Occasionally we are given the gift of time.
How that gift is delivered may not be to our liking (Covid-19, I’m looking at you), but when we are given it, making the most of this precious gift is crucial.
So, many of my small business sisters will be feeling the pinch right now. People are shutting themselves away and I know for our family at least, ALL non-essential spending is halted. It’s scary for us when clients stop calling and projects get put on hold.
But I know for sure, that this crazy time will come to an end. And when it does, I for one want to be prepared to come out, bigger and better than before.
So one of the first things I’m doing is a little Website Spring Clean, to make sure my site is looking and sounding its absolute best! Here’s the process I’ll be going through over the next couple of weeks if you want to follow along and make sure your website is ready for when we get through this crazy time.
Step 1 – Examine your website’s main site goal
When I start working with a new website client, the first thing I like to discuss with them is what is their Main Site Goal. You would be amazed how many people have NEVER even thought about this, or if they have, what they tell me is not what their site could and should be achieving for them.
For instance, I have a tonne of service-based businesses telling me their main site goal is for people to book with them. But when I speak to them in more detail about their business and how clients come to them, what I find is that their services are too individually tailored for people to decide to book through their website.
They also often have other commitments, like children and school pickups, which means their availability can chop and change depending on the week.
What their main site goal should be, is to educate visitors on all the amazing ways they can serve them, to hopefully welcome them into their little world so the process of know, like and trust can begin and then, gently, move those people on to their mailing list.
Then, when they are ready to book this service, they know exactly who they are going to call.
Action: Think about your main site goal. Do you have one?
If so, is it the right one? How does your business attract new clients?
What purpose do you want your website to fulfil?
Step 2 – Create a roadmap for your site visitors
What I mean by “roadmap’ is what’s the journey you would like your site visitors to take, to achieve your Main Site Goal.
A good roadmap will take you the most direct and easiest route to your destination. The same needs to occur on your website.
Giving people too many options will confuse them and lead them to places they don’t necessarily need to go.
Think about the information people may need to take the next step with you. The pages which provide that information are what needs to go in your header navigation.
Anything superfluous to this can go in your footer navigation.
Then, to help people travel along your site’s preferred journey, create Calls To Action throughout your site to help them take the next step.
Action: Think about the journey you want people to take to achieve your Main Site Goal.
Is your website currently set up so that visitors can quickly and easily achieve this goal?
Pro Tip: Ask someone who isn’t that familiar with your business (a neighbour or parent perhaps) to jump on your website and take a look around.
Watch where they go and how they move through your site. This will shed some light as to whether or not your Roadmap is clear for the user.
Step 3 – Do a content clear out
I’ve covered in a previous blog post, that the average time spent on a website is 15 seconds, so making sure that the content you include on your site, especially on your home page, is necessary and valuable.
In my blog post “How to write engaging copy for your website” I talk about exactly what information you should include on your site, and trust me when I say, less is more is everything when it comes to website content.
So, take a look through your current content, and see if there are ways you can communicate your message more succinctly, or if people even need to know all the details upfront.
I often find myself moving reams of information from a client’s main website pages onto FAQ pages or other pages only accessed if people choose to read more about that point but delving further into the website.
Action: take a look at your current content.
What can be highlighted as an important point
What can be rewritten to convey the message more succinctly
What can be moved to a sub-page that people who want more information can find
What can be deleted entirely?
Pro tip: keep only the most important points and include “read more” or “learn more” buttons that can take the viewer to a page with additional information.
Pro tip II: ALWAYS have a call to action at the bottom of these sub-pages to take the reader back to the roadmap you want them on to achieve your main site goal.
Step 4 – Take a look at your Search Engine Optimisation
I’ve written two blogs on this subject. For basic tips on getting your site to rank better with Google, take a look at this article.
If your website is on Squarespace, then I have written a whole blog on this. Jump over there and have a read for all the tips and step-by-step instructions for getting your site’s SEO up to scratch.
But wherever your website is hosted, there are a few things you can do to make sure your site is being found by visitors.
Do some research into the keywords your ideal client might be punching into search engines when looking for what it is you are selling. You can do this by inputting some basic ones into places like Google and Pinterest and then seeing what the related searches have been
Make sure you have page titles and page descriptions for every page and include your keywords in these.
Look through your existing copy and ensure that your keywords and sprinkled regularly throughout the content.
Blog!! This is my biggest tip. The more blogs I write on topics related to my business, the more organic traffic I have found my website. Blogging is well and truly alive, it helps with your search engine optimisation and gives you a tonne of content to use on your social media.
Action: read my blogs about improving your search engine optimisation and implement all the tips I give.
Pro tip: if you haven’t already started, write your first blog post. It’s easier then you think once you get started!
Step 5 – Optimise all your website’s imagery!
I wrote a blog on this not so long ago, so take a look at that, but I also recorded this little video not so long ago which shows you exactly how to resize images for your website, using Canva and another site Tinypng, so that you can quickly and easily resize images for use on your website, ensuring that look amazing on any screen and are the smallest possible file size so your website stays lightning fast.
Google LOVES a fast website and making sure all your images are resized appropriately is going to help massively with that. I so often take over an existing website only to find people have uploaded imagery that is either the original high res images and are massive or are low resolution and look blurry or pixelated on retina displays.
Neither of these options is what you want.
Action: take a look at my video and go through all your website’s images to make sure they are optimised!
And that’s it! Each of these steps can be done on their own, so don’t feel the pressure to get them all done in one sitting.
Take your time, and enjoy the process. Who knows, you might just learn something about your ideal client or how you want your website to work for you in the process!