7 Pro Tips For A Better Website
I recently decided to help my husband grow his paintless dent repair (PDR) business. I planned to use many of the proven strategies I have learned in 3+years working at a marketing agency and many more years as a web designer. The results so far speak for themselves and we’re more than happy.
Unfortunately, I have seen many small businesses fail at some very basic things so I’d like to offer some helpful advice.
These 7 tips will help you fix some of those issues.
1. Domain Name. Choose Wisely
Just like having a good logo and business name helps people remember your company, having a good domain is also extremely important. If your domain looks like you’re trying to compete against the Guinness Record for the longest domain: www.thelongestdomainnameintheworldandthensomeandthensomemoreandmore.com — I have bad news for you, no one is going to remember it. Yes, that’s a pretty extreme example, but it seems a lot of new business owners and entrepreneurs fail when choosing a short and catchy domain.
Your domain name does not have to be your full name or your company’s legal name. If your company’s name is long, try to find a way to shorten it or abbreviate it while also being easy to remember.
2. The Importance of a Decent Hosting Provider.
I don’t want to be hateful but…GoDaddy and HostGator suck. There, I said it! I’ve been making websites for over ten years and I have used a lot of different hosting providers including those two. If you want to save yourself a lot of frustration and also have a reliable and fast hosting provider I recommend SiteGround.
Since I moved my 4 websites to SiteGround, the speed and uptime have gone considerably up (Google loves fast and optimized websites, by the way). They also have excellent customer support and a user interface that makes everything easier, especially if you’re not very experienced.
3. Content is Everything
Have you heard that ‘content is king’? Good content goes beyond just good grammar, which I hope you’re paying close attention to as well. But also keep in mind that good information architecture on your website will do wonders for you.
Make sure you define the goal of your website, which could be to get more form fills or get more people to book your services. Make it extremely easy for people to do exactly that by using call-to-actions (CTAs). Also, don’t just use a default form with the classic ‘Your message’ field unless you actually need that. A form entry is your first contact with a potential client and it’s the best opportunity for you to get all the information you need. Don’t waste it!
4. Looks Are Important Too
The purpose of good design is not only to please the eye and make designers like me happy. A well-designed website equals customer trust. If your website looks like it hasn’t been updated since the early 2000s, you are probably harming your company’s reputation and not doing yourself any favors at all.
From a design perspective, it is also important to make sure your website has clear navigation and it’s mobile responsive. Check that the text is easy to read, that there’s enough contrast between colors, and that it has an overall professional look.
Not everyone is a designer but anyone can tell when a website looks like it’s old and can’t be trusted.
Speaking of trust, I have seen so many websites with ‘Book Now’ buttons or trying to sell something but at the same time my browser is screaming to me ‘Don’t do it!’. There’s an ugly and scary warning up in the URL bar that looks like this:
This means that your website does not have an SSL certificate. This will cause people to be wary of using their credit card information on your site.
You can find more information about SSL certificates here. Also, contact your hosting provider and ask them how to install it or google instructions for your specific hosting and see if you can do it yourself.
Do you know who else doesn’t like a not secure website? Google. Any search engine optimization efforts that you do will be affected if you don’t have an SSL certificate. Google will rank you lower if your page is not secure.
6. SEO & Analytics
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should start before anything else. Before even writing the content, make a keyword research with Google’s Keyword Planner. Get insight on what people are looking so they can actually find you. Include the keywords in the website content in a way that makes sense, don’t just copy and paste them all at once (I’ve seen this!).
Use HTML tags correctly so when Google crawls your website, it understands the structure of your website.
Also, make sure you measure the performance of your website with Google Analytics. You can’t know what’s working if you don’t know how many people are visiting your website or where they’re coming from.
7. Optimization & Speed
A slow-loading site is a sure way to lose visitors if they have to wait more than a few seconds for huge images or scripts to load. Make sure the images and other assets are optimized for the web and if you’re using WordPress, try to stay away from using an excessive amount of plugins.
Use GT Metrix to analyze your website’s speed and performance. It’s free!
Do Even More
There is so much more you can do to attract new customers and grow your business. From Google Ads to a robust social media strategy. Make it as easy as possible for potential customers to hire you or buy your products. And most importantly: Look like you can be trusted.
What other website strategies are important for small businesses? Let me know in the comments!