It’s hard not to take your website for granted.
A website is like a long-term relationship—at first, you’re excited because it’s shiny and new, but as time wears on you grow comfortable and stop investing time in maintaining the relationship.
Like any good relationship, a good and effective website requires constant nurturing!
If you’re neglecting your website because you’re too busy with offline inquiries from prospects or existing clients, then that is even more of a reason to optimise it. Improving your website’s performance can attract and inform new prospects, educate and solidify your relationship with existing clients, and minimise the time you spend on the phone.
Below is a list of 10 ways to improve your website’s performance to make it an indispensable asset to your business!
1. Add a Knowledge Base
“Knowledge base” is one of those terms that sounds convoluted but really isn’t.
A knowledge base is a relatively simple addition that could prove very valuable to both prospective and existing clients. Knowledge bases inform your audience about your industry, organisation, products or processes (or all those things at once!). There are different types or possible combinations of knowledge bases you can add to your website, and they all depend on your type of business.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) are one of those things that everyone likes to read, but website owners don’t consider implementing.
Using FAQs to reinforce or summarise your website’s content is a great way to inform potential clients of your offering. People gravitate toward FAQs—anything quick and to-the-point is infinitely more attractive than reading through an entire website.
You can use your FAQs as an opportunity to answer any questions, resolve commonly raised objections or misconceptions about your service or industry, and solidify your website’s message. FAQs are also a great way to cut down on repetitive emails or phone calls and showcase your personality.
Depending on your industry or the size of your business, a fully functioning knowledge base might be right for you.
A knowledge base is an advanced version of FAQs—it is a searchable page where people can access in-depth information to learn more about your business, products, or services. Whether you’re trying to onboard new clients or educate existing clients, a knowledge base is a valuable tool. Like the FAQs page, implementing a knowledge base can help you cut down on emails and phone calls. The knowledge base is there to answer any questions when you are not—you don’t have to put in any additional legwork, so you can focus on more important things.
If you have a product that is changing faster than you can document it, a support forum might be a useful addition to your website if you don’t have a full client support team. Not only would it draw attention to any recurring issues, it also gives clients or users a chance to post questions, interact with specialists or other users instead of flooding your voicemail or peppering your inbox with queries.
2. Case Studies
Ever typed a very specific problem into Google and were relieved to find the first result was a solution to that problem?
Case studies have a similar effect on your prospects.
A case study is a documented solution to a specific problem solved by your product or service. There are many forms that can be used for a case study. Some industry-specific case studies benefit from engaging visual elements while others, like very technical or scientific case studies, benefit from an engaging in-depth analysis.
Adding well-written, relevant case studies to your website can get prospects to identify with an issue and see the ways you could help them resolve it.
3. Use Better Photos
Just like a bad driver’s licence photo has the power to skew someone’s impression of you, nondescript or bad photos have the power to skew your visitor’s opinion of your website.
What’s worse is that everyone else uses generic website photography, which makes your website fade into the background with the rest of them!
Relevant, interesting photos capture your website visitors’ attention—good images have the power to attract prospects and reinforce your existing client’s opinions of your product or service.
Here are a few quick tips to use better photos on your website to better engage with your audience:
- Use relevant, high-resolution images—Stay away from grainy, generic photos that don’t pique a viewer’s interest. If your industry isn’t very visually engaging, use images or graphics (e.g. infographics) that inform and educate your visitors.
- Be mindful about image size—A big, eye-catching header on your homepage can be very intriguing and sell your product or service.
- Use the right colours—Make sure the theme and colour of your images fit in with your website’s message. Images that are too bright or too muted could be off-putting if they’re not in line with your message, service, or product.
- If relevant, add a gallery—Depending on your industry or service, galleries can be a useful tool to showcase a product, a service, or an end-result. Keep the design simple and only choose the best and most relevant images.
- Consider interactive images or elements—Interactive buttons or other visually appealing elements can liven up your existing photos. A small amount of text (like a tagline, for example) can reinforce or complement a visual message.
What’s worse than having boring, generic photos on your website is not having any photos at all! If your website is completely devoid of images or graphic elements, consider adding visually engaging elements to draw more visitors.
