Think of some of the business websites that you visit regularly: what is it about their websites that keeps you interested? Is it the content the business publishes? The quality images or videos used? Or, maybe, it’s the layout design they have chosen. Whatever the case may be, they have captured your attention and have turned you into a repeat customer.

As many of us know, the website development process can be costly. Once you have developed your website, there are some ways you can improve it without facing the costs of a hiring a web developer to create an entirely new site.

Now for some self reflection: consider your website. What did the previously mentioned websites possess that your website is lacking? Maybe it was the layout or the photos? What ever the case, these 11 simple tips can help you improve your website and turn it from being so-so into a website that wows!

1. Get rid of the clutter!

A cluttered website can deter users from staying on the page. If it’s text, is it needed? If it’s an image, is it adding value to the text? Get rid of any clutter that makes your website look busy, is not needed, or is outdated.

2. Eliminate the whitespace (or create some)

What is the perfect amount of whitespace, anyway? You can have too little or you can have too much. Don’t have an excess of whitespace between paragraphs or at the end of a page, but don’t eliminate all whitespace and create huge blocks of text. Huge blocks of text oftentimes go unread by website viewers. Shorter, easy-to-read paragraphs are more user friendly. Find the perfect balance!

3. Own your images and videos

Image courtesy of Pixabay and condesign

Image courtesy of Pixabay and condesign

Have you ever been on a website and said, “They got the image from (insert free-image website here).” Avoid being that website. Many smartphones and tablets have high-quality cameras that you can use to take original photos and videos to include on your website (and social platforms, as well!). Or, for those of us who either don’t own a smartphone or who aren’t the best photographers, hire a professional!

As an added bonus, you avoid the chances of copyright infringement from using someone else’s images.

4. Give your content a facelift

Every website needs to be updated from time-to-time. Take the time to refresh your content, but be sure you are still using your same brand voice (unless your undergoing a rebrand). You can use your old content as a template for your new, refreshed content. Change up the wording, tell your story, and communicate your brand.

5. Got social?

Everyone is on social media and the chances are, so is your business. Make it simple for your customers to find you on social media by including social icons on your website that link your various platforms. Include the icons in either the header or footer of your website as they will be seen at all times no matter what page the reader is on. Keep them up to date and include all the platforms your business is on. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, and Pinterest are a great place to start!

6. Use SEO (this is a must!)

Image courtesy of Pixabay and geralt

Image courtesy of Pixabay and geralt

Website hosting platforms such as WordPress have easy-to-use plug-ins that will make SEO easy! Install a SEO plug-in such as “SEO by Yoast” to get started. Every page of your website should be using SEO in order to be found through search engines.

7. Implement keywords

Some say that keywords are a dying trend. However, we recommend implementing keywords into your content. What words would someone trying to find your business use on Google, Yahoo, or Bing? What industry are you in? What services do you offer? Incorporate these keywords into your content.

8. Color coordination

All of the colors of the rainbow should not appear on your website unless your logo has all of the colors of the rainbow. Spice up your website by color coordinating titles and subtitles to colors that appear in your logo. Although black and white can appear professional, a pop of color throughout your website can help to grab your reader’s attention and direct their eyes to the content you want them to read.

9. Where’s your contact info?

Image courtesy of Pixabay and edar

Image courtesy of Pixabay and edar

This sounds silly, but some businesses do not include their contact information on their website or the contact information is out-of-date. If “Contact” or “Contact Us” is not one of your menu options, consider making it one. Include your mailing address (and your physical address if different than mailing), a contact phone number, and email address that you can easily be reached at. You may even consider creating a contact form to make the process easier.

10. There’s no place like…

Getting to your homepage should be made easy for your audience. Many of us have become accustomed to clicking on a company’s logo to be directed back to their homepage. If you haven’t done this already, do so.

11. Update, check, and double-check!

Perhaps the most important part of improving your website is keeping your site up-to-date and avoiding leading your website visitors to error pages. Although this may be a timely task, visit your website from the front-end, not the back-end. Page by page, make sure all links and landing pages are working, your information is up to date, and the website is working as it should. Not only will this improve your website, but it will improve your brand image, as well.

Your business website is one of the most important and valuable assets you have. Often your website is the first point of contact for your desired audience and it needs to make a lasting impression in order to turn your one-time visitor into a repeat customer. Make some of these changes to your website today and let us know if you have questions along the way.

Jamie