Picture this scenario; you are a successful business owner with a website to advertise and help sell your products. You set the website up 8 years ago and hired a marketing agency to create a beautiful website for you. You were so proud when it first launched! But now you can see your web traffic has drastically decreased, the bounce rate has gone up and you’re getting fewer leads coming through to your site month by month.
Sounds familiar? You’re not alone, many companies find themselves in a similar scenario. The internet changes rapidly and it can be hard to keep up, so we’ve put together a list of 10 things you definitely need to update on your website, in order to increase traffic to your website and get more leads.
1. Add a cookie popup
GDPR compliance, it’s a term we’re all familiar with. GDPR stands for “General Data Protection Regulation’ and it went into effect in 2016. For most businesses, this legislation affects them in two areas:
– Users have to consent to tracking through online cookies. Any website that uses these cookies must give first-time visitors the option to accept or decline this tracking. This is often done through a banner at the page footer, or a pop-up screen.
– Users have to consent to use of their data for specific purposes. An example of this would be consent for a business to use an email address to send marketing emails or newsletters. You must ensure you have a consent form (often this will be a checkbox with a short description) in place if you are planning to use this data.
2. Work with a responsive layout
Did you know that in 2018, the average person in the UK spent over 24 hours a week on the internet? That’s twice as long as 10 years ago. How are these users accessing the internet? Through their smartphone.
In late 2015, mobile web traffic took over desktop traffic for the first time, and has been growing in use ever since. What does this mean for your business? In basic terms, your website needs to be responsive to be successful. This can be achieved through a mobile-first approach and a layout that looks good across all devices. Want to make sure your website is working as it should for mobile? Use responsivedesignchecker.com to check for yourself.
3. Add an SSL certificate
Have you ever searched for a company, clicked a link and seen the following screen?
This warning screen can appear on any website that uses ‘http’ in their web address, as opposed to the secure ‘https’ connection. As you can imagine, this warning can cause first time visitors to bounce before they have cast a single glance of your website.
Fortunately, this issue can be fixed easily. Contact your domain provider and ask them to set you up with an SSL certificate. Do you already have an SSL certificate but your site is still loading through an insecure connection? Contact us and we can provide further advice.
4. Simplify your complicated user journey
Many websites fall into the common trap of giving too much information at once. Your customer’s journey should be easy and straightforward to avoid them getting lost. This is especially important for Ecommerce sites. With each extra click, you run the risk of a customer giving up and clicking away, so the fewer clicks, the better.
The best way to ensure your users can find what they are looking for is by doing user testing. Integrating Google Analytics into your site can be a helpful tool to find out which pages are getting the most clicks or which pages have the highest bounce rate. Check out my previous blog on ‘How to create the best user journey for your customers’ to find out more about creating a simplified user journey.
5. Replace the cliché stock photography
Are you working with standard stock clichés on your website? This common mistake can have a bigger impact than you expect. Showcasing your personality is key to winning over customers.
Your photography needs to do more than simply highlight the subject matter. You need to source images that strike an emotional connection with your audience and show originality. This can be either done through commissioned photos that highlight you, your customers and your team. If you do decide to stick with stock, you can carefully select images that separate cliché smiles from genuine emotions, helping communicating more effectively.
6. Remove those three year old ‘recent’ articles from your blog
Keeping your website up to date is key. You need to ensure you come across as knowledgeable and trustworthy. Just like the building you work in, your website is the face of your company – nobody likes a storefront that looks like it hasn’t been maintained or looked after for years. You need to give your website the same attention and care as you would your actual store, by adding new content regularly and keeping contact details, staff member listings and contact information up to date.
7. Take your personal ’07’ number out of the website header
Are you a small startup company and do you take all your business calls on your mobile phone? This may work great for you, but be weary: you could be alienating your customers before they even pick up the phone. By showing a mobile number only, you can create the misconception that instead of running a respectable business from an office, you are working from your own bedroom which might not instil trust immediately.
8. Add meta descriptions
Are you struggling to rank on Google and other search engines? You might want to learn more about meta tags and meta descriptions, which can provide the key to boost your visibility on search engines. These descriptions can be added to any page, either within your page code or added through easy to use WordPress plugins. Google crawls the snippets, so by including your keywords in here you can further boost your visibility for these terms.
9. Add alt tags on your website images
Another tip to boost your search engine rankings even further; add alt tags to every image on your site. The alt tag is a short description to tell the user what the image contains. Not only does the alt tags help search engines to find you, they also make your site more accessible to visually impaired visitors.
10. Improve your website speed
As we referenced earlier, the majority of your users are accessing your site through a mobile device. Accessing the internet any time, any where, can mean loading your site through a poor data connection, so loading speed is a vital tool to ensure a low bounce rate. We recommend a loading time of 2 seconds or less for relevant content to start showing through.