If you invited customers into a brick-and-mortar store, you’d make sure it was clean and welcoming. Your website is your virtual storefront. So taking the time to give it a good freshening up welcomes visitors and keeps your site looking trendy. The fourth quarter is a time to reflect on the previous year. It’s time to figure out what changes will help your business grow.
You have about 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression on site visitors. In the blink of an eye, the user decides whether they want to stay on your site or bounce away to a competitor. Want to take advantage of the increased holiday shopping traffic online? Make sure your site is updated and attractive to site visitors.
1. Go Through Your Site
Before you work on an update, take the time to study your current site. Run analysis of which areas visitors click on most. Heatmaps also show you where they gravitate to. You don’t want to remove a CTA button that has a lot of activity, but there are likely places where users are not clicking – remove them.
Another idea is to survey your current customers and ask what features of your site they love and what frustrates them. Insight from your target audience allows you to create a site that perfectly matches their needs.
2. Improve Your CTAs
If you only have time to focus on one update, look at your calls to action (CTAs). Personalized CTAs get a 202 percent higher conversion rate than generic ones. First, you must decide if the CTA speaks to visitors or leads. The wording will be different, depending upon the traffic you get to your site. Next, you just make the offer very specific to your audience.
Fabick CAT does a great job of reaching their site visitors with very specific CTAs on their landing page. Note how the first CTA above the fold addresses first-time site visitors by inviting them to learn more about growing their business with Fabick. They then have very specific CTA aimed at different types of leads, such as “Explore Products,” “Shop Used Equipment” and “Order Parts Online.”
3. Add a Video
If you want to stand out from the competition, add a video to your landing page. In a recent survey, researchers found that only .25 percent of PPC landing pages feature a video. A quarter of a percent is abysmally low, so adding a video to your site allows you to grab site visitors’ attention and offer something unique.
If video seems intimidating or out of your budget, think about how you can easily feature a product. There is likely someone on your team willing to tackle video and come up with something that grabs visitors.
4. Add Quality Images
Survey the design of your site. People process images more so than text, which they tend to skim over. Your images are an important component of your overall content strategy. Make sure they are pertinent and that they are optimized to load quickly (more on this below).
Make sure your images are also responsive to different device sizes. More and more people use mobile devices today. And don’t forget to adjust for viewing on smaller screens.
Airbnb features a full-width photo background that sets the scene for the purpose of the page. Notice how the image is highly relevant, showing a couple preparing a home for visitors. The text is minimal. The image says a lot without using words.
5. Speed Up Your Site
Any small thing you can do to speed up your site, particularly on mobile, is an advantage. Optimize images and reduce any scripts that slow down your site. Invest in the best server you can afford. About 39 percent of people will leave your site if the images take too long to load.
Use tools such as Pingdom’s speed site test to figure out how fast your site is and areas for improvement. You can also ping your site from different locations, depending upon where most of your site visitors reside. The report also offers suggestions for how to improve page performance, such as reducing DNS lookups or compressing components.
6. Make Navigation Intuitive
Navigation is the framework of your site. When a site visitor lands on your page, they’ll use your navigation to orient themselves to where things are. Take a look at your overall navigation structure. Can you consolidate any categories? What are visitors looking for when they land on your page? Does your navigation reflect that?
Keep in mind that most people expect your navigation to be near the top of the page. The logo should link back to your homepage. People intuitively click on the logo to go back to the landing page, because they are used to many sites offering this feature.
Finally, test every element of your navigation to make sure all links are clickable and go where you want them to go.
One Task a Day
The final quarter of the year is a busy one for most business owners. You may not have hours and hours to devote to redesigning your website, but you can make a list and complete one task a day, improving your site throughout the season. You don’t have to make big changes to see big results. Tweak things a little at a time and watch the new leads roll in.