you need to be providing valuable content or incentives in return for someone giving you their email address or contacting you. This needs to be clearly communicated in the text accompanying your CTAs. For buttons themselves, try “show me my xx”, “send me my xx” or “let’s do it!”
2. Create a “start here” page
You may be wondering, what is a ‘Start Here’ page? While a ‘Start Here’ page varies website to website, it is typically one of two things: a way to introduce yourself & your business or more of a catalog of previous posts or pages of interest that guide the visitor on a path.
I am in the development stage of my ‘Start Here’ page and have chosen the second approach. I am mapping out my customer’s journey from business idea to generating profits and will highlight content that fits into the various entrepreneurial stages.
So, why do you need a ‘Start Here’ page? The answer is pretty simple, visitors to your website really have no idea where to start. They need to feel that you understand where they are coming from and be presented with next steps on how to find content that resonates with them.
Start by mapping out the high level questions/topics your visitors have, pick your top content that falls into those categories and put it all together in a nice, concise page on your website. Don’t forget to create a killer CTA on your homepage to direct people to that page.
Check out some great examples of ‘Start Here’ pages:
3. Improve Your Image Sizes
There is no doubt that using images on your website is a must. They make your site look aesthetically appealing, they can resonate with your visitors or enhance your written copy. Though with all the benefits to using images, you still need to be aware of the best practices. One such best-practice is the size of your images. One major factor Google takes into consideration when ranking your site is your user experience, in particular load times. If someone lands on your website and it takes too long to load they will bounce (you’ve probably seen the Google Analytics bounce rate stats). By keeping your website images small, your website will load quicker.
- Online photos should be 72 DPI
- Try to upload the size of file you need to be shown on your site. For example if you pop an image in your blog that will be shown as 400px x 400px, do not upload a 1200px x 1200px and get your site to resize the image, upload the image in 400px x 400px to start
- Aim for images 70kb or less!
4. Keep Your Content Fresh
The more frequently you update your website with blog posts and new & relevant pages, the more often a search engine will crawl (comb through) your website. When search engines look at your site more frequently, you have the opportunity to achieve higher rankings based on the content you provide. However, a static (or infrequently updated) website may be viewed by search engines as a “dead” – with no life and nothing new to offer.
When you publish new content, you increase your opportunities for your site to contain keywords. Keywords are an important aspect to search engine indexing and ranking. Frequently added content, such as blog posts, allows you to optimize your webpages with relevant keywords that can attract visitors to your site.
5. Catch Your 404 Errors
A 404 error is the term given to the error a website visitor receives when they go to a URL that doesn’t exist on your website. This can happen either from user error (typing in the wrong URL) or because you moved or deleted web pages from your site. If it’s the latter, there are a few things you can do.