If you are a rockstar and already have a website – but you’re wondering why you are still waiting for your audience to call – these simple changes are going to you take the next step in online greatness.
With this simple, 10-step checklist, you can improve your website without spending hours on it so that you can increase your visibility, get more traffic, and elevate your business.
Let’s dive in!
1. Secure your website with an SSL certificate
Visiting a website without an SSL certificate is sort of like going to a home hairdresser for the first time – you don’t reeeeaaally know if you can trust them or not.
Google feels this way too.
Securing your website with an SSL certificate can sound complicated and technical, but it’s super important for your business.
An SSL certificate provides a private, secure channel between your website and your users. Without an SSL, your audience’s personal data like email, credit card information, and address could be intercepted by hackers and other bad guys.
Protecting your business website with SSL is one of the best things you can do to improve your website.
In fact, Google has started alerting visitors if a site does not have SSL by marking it as “Not Secure.” Plus, having SSL is now playing a major role in Google’s search ranking algorithm so your website could be getting penalized in the search rankings if it’s not secure.
PRO TIP: There’s an easy way to distinguish if you have SSL or not. If your URL starts with https://, you are all set with SSL as the S stands for secure. If your URL starts with http://, you need to get SSL.
Use this free SSL Checker from Hubspot to check your website: https://www.hubspot.com/ssl-checker
2. Implement an SEO Strategy
When’s the last time you scrolled past page 3 in your Google search results to find what you were looking for?
Most people don’t get past the first page. In fact, research shows that 75% of people never scroll past the first page of search results.
This is why implementing SEO strategy is so important. Implementing a strong SEO strategy will help you rank higher on Google.
SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) is the process of driving targeted traffic to your website from search engines like Google. AKA getting the right people in front of your website to buy your products and services.
Here are 5 easy ways to increase your SEO:
- Write blog content based on keyword research
- Add alt tags to all your images
- Use plugins like Yoast SEO to optimize each page and post with keyword rich text
- Add meta descriptions to each page and post
- Consistently post fresh content to your blog
3. Make your Website Mobile Friendly
It’s no surprise that more and more people in today’s age are using their smartphones or tablets to surf the web or online shop.
In fact, an average of 70% of all my clients’ web traffic comes from mobile browsers.
What does that mean for your business?
Your website needs to be mobile-friendly so that your audience can browse your website with ease whether they’re using their phone, tablet, or desktop.
Not sure if your website is mobile-friendly?
Use this free online tool from Google to test your site: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
4. Upgrade your Design
Did you know that it only takes about 50 milliseconds for users to form an opinion about your website and whether or not they like it?
First impressions really do matter when it comes to website design. It’s important that your digital storefront is well-designed, informative, and easy on the eyes.
An easy way to upgrade your design is to select a new theme.
There are plenty of free themes to choose from when using platforms like WordPress, SquareSpace, Shopify, and more so choose a pre-existing one and add in your content.
You could get a kickass custom design from a certain Interweb Gangster
*winks suggestively while trying not to look like an awkward anteater, sipping my chai latte*
Here are 4 ways you can give your website design a facelift:
- Select 1-3 fonts maximum to use on your site and be consistent with those fonts throughout your entire site.
- Use white space. Don’t be afraid to give elements space. It’s easier on the eyes!
- Create a consistent brand identity with 1-4 brand colors. Stick to this color palette exclusively.
- Use high resolution, professional images.
5. Set Up a Professional Email Address
One of the quickest ways to seeming more “professional” on your website is having a business email.
For example, I use email@example.com instead of something like stormsteen@gmail.
If you email me from a Gmail address, I’m immediately going to start questioning the legitimacy of your business.
Like, “Is this person for real, or are they a Nigerian prince who wants all my money? Or worse… a kidney?”
Having a custom business email is such a simple thing, but has a great impact when people are deciding whether or not to trust you and your business.
To me, having a custom business email means you are serious about your business and those are the people I want to do business with. Plus, setting up a business email is super simple (and FREE – if you host your website with a Cpanel account).
6. Freshen Up your Content
Do you have a blog?
If not, you are missing out on a huge opportunity!
A blog can help you reach your target audience, land more clients, find better leads, and position your business for success.
One of the best ways you can take your website to the next level is by freshening up your content.
Add a new blog each week, update your About page with your business story and core values, or refresh your Services page with better details about how you can help your clients and customers.
Your audience loves getting new, helpful information from you. Plus, new content will help further establish you as an expert in your industry.
Remember Tip #2 about SEO and showing up higher in Google search rankings?
Adding fresh content to your website on a consistent basis can actually help you rank higher on Google as well. Double the benefits!
7. Add a Custom Site Favicon
“A favi-what??” you might be asking.
A site favicon is the little icon in the top left corner of your browser tab that improves site recognition and branding.
It might seem like a simple thing, but when you don’t have a custom favicon for your business website, it sticks out – in the worst way possible.
You can create a favicon in Canva or Photoshop and most businesses use part of their logo.
Make sure that your favicon looks good at a small size since they are displayed in a small size on the browser tabs.
8. Get a Professional Headshot
We all love the selfie game, but save those photos for your personal Instagram.
Your business website should have a professional headshot that you can be proud of! That doesn’t mean you need to break the bank for an all-day photoshoot with multiple backdrops.
Set yourself up against a blank or white wall, find a great source of natural light, pick your favorite outfit, and ask a friend or loved one to take some photos.
You’d be amazed at how well your iPhone can take a great photo!
9. Show Off your Social Media
If social media is a major part of your marketing strategy, one of the best ways to take your website to the next level is by showing off your social media throughout your website!
You should have links to your social media platforms in the main navigation bar or the footer, but you can also incorporate your social media in other ways.
You can use a Instagram Feed plugin to display your latest posts on Instagram or a Facebook plugin inviting users to like or follow you on Facebook.
Your social media and website should work hand-in-hand in your marketing strategy so it’s important that visitors from your website know about your other channels and vice versa.
10. Be Thorough
One of the best pieces of advice I can give to any entrepreneur or business owner is to be thorough when it comes to your website.
Statistics show that 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.
The easiest way to make sure your audience has a great experience is to test the experience.
A great experience will keep a user coming back again and again!
Here are 5 ways to test your user experience:
- Does your branding follow through from your other online platforms? If users feel that everything has changed and they may be in the wrong place, they lose trust and you lose the connection. Confused humans don’t buy, people! (If your branding sucks, I can help you with this – just reach out)
- Test all of your internal and external page links. Make sure they go to the correct page and that external pages are still live.
- Test all of your buttons. Make sure they go to the page you intended.
- Test your Contact Form. Make sure you receive notifications if someone submits a new message.
- Test that your email optin is integrated correctly with your email marketing system. New subscribers should automatically be added to your email list and emailed the optin you promised.