Last year I engaged in a campaign with Liquid Web Hosting on How to Build Something Brilliant and a few months later I’m here to offer some advice on how to “Keep Building Brilliant” by upgrading different aspects of your website.
Disclaimer: This post was written by me through an activation with HireInfluence on behalf of Liquid Web. Although I received compensation for participating in the campaign, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Follow along with the hashtag #KeepBuildingBrilliant.
1. Improve the Visual Design / User Experience
a) Simplify based on Goals
What is the purpose of your website? Is it to provide information, sell a product or service or simply to grow your email list? Asking yourself these questions will allow you to simplify your website, based on your goals. For example, if your main goal is to get an email address, then your website’s design should be focused around this goal and one way of achieving this, is by reducing clutter and having a clear focus. See here for the top 5 design mistakes killing your conversions.
b) Reduce clutter
Can pages or sections of your site be removed or reduced? Can more white space be added to guide the user and improve the user experience? What aspects are distracting from your main goals? See here for some tips, case studies and best practices for doing just that.
c) Sell benefits, not features
Tell a story, rather than hard sell your customers. What benefits will they derive from your product or service?
An old ad age is the drill and hole example… User’s aren’t looking for a drill, they are looking for a hole so sell them on the end product of “drilling perfect holes with ease”, rather than on the drill itself.
2. Build a following
Why would user’s want to follow you or your business? What value are you offering them? Always keep this in mind when building your list or followers.
a) Build your email list
Email marketing is one of the best ways for your audience to stay engaged and connected, but how much attention are you paying to building your list? Add some lead generators to your site. I personally use the service ‘OptinMonster’ for gaining emails and offer a free logo design eBook ‘lead magnet’ to entice users to sign up.
b) Remove or reduce advertising
How much money are you actually making from those Google ads? Generally, they’re just adding unnecessary clutter. Consider removing them and focus on your goals of gaining important leads, not just a few bucks.
3. Increase site speed
The speed of your site is going to directly affect not only the experience of the user, but also your search engine rankings, so pay special attention to your website’s speed.
a) Upgrade your Web site platform
What platform are you using for your Web site and is it best suited for your business’s goals? Maybe it’s time to ditch that slow DIY website and upgrade to something more professional. A popular choice would be WordPress, and there are literally thousands of professional themes to choose from. See how to start a website or blog here.
b) Make more mobile friendly
Your website should be responsive by now… if not, then crawl out from under that rock. But don’t just stop at being responsive, consider what elements can be removed or reduced entirely to ensure fast loading speeds on mobile. See here for some tips on making your mobile site load faster.
c) Use a CDN
Hosting your files on a CDN (content delivery network) is one of the best ways to speed up your site, and can often save up to 60% bandwidth.
CDNs work by hosting your files across a large network of servers around the world. When a user visits your site from New Zealand, they are downloading files from the server that is closest to them. This reduces the load on any single server, making the site faster.
See here for getting started with a CDN.
4. Upgrade Your Web Host
A lot of the above factors are reliant on where your website files are hosted – aka your web host – and when choosing a web host, there are a number of factors you need to consider such as reliability, security, performance guarantees, customer support and more.
Do you need dedicated server hosting, managed VPS hosting, managed WordPress hosting, cloud hosting or just standard server hosting?
There are many hosting options out there, and Liquid Web Hosting is one company to consider if you’re wanting to upgrade your web host. Their vision is to be the “The Most Helpful Humans In Hosting™” so you can rest assured you’ll be in good hands for your upgrade. They have everything you need to grow, as well as managed services (not just a server) and wholly owned data-centers for your peace of mind. And just look at their smiles above…
Have any further ways to upgrade your website? Let us know in the comments below.