As website owner you are probably also constantly looking to improve your website. It does not really matter what type of website you are running, selling products or service or selling ads space, you always can make little changes to your site.
Probably one of the most important factors in web design is the user experience. It plays an important role in conversion, search engine rankings and overall in the success of any website. Your site might get good rankings in Google and can have good amount of traffic, but without a good user experience all your effort is gone down the drain.
In fact, Google takes user experience very seriously. The search engine has become very smart and can detect how many people are bouncing from your website. The high bounce rate can be caused by bad user experience therefore Google will consider your site not very useful and will list it lower in search results.
Next, I will show you tricks on how to make your website better quickly and easy.
1. Change or Upgrade the Design of Your Website
How old is your website’s design? If it is more than five years old, you should definitely thing on re-designing it. The web design industry is changing so fast, that designs that were very cool and professional few years ago today are considered ugly.
If you are running on a content management system such as WordPress or Joomla, finding a new cool theme is easy. If your site is running on an older system such as Mambo that is not supported anyone, maybe you should upgrade or migrate your whole website.
2. Make Your Website Faster
Believe it or not, users are very impatient. If your website loads slowly, most users will hit the back button and will not even have the chance to view your content. Those who will stay will struggle accessing your pages. Either way, your site provides a bad user experience. There are a number of ways you can speed up your site.
- Choose reliable hosting: depending on the size and traffic of your website, you can opt for multiple plans. For a small site a shared hosting plan will be enough, however bigger sites will require VPS or dedicated servers to have a good performance.
- Optimize code: remove all the unnecessary code from your site. If necessary, rewrite your existing code and benchmark performance of your scripts.
- Optimize images: resizing your images is an easy way to reduce the size of your web pages and speed up your website. You can use compression tools such as TinyPNG to reduce file size even more.
- Use a CDN: a content delivery network can significantly improve the loading time. The CDN caches your website’s pages over a network and delivers the content to the user from the nearest server.
3. Connect with Your Visitors through Social Media
Social media these days is very important for each website. It not only brings traffic in, but also helps in SEO. The more people like and share your pages, the better rankings you can achieve. Google and other search engines check social signals and consider them as ranking factor.
I bet you have a Facebook account or maybe you created a Facebook page too. But are you active on other social media platforms? Just create an account on the top social platforms and help people find your website.
4. Avoid Using Forced Pop-Ups
It is very annoying when visiting a website the first thing that you see is a popup which rather promotes a product or wants to collect your email address. Probably 99% of people will click the close button, before even checking what the popup is about.
Users who are coming to your website want to read the content. Popups can decrease user experience. Ok, but you want to collect email addresses or want to show them a special offer. Simply include a call to action form in the content or at the end of the page. Give something to the reader first and then ask them to subscribe or check your promotion. It will make a huge difference.
5. Keep it Simple and Easy to Navigate
Probably you have many great pages that might be interesting for your readers to read. Include a “related content” tool at the end of each page so they can choose from different topics. Also interlink the pages that might be interesting for future read. Offer your visitors the option to learn more, but do not give them too many options.
Keep your navigation simple and straight forward. Only include pages in the navigation menu that are important. Keeping your website clean and having a good structure will improve the user experience and readers will love browsing your website.
6. Be prepared for Mobile
Almost everyone who has access to internet has a smart phone. The number of users who browse on the internet via mobile phone or tablet increases day by day. According to a report from comScore, in 2014 the mobile traffic beat the desktop traffic.
So is your website prepared for this traffic? Well, if your website isn’t responsive, you have a problem. All those users who are viewing your website via smart phones are struggling with reading the content. On top of that, Google also care about mobile-friendliness. Websites without a mobile version or responsive design can drop in rankings.
7. Collect Emails for Your Email Marketing Campaigns
I have mentioned before how annoying are those popups that are bagging for email addresses. Well, I won’t change my mind, but you still want to ask people to subscribe to your email list.
Having great content on your website which is delivering value to the read will incline users to subscribe, even if the form is not as evident as a popup. As told you before, you can insert the subscription form somewhere in your content, after second paragraph, or at bottom of the page, or why not in the sidebar in a colorful box.
Remember, that collecting emails is just the beginning. You will need to provide great info to your subscribers and don’t spam them with offers all day long, because they will unsubscribe.
8. Create a Blog and Update it Regularly
At first it might be hard to come up with new ideas and topics, but there are many tools which can help you find content ideas.
Blogging will help in getting more traffic to your website. All those pages you publish via your blog will get organic traffic from search engines. You can promote your website via your blog, so it is definitely a good option to improve your website.
9. Check Your Website’s Compatibility
Different browsers and smart phones might render your websites differently. Some fonts you are using on your web page might look good on Chrome, while on FireFox can be very difficult to read. On iPhone everything might render well, while on other devices your site might have issues.
Check your website on as many devices and web browsers as possible. Older Internet Explorer versions will always cause problems, but you should just not care about that, but make sure that your site looks good on all modern browsers.
10. Make Your Website Better with SEO
SEO is not only about building links. This is especially truth since Google has changed its entire search algorithm. The quality of your website’s content is very important. Re-write and improve your old pages, include more keywords, make your content longer, add images and videos and make sure that the H1 and H2 tags are in place.
Interlink your pages, and also give credits to other websites through outbound links. Don’t be afraid to add external links, just make sure your links are pointing to related content. Google and other search engines will love it and your readers will also appreciate your effort.
Wrapping it all up!
These are my tips and tricks that have helped me improve many of my websites. Now it is your turn to let me know what you are doing to make your website better. Share your thoughts below in the comments!