Last week, we talked about a few ways businesses in Hawaii can boost their revenue through improving their website. Our tips so far have focused on high-level changes. This week, we focus on some of the technical aspects.
The world (and Hawaii) increasingly use the digital marketplace for buying and selling. Even some products and services that aren’t digital still have a buying process that begins digitally. For example, you can order a pizza online, customize it to your liking, and get it delivered to your door, all without having to drive anywhere or speak to a single person. Even though the product is physical, most of the commerce occurs through digital means.
This makes your website more important than ever, even if you still sell physical products and services. Though it may not be the first impression, it’s arguably your most important salesperson. A good website informs the reader. They learn who you are and what you do, but it also persuades the reader. By engaging with your website, they should make a decision about whether they want to buy from you.
Also Read: Our FREE e-guide, Developing your online profile through Organic SEO
The Separation is in the Preparation
While last time we discussed your site layout and funnel, this week we’re getting more granular, discussing a few things that happen “under the hood” to make your site more effective.
There are multiple factors that come into play before the customer reads a word on your landing page, all of which affect whether they’ll go to your store page, sign up for a consultation, or look up directions to your physical location.
Some reading this will think, “This is all too technical. I can’t figure it out on my own.” I disagree. While everyone has their limits when it comes to technical computer tasks, there are thousands of free tools out there to teach you how, and even do most of the work for you. With just a little bit of studying on the front end, you can make your site even better at attracting customers and influencing them to go with your business.
3 Technical Considerations for your Website
Here are three questions to ask as you design your site.
- Should I use a template or build it from scratch?
When first starting your website, you can choose to create it through a site platform like WordPress, Squarespace, or Wix. I don’t recommend attempting to make it without one of these platforms, because it’s not worth the time to learn how to build websites from scratch (aka coding) for most owners. For my website, and all the websites I build, we create that code (custom design) on WordPress, but you can use pre-built templates.
Once within a site platform, you can choose to build using their free tools or a paid template. I recommend always starting with one of their templates. Even though most good ones cost money up front, they save you precious time. Many of these templates are also mobile-friendly by design, which you need. Depending on your business, you can expect at least half your traffic to come through smartphones, so always double-check what your site looks like on a mobile browser.
- Does My Website Have High Quality of Life?
Quality of Life (QoL) basically means a lack of extra steps and hassle for the user. Is it easy for them to read your website, follow your funnel, and make a buying decision?
Here are a few ways to improve your website’s QoL:
- Reduce load time. Make sure your website loads for most people in under five seconds. You can do this by making sure the photos and videos on your site are small enough. Many people will navigate away from your website if it takes longer than eight seconds to load.
- Ensure smooth crawling/scrolling. If the website stutters while a user scrolls, or takes a long time for a crawler to load it, then you’ll lose both search engine position and audience engagement. To combat this, make sure you don’t use large images farther down on your pages without a very good reason. Also, consider having a web development expert look over your site to eliminate any broken or redundant code.
- Reduce the number of links. A high number of links is likely to make the reader feel overwhelmed because they won’t know where they should go next. Additionally, an extremely high number of links can get your site flagged for spam by Google’s engine, but that is only with an extremely high number. Regardless, make sure every link has a purpose, and that your audience is being moved down your funnel.
- Make sure the writing has been proofread. All the writing on your site should have flawless spelling and grammar. You will alienate some customers if they see basic or even advanced mistakes on your site. To make sure you have pristine English on your site, consider hiring a professional proofreader to look it over.
- Did I consider Search Engine Optimization practices?
Finally, paying attention to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can make a huge difference for your website. If your business tends to come up on page 1 of Google’s results for relevant searches, you will get significantly more web traffic than a website on page 2.
SEO is no replacement for an attractive website and good products, but it could help get your good products in front of more eyes. Here are a few basic tips to boost your search engine rank.
- Use the right keywords. In your website pages (especially your landing page and blog posts), make sure you use the words that people search for. Here is our free guide to help you research and select the right keywords. Now, don’t stack your keywords into every single sentence on the page. Just make sure to use them a few times, without breaking the flow of your sentences.
- Update your Header tags. In WordPress, you can directly edit the headers and their tags for each of your website’s sections. When Google crawls your website, it doesn’t just look at the written words, but also the metadata. In other words, it reads the descriptions of your sections that are typically hidden to your website’s users, or not immediately apparent. This includes things like blog categories and header tags. Every chance you get to inject relevant keywords into your site’s metadata, take it.
- Use an XML sitemap. An XML sitemap is a specially-encoded language that makes it easier for machines to read your website’s data. This comes in handy when search engine machines crawl your website to score it for search engines. Most site platforms, including WordPress, have tools and plugins for updating your XML sitemap. It will boost your search rank without you needing to change any of your website’s content.
Are you ready for your most effective website yet?
Let’s put everything together. If you operate a business in Hawaii and want to create or update your website to attract more customers and generate more revenue, there are several strategies you should use. First, plan out your funnel and make your website follow the funnel. This will often result in a silo architecture instead of a flat architecture. Next, initiate a content marketing strategy to boost traffic and build influence. After this, get a bit more technical. Work on your site’s overall look/feel, Quality of Life, and SEO practices. With all of these together, you’ll have a more effective website than ever before.
If you want help planning or developing your website for maximum results, feel free to book a strategy call with us today!
Further Reading: Keys To Entrepreneurial Success