Selecting the Right Tools to Improve Your Business’s Website
As a marketing expert, you know the importance of having a website for your business. You’ve likely had one set up since day one. But running a business means keeping a lot of balls in the air, and it’s just as likely that you haven’t revisited your website design in a while.
The thing about life on the internet is that things change quickly and often, and what was a totally effective and optimized website five years ago is not going to serve you nearly as well today.
If it’s been a while since you’ve modified your website, today is the day to start! We’ll take a look at what tools you can use to bring your website up to the present moment and give your business its best shot at success.
Think About Video
I’ve written recently about incorporating video into your client’s marketing strategy, but this an approach you can and should embrace on your own website as well. The majority of customers prefer to interact with video content, and being able to meet you and your team via video can help you to tell a compelling story about your business.
Consider switching over from a text-heavy homepage to one that features little writing and an explainer video instead (which you can see is the approach we’re now taking on our own homepage).
There are a number of video hosting options available. The obvious, of course, is YouTube, but Vimeo and Wistia offer alternatives. Wistia is designed especially for business use and offers users features like video SEO, in-depth analytics, and A/B testing. If you’re going to be incorporating webinars and other forms of video into your broader strategy, a platform like Wistia’s is the way to go.
Nowadays, prospects and clients want an instantaneous way to get in touch. Rather than asking your users to scan your site’s pages for your contact information, when your site has a messaging function, with an ever-present icon on screen, it’s easy for anyone to reach out the moment they have a question. This helps with lead capture because prospects won’t write your phone number down on a Post-It and promptly lose it in the pile of papers on their desk. They’ll have an immediate way to reach out and get the answers they need.
There are a staggering number of chat options available to business owners. You’ll want to do your research before settling on one. Some are more basic rule-based chatbots that allow users to click through a series of response buttons, while others have advanced AI and machine learning capabilities. Some need to be embedded on your website while others can live on the Facebook platform. Some even integrate into CRM tools, allowing you to track conversations that happen on your website.
If yours is a WordPress site, a plugin like this one from Zotabox allows you to easily incorporate your business’s Facebook messenger onto your site, which is a free chat alternative. If you’re looking to use an chatbot platform, consider one like Drift or Morph.ai.
Up Your Speed
The other major cause of slow-moving sites is bad hosting. Not all web-hosting platforms are created equal, and there are some popular web-hosting companies out there that are notorious for slow sites. Again, for those of you running your site on WordPress, Pressable is a fantastic hosting option, which not only offers you the ability to host your own website, but also has a plan specifically for marketers that allows you to host multiple sites on behalf of yourself and your clients.
Optimize for Mobile
If you initially designed your site several years ago, it’s possible that you were not paying close attention to optimizing your site for mobile. However, in recent years, having a mobile friendly site has become a necessity. Google now ranks all search results based on mobile sites, so if your website is difficult to read or slow to load on mobile, you’re likely falling in Google’s organic search results.
Google offers a free tool to allow you to check how your site loads and appears on mobile. It provides you with an overview of how mobile friendly your site is, what issues they encountered in loading your homepage, and provides a site-wide mobile usability report.
Once you understand where your site may be falling short, there are some steps you can take to enhance your site for mobile and ensure that you’re getting the best organic search ranking possible for your business.
Rethink Your Design
If your site is more than a few years old, it’s possible that its design elements have become outdated. Fortunately, today there are a lot of options, even for non-coders, to design sites that are visually appealing and dynamic.
If yours is a WordPress site, consider a tool like Thrive Architect, which has drag and drop design elements that allow you to build a variety of pages and customize all of the individual parts. Squarespace is another popular drag and drop website designer that provides modern, clean templates for website design.
You want to give your business the best shot at success. If your site is old, looks dated, or is missing some of the elements that users have come to expect from websites in the past few years, it’s likely that you’re losing out on business opportunities. This is particularly true for marketing experts—if you’re asking your clients to have modern, optimized sites you need to be walking the walk, too. Setting aside time to reevaluate your website, taking into account SEO and design, will allow you to fix the elements that are no longer working and to create a site that draws prospects in and leaves them feeling confident about your marketing expertise.
If you liked this post, check out our Small Business Guide to Website Design.