With the year coming to an end, we are soon gonna be bombarded with “New Year, New You” ads coming at us from all directions – just when we kinda recovered from the Black Friday and Cyber Monday craziness.
But why wait until the clocks strike midnight on the last day of the year? And why only limit the transformation to yourself? I say this is the perfect time to take your website through that long-overdue makeover you’ve been putting off for too long, so you can make 2020 your best biz year yet! Are you with me?
I’m definitely part of this circle of “planners” too! With the launch of the Create Connect Convert podcast, I personally had to make quite a lot of change on my website. I had to create a podcast page, a podcast guest page, include recent episodes on my homepage… and next thing you know, I have a list of 20+ items I need to change on my website to improve my visitors’ experience.
This goes to show that your website is a constant work in progress and it needs to evolve with your brand and your business. But I know that we’re all busy business owners here and, especially when it comes to working on our own brand, website or marketing… we tend to often slack and put it on the back-burner.
Well, no more my friend! I am challenging you to take action on your website and prepare your online home for the new year. If you’re not quite ready yet for a full website transformation, but you do want to take your website up a notch, then I have for your 5 ways to improve your website in 2020 to grow your sales and convert your visitors into loyal customers!
(and pssst, if you ARE ready to truly transform your business and are interested in working with me, then click here to fill out my Brand Application!)
Your web experience needs to be as seamless on mobile as it is on desktop. This doesn’t mean that you should simply take your desktop site and cramp it into a smaller screen size – this can actually cause more hard than good. To really create the best mobile experience possible, you need to consider a couple of things:
a. Think about vertical hierarchy
Mobile website are basically long vertical pages, and if you have a lot of content, there’s a high chance your visitor may never actually reach the end of your page on mobile… they just get tired of scrolling.
This means you need to be strategic in your vertical hierarchy and think about what is the most useful information you want your visitor to see.
It’s actually not uncommon for mobile websites to have less elements than the desktop version. In fact, a lot designers often use the Mobile First approach when it comes to designing websites, which basically means that your site is first designed on mobile and then expanded into tablet and desktop versions.
b. Think about your font size
People who look at your website on mobile are often quite busy or on the move; their attention span is much shorter and if they have trouble reading your text (because your font is too big or too small), then you can waive that visitor goodbye.
Also, make sure that you don’t have gigantically long sections of text (whether on mobile or on desktop). Ensure that your headings pop out and your content is brief and straight to the point.
c. Think about your button sizes
Fact – it’s much easier to click on a button with your mouse than with your finger. So revisit the design of your buttons and call-to-actions on your mobile to ensure they’re all easily accessible.
d. Think about your mobile navigation
This may seem obvious but your mobile navigation is not something to get too crazily creative with. Don’t use icons that are not obvious for navigation and don’t place it in awkward places on the screen. You want to limit the amount of distractions and confusion when it comes to your visitor’s web experience, so keep things as clear as possible.
And remember that your mobile visitor is probably accessing your website using just one hand… and just one finger! So think about that when placing your menu icon 🙂
If you really want to make your visitors happy, then add a CTA or contact button right in your mobile navigation. Why? Because chances of them clicking on your navigation button are much higher than scrolling all the way down to your footer, where contact information is usually available.
e. Think about your mobile images
Because our attention span and patience are much shorter on mobile than on desktop, the risk of people living your website due to slow-loading page is much higher.
Therefore, make sure you resize and crop your images to increase loading speed of your site and strip down all heavy media files on your website (like videos, for example) and replace them with lighter sized pictures.
Professional photography can do wonders for your website. A minimal looking website with gorgeous photography has the capacity to retain your visitor’s attention much more and convert way better than a site filled with content but not really visually appealing.
So if you’re not ready to fully redesign your website, you can take it up a notch by investing in a professional photoshoot to make your website more visual. And the awesome thing is that you can reuse the images in so many different ways: on your website, your social media, your newsletter, your marketing materials etc.
Not quite ready to invest in a branded photoshoot right now? You can also search for online stock libraries to find good quality images there. One of my go-to free stock libraries is Unsplash – but when using such libraries, you need to be really mindful when choosing your images to ensure that they have a consistent look and feel, so they look like they were all taken and edited by the same person.
If your images are inconsistent then your site may look a little Frankenstein and will create confusion for your visitor.
To achieve a consistent look, you may want to look for stock images in a bundle. My go-to resource for that is Moyo Studio – they create some stunning images, templates and mockups and it’s been my best investment of 2019 hands down!
They also send free images when you sign up to their newsletter, so if you want to check out their work visit their website.
Just like I talked about optimising images for mobile above, you need to also ensure your images are optimised on desktop. What does that mean?
a. Image File Size
Firstly you need to ensure that your images are the right size. You want to reduce your image file size without impacting the image quantity.
Lower image file size means that your pages will be loading faster and can largely minimise your visitor bounce rate (which means that your visitors leave your site after only visiting your homepage).
My general recommendation is to aim to keep your images under 500kB. Here are some online tools that you can use to reduce your file size:
You can also test your website’s page speed load using tools like GTmetrix
b. SEO Optimisation
While SEO is a very big topic and there are a lot of things you can do to improve your SEO, for the purpose of this article, you can start by correctly naming your images and ensuring you use the relevant keywords to help your website rank on search engines. Because search engines not only crawl the written content of your website, but also your image file names.
So for example, if you’re a Minnesota based wedding photographer, instead of uploading a pictured of a happy wedding couple named DSC_1345, you should rename it to something like “Outdoor Wedding Photographer Minnesota”, for example.
If you have some analytics installed to track your site’s performance, look at your top 5 most visited web pages besides your homepage.
Go back to these and see if you can improve these pages in any way. Can you improve/update content on these pages? Can you answer any questions your visitors may have?
In the same way, I encourage you to review your best pieces of content, update them, and perhaps consider creating some type of freebie for that most-read blog post to grow your list at the same time.
Your 404 page is basically the page that people get redirected too when they click on a link that doesn’t exist anymore. And the reality is, the longer you’ve been on the web, the more content you have on your website. the higher is the risk that you may have some broken links on your site.
So what if someone does end up on a 404 page? Now what? Well, let’s get creative here and use this situation to our own advantage. My 404 page at the time of writing this article looks like this:
As you can see, I wanted to make a funny and lighthearted 404 page because I know that broken links can often be annoying and frustrating, so why not lighten my visitors’ mood?
So check your own 404 page and think about how you can get creative with it and use this opportunity to educate and entertain your visitors.
I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about list building already, but have you made it a priority in your own marketing strategy? If not, then it’s time to put it into practice, my friend!
You wanna ensure that you have a couple of opt-in opportunities on your website. I encourage you to think beyond the typical PDF lead magnet (although it’s one of the easiest to start with) and get creative with your freebies. Here are a couple of ideas:
The most important thing to remember is that your lead magnet absolutely must be targeted directly to your ideal client. Who do you want on your list? Will they be interested in your freebie? Will it answer their questions?
Also make sure you offer opt-in opportunities in different places on your website and experiment with the design of your opt-ins. Instead of just doing a pop-up, you can also do a top announcement bar, in your footer, at the end of a blog post, etc.
Here you go, my friend! Some awesome ways to improve your website in 2020 if you aren’t quite ready for a full site revamp!
What will you definitely be taking action on? Let me know by sending me a DM on Instagram – I’d love to connect with you there!
Keep on creating magic, my friend!