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Web Design

10 Ways to Improve Your Website

10 Ways to Improve Your Website

We’re firm believers in the adage that your website is never finished. You can always do more to improve your website, whether, fixing, adding or refreshing content to keep it fresh. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look at 10 aspects that can be instrumental in improving your website’s overall performance.

Improve Your Website: Mobile-Friendliness

There are two main reasons for making sure your website is mobile-friendly.

Firstly, over 50% of all web traffic is on a mobile device, meaning visitors will be looking at your site from their smartphone, and you want to ensure you’re catering to them.

Secondly, (due to the first reason) Google now employs mobile-first indexing, which means it takes the mobile version of your site to determine its performance with the search results.

Check if your site is mobile-friendly

Until recently, Google provided a standalone tool called the Mobile-Friendly Test, allowing you to pop in your site and indicate what Google thought about your site regarding its mobile responsiveness.

They now use a tool called Lighthouse, which has been rolled into the PageSpeed Insights tool, which you can find here. Similarly, you pop your website address into the tool, and it’ll give you a wide-ranging report of where your website is doing well and where it needs improvement, including the mobile performance.

Based on the report’s outcome, you (or your web design company) can use this report to make changes that will improve your users’ experience on your site.

Lastly, if your website needs to be mobile-friendly, consider a redesign.

hairdresser web design

Improve Website Loading Speed

Improving your website’s loading speed is essential for the same reasons as the previous point. Firstly, the user experience – if the site is slow loading and content is jumping around all over the place because images are too big, you’re going to disengage your users pretty quickly. For that reason and more, this is also a ranking signal with Google’s algorithm, which can affect your rankings.

Pingdom Speed Test

Pingdom Speed Test

Testing Your Website Speed

Luckily, testing the speed of your website is free and easy using a variety of tools:

All these tools allow you to pop in your website address and, after analysing your site, will give you an overview of its speed performance. From there, you or your web developer can look for areas of improvement which will improve both your user experience and your rankings.

Improving Your Website Speed

After you’ve done your speed testing, you can now look to improving your website. Here are some of the critical areas where it’s easiest to make gains:

  • Reducing Image Size
  • Compressing Images
  • Changing Image Format
  • Reducing Scripts
  • Reducing Plugins
  • Leverage Browser Caching
  • Minimise Files

If you’re using WordPress, you or your WordPress Web Designers can fix many of these issues using one or two plugins to get some quick and impressive improvements.

Implement SEO Best Practices

Implementing SEO best practices is essential for enhancing your website’s visibility and attracting organic traffic. SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, involves improving your website to rank higher in the search queries for relevant keywords and phrases. The process begins with keyword research to understand the terms your target audience may use when trying to find your business. Taking your selected keywords and including them naturally in your content, meta-titles, and description can significantly impact your site’s relevance and authority.

Ahrefs screenshot showing keyword research

Beyond keywords, ensuring your site has a clear, logical structure is critical. A well-organised site with a straightforward navigation menu allows search engines to crawl and index your pages more efficiently, improving your site’s discoverability. Creating high-quality, original content that provides value for your audience engages visitors and establishes your site as an authoritative source in your field, encouraging backlinks from other reputable sites.

Technical SEO is another vital aspect involving the optimisation of your website’s backend, including site speed, mobile optimisation, and secure connections (HTTPS).

Finally, regularly monitoring your SEO through analytics and other tools and adjusting your strategy can help you maintain and improve your search rankings over time.

websites showing reviews

Integrate Social Proof

Integrating social proof into your website is a powerful strategy to enhance credibility, build trust, and improve conversion rates. Social proof can come in various forms, including customer testimonials, user reviews, case studies, social media shares, and endorsements from authoritative figures or entities. These elements act as a vote of confidence from others, making potential customers more likely to trust your brand and commit to a purchase or engagement.

Effectively leveraging social proof requires thoughtful integration and authenticity; highlighting genuine reviews and testimonials, regularly updating social proof elements, and strategically placing them where they’ll give the most impact are vital to maximising their effectiveness in improving your website.

save image for web via photoshop

Optimise and Refresh Your Images

Using relevant, high-quality images is a critical aspect of web design that significantly enhances user engagement and the overall aesthetic appeal of your website. Images are crucial in conveying your brand’s message, breaking up text to improve readability, and engaging visitors.

It’s crucial to strike the right balance between image quality and website performance. High-resolution images can improve user experience but may slow down your site unless optimised.

To ensure images do not negatively impact your site’s loading speed, consider compressing them and supplying them in modern formats such as WebP, which offers better compression and quality characteristics than traditional formats such as JPEG or PNG.

Lastly, consider updating some images on your site if you last did so a while ago. This will allow you to give your site a quick and cost-effective makeover whilst helping your cause with search engines through fresh content.

