2 Simple Steps to Improve Your Website

Every savvy small-business owner in 2019 knows that you need a website in order to stay relevant in the modern marketplace. But when you search the internet as a consumer, it’s clear that many of these business owners don’t actually understand why a website is important.

If you look around at the digital storefronts of your competitors — and probably your own — you’ll mostly find placeholders as opposed to compelling avenues for customer engagement. Instead of making their company’s offerings, goals, and identity instantly clear, most pages muddy the waters with wordy self-justifications. Instead of being attractive and easy to use, they’re covered in garish promotions and confusing menus leading nowhere helpful.

The worst thing you can do with your website is make it pointless. You can shell out some funds to a design firm to create a generic webpage, but without a clear understanding of how your site will create and drive leads and customer engagement, it won’t do much. Here are two steps you can take to improve your site and get an edge over the competition whether you edit the site in-house or outsource it to a web designer.

Pare it down.

In a 2012 study, Google discovered that users assess the aesthetics of a website in one-fiftieth of a second. Furthermore, overwhelming visual complexity leads users to perceive a site as unattractive.

It’s tempting to cram as much information as possible onto your homepage. You want prospects to check out your social media, read your blog, see your latest promotion, and give your business a call. But in reality, when confronted with too many options, most customers will leave the site rather than sort through the overload.

The best way to improve your website is to assess each piece of information and determine whether it is needed. Do you need each of your offerings outlined in both a box and a header menu? Is that cluster of social media icons actually contributing anything? In order to make a website easy to use, you need to ruthlessly pare it down with usability in mind. Most design-ignorant entrepreneurs are notoriously afraid of white space; don’t be like them. By decluttering the page and inviting your consumers to pause and peruse, you’ll increase comfort, engagement, and conversions.

Know what you want users to do, and tailor your site precisely to that end goal.

What do you want to accomplish with your website? When you ask yourself this question, be specific with your answer. For example, if you’re a dentist or medical clinic, your ultimate goal is for the user to schedule an appointment. With that in mind, everything on the site should lead to that appointment. There should be a bold phone number on the header of every page, and you should have an automated appointment-setting form prominently featured.

Make your direct call to action the beating heart of your site. It should be the most obvious thing on your homepage. The content should always guide the user toward action, and one click should make that action as easy as possible. The fact that you already trimmed everything down should make this even more straightforward. When there isn’t a ton of extraneous clutter, your call to action will pop that much more.

In 2019, users won’t accept a hodgepodge, half-baked website, and you shouldn’t either. Rework your site with these principles in mind, and watch conversions boost like magic.