5 Ways To Improve Your Website
- 19 Apr 2023
- Gemma Thirsk
You’re a freelancer or small business owner and you’re looking for ways to improve your website. Where do you start? If like many small businesses, you DIYed your website and it’s not quite up to scratch, I have written a list of the things I find myself saying most often when auditing DIY websites.
Website builders like Wix and Squarespace make it super easy for small businesses to DIY a website these days. Perfect for if you want to save the budget to invest elsewhere or you’re willing to put the time in yourself to create something that converts your target audience into paying customers.
The good news is they also give complete control of your website. So, you can easily make improvements without hiring a web designer for a complete overhaul.
Here are some ways to improve your website in as little as a couple of hours. Yes! Even if you don’t have much experience creating websites.
1. Make sure the text is easy to read
What do you do when you first land on a website? Do you meticulously read every piece of information in the order it’s laid out? Or, do you start scrolling around until you find something that jumps out at you?
Teeny tiny text is tough to read when it’s whizzing by your face mid-scroll. As are swirly whirly brush fonts for that matter.
Stick to around 16x - 18px for body copy with obvious headings that make the page easy to scan through. Bulleted lists split up information in an easy-to-digest way and you can emphasise important information by using bold or italic text.
Got a big chunk of text? Keep the paragraphs 2-4 sentences long and keep everything left-aligned. Don’t make your audience work hard to understand what you’re trying to tell them.
2. Include Calls To Action (CTAs)
After you’ve grabbed your reader’s attention it’s time to tell them what they should do next with a punchy Call To Action (CTA).
You can use CTAs to generate leads, encourage your audience to learn more about your products or services, get in touch as well as book, or buy straight from your website.
Here are some examples of CTAs:
Buy or Reserve
Each one tells your audience what to do. Again, you’re making it dead easy for them to find their way around your website and take action.
Include relevant CTAs on every page to keep them on your website for longer and more likely to find out more about how you can help them. Never leave your audience guessing what happens next!
3. Add images… but avoid stock!
Real-life images can take a website from mediocre to smashing it. They’ll build authority and foster connection.
Stock photography will only give you more mediocre-ness. Bland and generic. Your customers will sniff out a stock image in an instant, and once they do, the trust is gone.
We all want to know who we’re working with. Add some images of you working on a client project or even of your workspace. The more you show off your personality the better!
If your camera roll is a little dry, consider booking a personal branding photoshoot in your area. They’re so much fun and you’ll walk away with an abundance of professional (and unique to you) images for your website and social media.
4. Add testimonials and reviews
Positive client feedback is social proof. Sure, you can tell your audience how fantastic you are and how your business will change their life, but how do they know what you’re saying is true? Let your past clients prove it to them.
But don’t stick all your testimonials and reviews on one page and wait for them to be found. Spread them out in relevant places across your website - and don’t forget to update them regularly! Seeing how much your clients love working with you skyrockets trust in your business.
5. Upload a blog post
Besides being great for SEO and increasing traffic to your website, blog posts show your audience you’re active online. If you last posted in 2019, people might start to wonder if you’re even in business anymore!
Blogging increases your authority too. What better way to demonstrate you’re the expert at putting together the perfect bridal bouquet than writing a detailed blog post about ‘The 5 Best Winter Wedding Flowers’?
Remember, blogs don’t have to be boring. You can create your own voice and have fun with your writing. If you’re stuck for ideas, ask your clients what they’d love to learn more about and jot down some ideas.
Don’t forget to use your blogs to link to relevant content across your site and include a Call To Action at the end.
6. Bonus - Conduct a website audit
If you’re looking for more specific ways to improve your website, do a website audit!
Many web designers offer affordable website audits to give you a checklist of easy-to-action improvements you can make to your website. The perfect option if you want to do the updates yourseslf but aren’t quite sure where to start.
If you want to do an audit yourself, put some time aside to look through your website and pretend you’re part of your audience looking for your products and services.
Work through the pages and assess the design, layout and copy. Check everything works across both desktop and mobile devices. Make sure all of the links and buttons work and the journey through your website is intuitive and easy to navigate. Can your audience find everything they’re looking for?
Once you’ve got your audit list you can quickly check off the updates as you go and soon enough you’ll be on your way to website success. Audit your website every quarter or each time you update your products and services to make sure it’s working as hard as possible for your business.
There you have it - 5 ways to improve your website, and quickly! The key to making improvements without spending weeks agonising over the many possible choices is always to keep your audience and their needs front and centre.
Make sure your website is easy to use and serves important information on a plate. Add in images of you working at your craft, demonstrate expertise in your content, show off your excellent client feedback and always finish on a Call To Action and your website will do its job.
Written by Gemma Thirsk, Founder of That’s Her Business - Branding and Web Design For Women
Why pay for an expensive office or co-working space, when you work at any one of our locations? IPSE have partnered with AndCo who have opened up workspaces in hotels and other venues, so you can enjoy a work lifestyle like no other, all with an IPSE membership.
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