How to Improve Your Website
20 Steps to Website Nirvana
Your website has been around for some time, and you notice a reduction in traffic or conversion. Or maybe the site looks a bit jaded to your eyes? Or perhaps some pages are not relevant anymore. It’s time to do a design and improvement tweak on your website. So how or where do you get started? First, identify why you need to do an improvement exercise on your website. It will help you decide which areas you need to work on. Once that is you can use these 20 essential ways to improve your website.
The average load time a user expects is 3 seconds or better. Anything more than that, you will be losing visitors and potential customers. So, speed is a crucial factor in user experience and search engine results. There are several ways you can increase the speed of your site.
1. Hosting capabilities
Ensure that your host is providing you with good accessibility. Dedicated servers, though a bit costlier than shared ones, provide better speed and accessibility. At Codesquad, we provide a fully managed web hosting solution that turbo charges your online performance.
2. Content Delivery Network (CDN)
3. Optimize the Homepage
Your homepage should clearly state your purpose and who you are without stuffing a lot of images and posts. Give maximum information with minimum scrolling.
4. Image optimization
Images, especially high-resolution images, take up a lot of load time. Manually resize the images before uploading on to your site. Use JPEG or PNG formats as they take up lesser memory and load faster than other formats.
5. Reduce Redirects
6. Check plugin usage
While plugins are good for customization, too many of them can make your site slow as they take a lot of load time. Install a plugin only if it serves a purpose, and not just because it is the hottest new one.
7. Update framework and themes
If your site has been around for some time, chances are that the coding has become outdated. Some WordPress themes can also cause your site to slow down. Check the themes and ensure that you are using current coding practices. See how you can choose the best WordPress theme for your site.
8. Simplify navigation
Simple and easy navigation is essential to keep users on your site. If visitors find it difficult to move around on your site, they are going to leave your site and move onto the next one. Moving from one point to another on the site should be ideally within 3 seconds.
9. Clean up your structure
Navigation is not just about easy movement. A clean and organized structure lets search engines crawl your site better. This is done by using the sitemap and breadcrumbs. Ensure you have a sitemap, and it is neatly organized. Let’s say you provide a service Z. The breadcrumb should look like this:
Home > Services > Service Z
And not like this:
Home > Service Z
As we mentioned in the first point, your site may need a total design makeover, especially if it has been around for some time. There are a lot of platforms that have pre-loaded themes and designs so that you can create a website on your own. However, you may want to get professionals do it for you to ensure that all aspects are according to current and updated practices. You may want to keep in mind the following points.
10. Mobile friendly
As mobiles increasingly become the device of choice to access the internet, it is necessary to ensure that you site is mobile friendly. In simple words, your site should load fast and have easy navigation on mobile devices.
11. Responsive design
Though the terms responsive design and mobile-friendly are often used together, they are in principle different. Responsive design means that your site adjusts to the screen size of any device or browser.
12. Browser compatibility
Browsers get updated frequently and can cause your website to slow down or otherwise not work properly. You must test and ensure that your website code is updated at regular intervals to be compatible with all popular browsers.
Clean Up Content
13. Check content
There can be content on your site that is not really needed or has outlived its purpose and intent. Sometimes, you need a few pages that you don’t want the search engines to crawl, like your policy pages. Set such pages as not to be indexed. If you think you need a major overhaul of content, get a professional including a developer and copywriter, to help you.
14. Delete unnecessary and stocky images
Images and videos are fine to make your site visually appealing, but too many of them can cause visitors to lose interest. Use relevant images to make your content attractive and appealing.
15. White Space
The argument on white space refuses to die down. While some clients complain that white space is a waste of real estate, others feel that white space makes the site look clearer. Find the right balance, experiment with white space. White space gives content more clarity, while too much of it is does take up space.
16. SEO compatible
This one is a no-brainer. Most of the points on this list are SEO strategies geared to make a website more user-friendly and rank higher. However, SEO is more than that; it is a constant process that is ever-changing with frequent new ranking factors. It is advisable to get professional SEO technicians to maintain your site. Codesquad SEO will get your business onto page one of Google and keep you there.
17. Add More Calls to Action
Call-to-Action (CTAs) should be attractive, engaging and, non-pushy. If you are unfamiliar with them, CTAs are what you use to ask visitors to take an action. It can be a button, a pop-up, a banner, or a landing page. Use a combination of CTAs like social follows, sign for an e-newsletter, sign-up for a webinar, see more information or to place an order. Spend some time, and craft strong CTAs that give a solution to the pain points that your buyer personas face.
Invest in a good security software, and ensure that it is regularly updated. SSL is an important ranking factor, so it’s a good idea to have all the pages secured. You do not want to create a negative image for your site with frequent security-related downtime.
19. Check and fix errors
You may have broken links or 404 errors that you are probably not even aware of, depending on your website age and size. Go to your Google Search Console, check the errors, and get them fixed. A website without errors means that it is active and regularly updated and maintained, which is definitely a high ranking factor with search engines.
20. Social Share and Follow buttons
Any website improvement is incomplete without social share and follow buttons. The world is increasingly becoming ‘social’, and you must take advantage of this. You will already have social share buttons on your site. Still, in the unlikely case that you are unfamiliar with them, social buttons are icons of different social media channels, mostly at the bottom of a post or page; they let you share the post to the social media platform of your choice. Take advantage of Codesquad Social Media Services to take your brand to the world.
These are just some of the ways that you can improve your website. Of course, you don’t need to do all of them right away, but these can help you get started. Need help with redesigning or improving your site? contact us today or email at email@example.com and get our design experts to help you.
Codesquad is a member of The Computing Australia Group of Companies.