Not seeing the traction you were hoping for on your WordPress website? Visitors landing on a single page, but not going any further? Haven’t been getting the leads you were expecting?
The world of web design can be a frustrating landscape to navigate. Making big improvements can seem like a daunting challenge, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are 10 quick, easy ways to make a big impact, which shouldn’t take you more than an afternoon or two to implement.
#1 Speed things up
The user expectation these days is that a website should load in a matter of seconds. A slow load time is a large cause of site abandonment. Site speed also affects your search engine ranking, with fast load times gaining more favorable attention in the algorithm used by Google.
A few quick tips in speeding up your WordPress site? First, test your page load times using one of these free tools to determine whether or not you have a significant problem in this area: I recommend Google’s PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom’s testing tool, and GTmetrix’s speed analysis tool. If your site’s speed is really suffering, check out this great tutorial from Smashing Magazine on how to really improve the speed up your WordPress website. Even if your speed isn’t noticeably suffering right now, I’d still recommend considering a caching plugin like W3 Total Cache (great configuration tips here), as even a slight speed improvement can increase the quality of your user experience.
For a great, comprehensive guide on speeding up your WordPress website, be sure to check out this WP Beginner article.
#2 Create new content
Haven’t updated your site in awhile? You’re missing out! Regularly providing users with fresh content helps with your search engine ranking. It means that your site will be more frequently indexed and you’ll undoubtedly have more keywords throughout your pages. In addition to the search engine perks, regular content creation keeps your audience informed and will help carve your place as an authority on the subject(s) of your choice. Don’t have a blog yet? Consider adding one today and commit to posting just a couple of times per month.
#3 Have a clear call-to-action
Not getting the leads from your site that you were hoping for or expecting? Then you should take a look at your primary call-to-actions and make sure that they’re serving you. As a web designer, it’s your job to tell users what action they’re supposed to take next. Call-to-actions should be consistent, clear, relevant, and should help to achieve your website’s objectives. Looking for some ideas? Try a variation of one of these: subscribe to my blog for tips and tricks, contact me for a free consultation, or order now and receive 10% off your purchase.
#4 Leverage social media
Whether we like it or not, social media is a trend that’s here to stay. If you want to maximize your web presence, your best bet is to leverage yourself across a few social channels. This especially rings true if blogging isn’t for you, but you don’t mind posting an occasional Twitter or Facebook update. In lieu of a blog, consider adding a social stream to your site to let the world know you’re still out there doing your thing. If you do share your ideas through an occasional blog post, consider adding social sharing links below each article. Make it a no-brainer when it comes to encouraging users to distribute your content (and in turn increase your audience). Jetpack is a great WordPress plugin that will allow you to easily add social sharing links to your site, and has a Facebook and Twitter stream functionality built in as well.
#5 Improve your navigation
Another biggie when it comes to the usability of your site is navigation. Consider whether or not your navigational structure makes sense: do your top-level nav items represent the primary pages you’d like visitors to view? Don’t bury important pages in a dropdown, but also avoid having too many top-level options. You’ll also want to make sure that you use accurate titles across your nav bar. Cryptic or misleading names will only end up flustering your users and will make your site more confusing to navigate. As a final suggestion, consider adding a search feature, especially if your site is on the larger size. If you already have search functionality, test that it works to provide users with relevant content when queried.
#6 Fix any broken links
Broken links can negatively impact SEO and are generally bad for user experience. A big reason why you should fix them? It’s so easy to do, and users tend to favor sites that simply work. I recommend running this Broken Link Checker plugin. Not only will it alert you of any current broken links throughout your site, but it will also notify you of any going forward. Such a quick and easy fix!
#7 Explain what you do
A simple, yet huge thing website owners often miss the mark on? They forget to tell their visitors exactly what they do and what service(s) they provide. Easily prevent this problem by offering a quick welcome message on your homepage and a summary of who you are and what you offer. You’ll want to provide enough information to generate interest and entice users to follow through your call-to-action(s)—but not so much that you scare them away with information overload. Stick with a quick headline and a concise explanation of your offerings.
#8 Be easy to reach
When someone wants to contact you because they’re interested in learning more or hiring you for a service you offer, don’t make them hunt you down. Make sure your phone number and/or email address have a prevalent spot on your homepage, and also on every internal page. You’ll also want to make sure that any contact forms throughout your site are easy and intuitive for users to fill out. Don’t overwhelm them with specifics that you could easily grab over the phone or through a later email exchange. Long forms that require a time commitment tend to make visitors think twice before filling them out, so keep it as short and sweet as possible. You’ll also want to make sure that you test any contact forms to be sure they work and submit the information correctly. No point in having a contact form if the submissions never reach you!
#9 Offer up a freebie
Show visitors that you really know your stuff by offering up a simple freebie on your website. This could be a free how-to PDF, a tutorial video, or even a simple list of industry-related resources. If you’re looking for a quick way to create a professional quality document (PDF, presentation, or other), consider checking out Canva, as there are lots of easy templates to work from and the software is free.
#10 Refresh your imagery
A super simple way to make your website look more polished and professional? Use high quality images! Focus on quality stock photos if a custom photoshoot is out of your budget. Spend some time finding refreshed imagery that really speaks to what you and your website is all about. If you’re operating on a tiny budget, check out this list of totally free stock photo sites. Most feature a wide variety of very high quality, professional images.