4. Consider Adding Video
If a photograph is worth a thousand words, then surely a video is worth at least ten thousand!
Video introductions and engaging explainer videos can make a big difference in the way your clients interact with your website.
Not only do videos give your company a physical voice, but they also engage visually with your audience. Adding a short introductory video on your company’s homepage or an interactive explainer video about a tricky process can be a quick way to improve your communication with anyone visiting your website or pique a prospect’s interest.
5. Customer Surveys
You can improve your website visitors’ experience or learn more about them by using customer surveys on your website. You can survey customers both before and after they purchase a product or service—this will allow you to gather more data about your customers’ needs, suggestions, and opinions.
Whether you embed a survey directly on your website or invite your users to take a quick survey through a pop-up invitation, this addition is a great way to improve communication with your audience, resulting in more sales.
6. Add Live Chat
A live chat can be a very useful addition to your website. Live chat enables you to start a conversation with prospects who are casually browsing your site. An interactive chat is a lot more attractive to a website visitor than filling out a contact form, seeking out your phone number, or having to open a brand-new email message.
According to findings of the 2015 quarterly Zendesk Benchmark report, customers who chose live chat for customer service were satisfied a higher percentage of the time than those who called, emailed or used social media channels. As far as satisfaction by channel goes, live chat ranked a 92% customer satisfaction rating, while phone calls came in at 88%, and email at 85%.
There are many applications available that allow you to quickly set up a live chat for your website. A live chat allows you to quickly engage with visitors through other means of communication and keeps prospects and customers happy and well-informed.
7. Take Advantage of Your Thank You Page
A thank you page is a page where subscribers are redirected after they complete a contact form or perhaps a survey. Not all businesses use thank you pages; however, if your business does, optimising your thank you page can be a great way to continue to engage with prospects.
Here’s a quick list of things you can do to optimise your thank you page:
- Link to other relevant content or provide additional interesting resources.
- Provide a coupon code or discount.
- Provide subscribers with clear instructions on what to do next after subscribing, how to receive the offer, or provide a direct link that allows them to instantly download the offer.
- Reaffirm the subscriber’s decision to download whatever you’re providing by adding testimonials, photos, or social proof—this allows subscribers to identify with your product and reinforces their decision.
8. Study Your Analytics
Studying your analytics doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. A quick, once-a-week check could make a world of difference in the way you interact with prospects or existing customers.
Use your website analytics and metrics to:
- Gain insights to which pages your visitors are landing on;
- Track where your website traffic is coming from;
- See how and from where people are accessing your website (e.g., are they accessing your website from mobile devices, desktops, or laptops?);
- Determine demographics data to better understand your audience; and,
- Determine geographic data to understand where your visitors are located.
The more you understand your audience, the better you can serve them!
9. Start Email Marketing
Email is a great way to keep in contact with customers or prospects to inform them of new services or products.
You can use your website as a starting point for effective email marketing campaigns by collecting your visitors’ emails in a few ways:
- Ask for emails at the end of a blog post or any other relevant content on your website.
- Use your home page to get visitors to subscribe to an offering, a sample, or a service by having them enter their email.
- Add a landing page for email subscriptions.
- Display a top bar or a sidebar that includes a subscribe form that invites your visitors to enter their email.
You can build an email marketing relationship with clients by sending newsletters, coupons or discounts, or any other interesting and relevant information about your product or service.
10. Social Sharing
Social media helps you maintain and enrich your relationship with your customers. It’s also a great way to start a conversation with potential customers or keep existing customers informed about your business.
Use social media to improve search engine rankings to get more interest in your website. Social media has the potential to boost your site’s SEO, so nurture and grow your company’s social media profiles with engaging and relevant information! This will help you gain website traffic from social media posts that link to your website, and will help you gain attention through social media sites.
Adding a blog and sharing articles on social media is also a good way to boost your website’s traffic. You don’t have to hire an expensive team of copywriters to write blog articles for you—get your team involved! The team that blogs together stays together (and helps nurture and grow your business).
Your website shouldn’t be a second thought. There are many ways to improve your website and make it work for you in the same way that offline inquiries work for you.
An unused website is almost as bad as having no website at all—unlock your website’s potential by applying some or all these methods!