Helen | 11 Sep 2014
So – it’s Friday afternoon, the phone’s not ringing, and you’re wondering which job to prioritise. I think it’s time you put your own website at the top of your to do list. Try implementing one or more of these quick action items that could make a real difference to your business, with a small investment in your time this afternoon:
1. Make your home page title tag keyword rich
If there was only one place on your website that you could put keywords that relate to your business, the home page title tag would be it. Don’t just stuff it full of keywords though – it often appears on Google’s search results page and you want to make it sound compelling!
See if you can sum up in a sentence or phrase of no more than 55 characters (including spaces!) what you do, including your key target phrase for search engines. Can’t edit your home page title tag? Get a new website!
2. Install Webmaster Tools
Webmaster Tools is a free suite of tools provided by Google to help you monitor and improve the performance of your website. Crucially, it sends you an email if Google find your website has been hacked, or if your website has gone down. It also gives you helpful suggestions of changes you can make to your website to improve your SEO, and reports on your performance in the search results.
3. Add a prominent call to action
Want people to phone you up? Put a great big orange phone number on the top of the website! Want people to fill in a form? Make it as short as you can and embed around the site in context – don’t just hide it away at the bottom of the contact page. By improving your call to action you can seriously increase your enquiries.
4. Read your Analytics
Yes, I know just the word ‘Analytics’ sends most people to sleep – but seriously, if you have a reasonable amount of traffic to your site, you could find gold dust in your Analytics reports – particularly if you link it to Webmaster Tools (see above).
Maybe there’s a keyword you’re ranking quite well for that you didn’t even know about – and with just a little extra optimisation, you could double your traffic from that phrase.
Maybe your users are bouncing out of your site on a particular page – and there’s a simple change you could make to make them stick around and maybe even buy something from you. Maybe people are searching your site looking for something that you don’t currently sell – but could easily stock if you knew there was a demand for it.
The possibilities are endless!
5. Start collecting user feedback.
Your website is great, isn’t it? Everyone you ask tells you so – but then who have you asked? Your mum? Your clients? People who’ve made an enquiry? None of these people are impartial – they’re self selecting, they’re people who are unlikely to tell you what’s wrong with your site.
By definition, these are going to be the people you’ve already made a positive impression on. They’re unlikely to tell you what you need to know to improve your site. There are so many ways to collect user feedback and most are badly under-used – use a user testing service such as usertesting.com, try a visualisation tool like Clicktale, or put an exit survey on your site, for example. What do you think? What did you do on your website that changed your business? Share your comments below.