Another great way to improve your website is by enhancing user navigation. A well-structured, intuitive navigation system helps reduce bounce rates, improve engagement, and potentially increase conversion rates by guiding users smoothly through relevant pages on your website. The key to achieving this is a clear hierarchical structure that categorises content logically and efficiently. This should be reflected in your main navigation menu and throughout your site, interlinking relevant content and providing extra navigational aids where appropriate.

Regular testing is essential, both with real users and by using tools such as Screaming Frog (which can help you identify broken links, how many internal links a page has, and much more). User feedback can highlight confusion or frustration; tools can tell you the technical facts. By prioritising straightforward, user-friendly navigation, you can significantly enhance the effectiveness and appeal of your website.

Screaming Frog SEO Spider

Screaming Frog SEO Spider

Optimise Internal Links

Optimising internal links on your website is a critical strategy for enhancing user experience and SEO performance. Internal links are the hyperlinks that connect one page on your website to another. These links help users navigate your site more effectively and give search engines essential information about the structure of your site.

To optimise your internal links, start by auditing your current links. This involves checking for broken links and ensuring that the text within the links (called the anchor text) is clear and provides context for both the user and search engines. You should also make sure that pages of particular importance receive links from other important and authoritative pages so that they can share in the overall strength of your website.

forum web design built on WordPress

Regularly Update Content

Regularly updating content on your website is crucial for maintaining its relevance and engaging your audience. Fresh, up-to-date content can help attract new visitors while encouraging repeat visits from existing users, contributing to a dynamic and lively web presence. This practice is beneficial for user engagement and plays a significant role in search engine optimisation (SEO). Testing has shown that search engines favour websites that keep their content fresh, deeming them more relevant and up-to-date on the topics they cover.

Updating content goes beyond adding new blog posts or articles; It also involves reviewing and refreshing existing pages to ensure accuracy, relevance, and completeness. This could mean updating statistics, revising outdated information, adding new sections to cover emerging trends, or improving media elements such as images and videos for a more engaging user experience.

Regularly updating and improving your content also provides opportunities to incorporate new keywords and topics, widening your SEO strategy. It also signals your audience that you are a reliable source of current information, building trust and authority within your niche.

On a cheeky side note, if you need a web design company to help you with updates, get in touch!

Use Clear and Compelling CTAs

Using clear and compelling Calls to Action (CTAs) is a critical strategy for guiding users toward desired actions on your website, whether purchasing, signing up for a newsletter, or downloading a resource. Effective CTAs are more than just buttons on a page; they are a culmination of your website’s design, content, and user experience efforts, all focused on converting visitors into leads or customers.

To create effective CTAs, start with the message. It should be concise, action-oriented, and convey a sense of urgency or benefit. Phrases like “Sign Up for Free”, “Get Started Today”, or “Download Your Guide Now” are direct and encourage immediate action.

The design of your CTA buttons also plays a pivotal role in their effectiveness. They should stand out from the rest of the page by using contrasting colours, sizes, and positioning without disrupting the user experience.

Google Analytics Website

Google Analytics

Collect and Analyse Website Analytics

Collecting and analysing website analytics is crucial for understanding how users interact with your site and making informed decisions to enhance its performance. Analytics provide a wealth of data on user behaviour, including which pages they visit, how long they stay, where they come from, and the actions they take. This information allows website owners to identify successful elements and areas needing improvement.

To effectively leverage analytics, start by setting clear goals for what you want to achieve with your website, whether it’s increasing sales, boosting engagement, or improving conversion rates. Tools like Google Analytics offer a comprehensive view of your website’s performance against these goals, tracking a wide range of metrics from traffic sources and user demographics to bounce rates and conversion paths.

Reviewing analytics should be an integral part of your website management routine. It allows for data-driven decision-making, helping you continually optimise your site for better performance. By aligning your website strategies with the insights gained from analytics, you can enhance user satisfaction, achieve your business objectives, and stay ahead of the competition.

Conclusion: Improving Your Website

In conclusion, optimising your website is an ongoing process that demands attention to detail across various aspects, from ensuring mobile responsiveness to enhancing user experience with fast loading times and stable content.

By focusing on the key areas outlined, such as mobile optimisation, security, internal linking, and integrating social proof, you can significantly improve your site’s performance, search engine ranking, and user engagement.

Remember, the goal is to create a seamless, enjoyable experience for your visitors, which in turn can lead to higher conversion rates and sustained success in your online endeavours. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to building a website that not only ranks well but also truly resonates with your audience.

Author – Matt Parker

Matt Parker - Designers Up North

Matt Parker is a web designer and SEO consultant with over 15 years of experience. He has also handled the more technical and project management aspects of Designers Up North for over 10 years.

Matt has a bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. He has been messing around with computers since he was a kid, starting on a Commodore 64 and swiftly moving on to spend too many hours on an Amiga 500!

His biggest passion is helping small businesses thrive through elegant web design, SEO strategy, and digital and print marketing. He takes great pleasure in taking complex ideas and distilling them into simple, actionable advice to move businesses forward.

Connect with Matt on LinkedIn or contact Designers Up North.