So you’ve invested money and a lot of time into your website and things are running well. Phew, time to relax right? If you’ve seen some good results, you’re probably wondering how you get even more from your website. Your website should be an ever evolving weapon in your marketing tool kit, so always be on the look out for ways of doing things better. Here we share some areas on your website that are fairly simply to setup but can make a strong impact on your website’s overall performance.
Provide a solid confirmation page on your enquiry forms
You want customers to be guided through your website as clearly as possible. You might think that someone submitting an enquiry is the end of the line, but it’s not. Most websites use plugins to handle enquiry forms and with those come some default settings. One of those is the confirmation message. It usually goes something like:
Thanks for contacting us! We will get in touch with you shortly.
As a starting point think about how you could offer more information such as who will respond, what kind of timeframe they can expect, and what to do next. The last thing you want to do is leave your potential customer in a dead end. A better example might be:
Thanks for contacting us! Our customer support team will respond to your enquiry within 4 hours.
Our business hours are Monday – Friday 8:00AM-6:00PM.
If you need to follow up you can email [email protected] or call 1300 123 456.
In the meantime, please check out our guides & articles.
With a separate confirmation page, you can also easily setup conversion tracking in Google Analytics.
Connect your site to Google Search Console
Previously known as Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console provides a bunch of tools for assessing how your site is performing. Once connected you will be informed if there are any errors or issues on your website (in the eyes of Google anyway). If you think something might be holding your site back from ranking well in search, this is where to start.
I’ll admit, that some of the information here does require a bit of tech knowledge, but at least if you can see any problems arising you can take some action to get help from a professional.
You can also submit a sitemap here, which is a list of all of the pages on your website. This will ensure that all of your site content will be indexed by Google, rather than just hoping the website crawlers will be able to find it themselves.
Optimise every image
There are two key areas to focus on for your images, file size for speed and naming for usability and search engines.
The smaller your image files, the faster they will load. The faster your site loads, the more people will stay on your site. The more people stay, the more likely they are to convert into customers. Most graphic designers/marketers use Adobe Photoshop’s ‘save for web’ when editing their images, but it doesn’t really cut the mustard. There’s a bunch of extra stuff they put in their files that slow you down.
Use an online file optimiser such as Compressor to squeeze every last byte you can out of your images. There’s a lovely before and after viewer, but I have NEVER been able to detect a difference after optimisation.
It’s a good idea to use descriptive file names for your images. You don’t want to go crazy with trying to make every image on your site keyword optimised, but if you can be on topic, do it.
Probably more important though is the ‘alt’ text or ‘alternative’ text that describes what the image is. You can set this when adding an image in WordPress and most content management systems. Google can’t see what your images are and relies on your alt text on images to understand what’s on the page.
It also lets users know what the image is whilst the page is still loading, or if things go wrong. From an accessibility stand point a screen reader will read your alt text to the vision impaired. So it’s fairly important to be clear and descriptive.
Connect your site to Google My Business
If you want your customers to find your contact details, location and website easily, you have to be on Google My Business. You can add some photos of your business and your hours of operation.
The process of signing up involves verifying your physical address where they will send out a letter with a verification code. Then you are on the map, and have the chance of coming up in local search results for keywords you rank on. If you’re not on My Business, expect an uphill battle with your local search results.
Create new content regularly
Absolutely critical to any website’s success is content creation via blogs or new resource pages. It’s also one of the least loved, most avoided tasks for a lot of website owners. But there is no denying it, Google loves content.
It’s also essential for attracting your customers. Creating content lets you solve problems for your customers, and position yourself for a sale.
The key to turning this chore into a successful marketing tactic is to plan and write about things you love. First of all, you need a content calendar. Get a list of all the topics you want to write on and set some dates. Secondly, only choose topics you are familiar with and could passionately talk about for a minimum of five minutes.
If you are not into writing novels, don’t. If the most you can muster is a 200 word shot form thought every week then that is going to be a whole lot better than not posting at all. Get into the habit, and you might find your article length growing as the weeks go by.
Take your website to the next level
These aspects might not get considered when developing your website initially, but once you are operational you will want to get the most out of your investment. It’s important to keep tuning your website so that it’s working it’s absolute best for you. Try things out, get customer feedback, revise and repeat.