How Can I Improve My Website?

How can I make my website better? This is the most popular question that prospective clients ask me. Most of the time they believe that design is the problem. However, you need to tackle both your website's look and feel and ways to make it convert better.
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Kelly Sparkes Opal and Onyx Founder

Hi, I’m Kelly and I help female entrepreneurs¬†translate their brand and message into a beautiful, responsive website, optimised to draw in and convert their ideal customer.

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Video Transcript

Hey, everyone, I’m Kelly, and today I’m going to teach you how to improve your website to optimise it and convert your website visitors into customers.

How can I improve my website is the most popular question that prospective clients ask me, usually thinking the design is the problem. However, you need to tackle both your website’s look and feel, and ways to make it convert better. You can have a beautifully designed website that still doesn’t convert well.

Conversions

Conversions can be buying something from you, booking your services, or can be as simple as getting people to sign up to your newsletter, give you a call, or get in touch through your contact page. Getting the visitor to make the first step to form a relationship with you and your business is not as easy as building a gorgeous website.

However, don’t worry, implement these 10 tips and you can easily improve your website today. I’ll also share how you can get your hands on my free PDF, detailing all the advice I’m about to share.

1. Remove the social icons from your header

Once you get your visitors to your site, you don’t want to send them away and back down the social media rabbit hole. Moving your social media icons to your footer will ensure your visitor stays on your site for longer and decreases your bounce rate, which is excellent for SEO. I also like to add them to the bottom of the contact page where you can explain why someone should follow you over there. Put it under your form so they’ll send you a message before leaving.

2. Vital pages

Ensure you have all the critical pages on your website. This includes the Home, About, Contact and Services or Shop pages. Check out my other video where I go into this in more detail.

3. Re-organise your Header Navigation

The most clicked buttons on a menu are the first and last ones. Ensuring the most important pages or actions occupy that spot will help them get visited. For example, on my website, the most important thing I want my visitor to do is to learn about my course, so I have that at the front of the navigation. The second most important thing is for them to subscribe to my channel on YouTube, so I add a handy button for them to do that at the end.

4. Re-organise the content on your pages

Following on from the last point, ensure the most important content on each page is at the top and make your customer, and how you can help them, the focus of all of your pages.

5. Calls to action

Ensure your calls to action are bright and noticeable. Scroll down and skim read your page, is it clear what you want the customer to do, would it grab their attention? You should also ensure the button label is interesting, as you can use this to get your visitor to click through and then close conversions. ‘Get free guide’ or ‘Yes, I need this’ are far more enticing than ‘submit’, for example.

6. Add a contact form to your Contact page.

Contact forms make it as easy for your visitor to send you a message directly from your website. They don’t need to think about what to write or guess which information you might need, and the browser may autofill the fields. Try to keep the number of fields to under five and only ask for essential information. Long forms seem like work and will reduce the number of messages you receive. Using a mail link may seem very simple but they send your visitor off your site to get distracted by something else in their inbox and possibly not send the message or return to your site. Worst still, the visitor’s default email program may not be the one that gets opened, leading to confusion and frustration, again, resulting in them not sending the email. Another bonus of using a form instead of an email address, which is unrelated to conversions but good for you, is that you will avoid spam as bots can scrape email addresses off websites.

7. Link the logo in your header to your homepage.

Visitors will usually find your site via a search engine or social media and probably not end up on your homepage. Once they’ve read whatever they came to your site for, it’s useful for them to have an easy way to get to your homepage and people expect your logo to do that.

8. Social proof

I can’t emphasize how necessary social proof is on your website. It’s the concept that people will follow the actions of the masses, so you need to show your visitor that other people trust you and have worked with or bought from you before. This could be testimonials, reviews, star ratings, case studies or logos of clients that trust you, or publications that have featured you. You can even use a plugin that pops up a little message saying “Kelly just bought this” or “2,000 people have bought this”. John Lewis does an excellent job of this. I found a product that I’m thinking about buying and a little message pops up saying “popular, 18 people are viewing this right now”. It also says “bestseller” and that 45 people have bought it in the last 24 hours. That makes me think this is a really good product and I should buy it. They’ve also got a five-star rating and reviews on there too – all forms of social proof.

9. Strengthen your copy

Overly worded website copy doesn’t get read. Try to condense it into short, readable statements with a strong message, and show your writing in your brand voice – if you’re a friendly business, you don’t want to sound like a corporate robot. Also, be sure to spell and grammar check everything. I use a tool called Grammarly for this and it’s changed my writing.

10. Improve the speed of your website

Optimising your website for speed is a whole other video topic but, in a nutshell, you should check how quickly your pages are loading and you can do this by or by using the GTmetrix tool. If you feel your website is slow, then it probably is. Ensuring your images are sized correctly and using the right hosting provider will also make a huge difference. Also, if you’re on WordPress, a plugin like WP Rocket will make a tremendous improvement out of the box.

I know that I’ve given you lots of information to digest but I’ve put it all into a helpful PDF, which you can download here.

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