In today's marketing landscape, your website has become a more powerful tool than ever. Your website is a 24/7 salesman, and as such, it has the potential to be your most powerful asset and the centerpiece of your marketing efforts. However, rapidly changing digital trends can make your website feel old and outdated. While sometimes a redesign might be ideal, you may not have the time or money to invest in such a large project. To help you overcome this challenge, we've put together a list of 10 simple ways you can improve your website to make it more helpful and useful.
1. Use images (wisely).
People across the Internet are getting smarter and faster at judging company websites before deciding if they want to browse the site further. When they first visit your site, they can easily pick out a generic stock photo they've already seen elsewhere or that resembles the non-personal style of stock photography. Using stock photography can decrease trust and also stand out as generic and non-unique. Unfortunately, these associations carry over to your business as well.
In a case study done by Spectrum, Inc. of Harrington Movers, a New Jersey and New York City moving company, they were able to increase conversion on a page by simply replacing a stock photo with an image of the actual team of movers. They got the same increase in conversion and confidence to the page by adding a picture of their actual moving truck versus the stock photo.
Bottom line? While stock photography can be high quality, it fails to create a connection between the user and the brand. Ultimately, no stock photography will be as capable of conveying your brand, services, and products the way that you want to. Only your own actual images can do that while also speaking clearly to your potential customer. Use images strategically and place them in your website to support the content and allow the users a visual break from text, but make sure they are relevant and non-generic.
2. Include well-designed and written headings.
Your headings and content should be driven by what your potential customers are looking for. Including keywords in your title is also very important for targeting your message and attracting the right audience. Search engines typically give headings more weight over other content, so choosing the right heading and making it stand out can significantly improve your search ability. But more importantly, headings guide your user through the site, making it easy to scan through and find content that speaks to them directly.
3. Use white space.
According to Crazy Egg, white space around text and titles increases user attention by 20%. White space can also make your website feel open, fresh and modern and if your branding is consistent with these then it can help you communicate that feeling to the user. One downside of white space to keep in mind, however, is that it does indeed take up space. If you're trying to get a lot of content above the fold (above the part that is immediately visible without scrolling) having too much white space might be replacing some valuable information. The key is to find the balance between what is most important to communicate at the top and surround that with some space to highlight the image and/or text.
4. Be responsive & mobile-friendly.
Technologies have advanced to meet our needs to be mobile. Websites are also a significant part of this evolution. It's imperative that your website is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate no matter what type of device they use to access it. Search engines typically give headings more weight over other content, so choosing the right heading and making it stand out can significantly improve your search ability. But more importantly, headings guide your user through the site, making it easy to scan through and find content that speaks to them directly.
Recently, Google started penalizing sites that aren't optimized for mobile devices, making the need for responsiveness even more crucial. This is probably the single-most valuable way in which you can improve your website's usability. If you're not sure whether your website is mobile, you can use this free tool.
I hope these tips have given you some ideas on how you can revamp your website to be more user friendly without shelling out the punds on a complete redesign.