If you can only choose one way to improve your website, the Call To Action is of paramount importance. It is the direct way to make your website a tool for profit rather than simply a monthly expense. With that being said, the attention span of visitors to your website is shrinking every year. In 2022, you have an average of about 15 seconds to engage with the user. In the limited time you have, the action you want your website visitors to take should be blatantly obvious, engaging and accomplishable in a short amount of time.
How do I figure out what my Call-to-Action is?
Deciding your Call-To-Action or CTA is more important than ever given the limited exposure you will likely have to your target market. Identifying that market is key in deciphering what your CTA should be. You can begin to better understand your target market by reviewing past customers. Understanding the trends and commonalities amongst your previous customers will give insights into who you should look for in the future.
Are you selling to other businesses or individual consumers? What is the size of the company or availability of resources of the individual you’re selling to?
These two questions can help you further understand the type of client you are looking for. After identifying your target market, it is key to decide the most important thing you would like your website visitors to do. Creating a list of what you would like people to do when they visit your website and then organizing them, can help decide what is the most important. The main CTA you decide should help guide your website from top to bottom!
This is an example of a direct, clear call to action to order food. Website visitors know exactly what the company would like you to do prior to leaving the website. There is other information and content below this main CTA section, however it does not clutter users from understanding the objective of the website, rather enriches it with more details to encourage that initial action. While your CTA does not need to be this big, taking up the entire top section of the home page, this is a clear example of how being direct and obvious can encourage visitors to follow your call to action, thus making your website a tool for lead generation.
While this website showcases a clean design, there is no clear call to action. The intent of the site might be to showcase their food or locations rather than to take online orders, however, there is no clear distinct action for the user to take when they first enter the website. A few quick changes, like adding a clear intent for the user, whether to see the menu, nearby locations, or in fact order online, adding simple text and a clean button would help point users in the direction the company wants them to go when visiting.
Website speed is more important than ever before with not just desktop, but mobile site speed having an overall impact on where your website ranks in search results (specifically Google). Given this, site speed can impact your ability to generate traffic and leads, affecting your bottom line.
What is SEO and why does it matter?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization is a way to optimize your website’s searchability to appear higher for specific keywords or terms related to your business. SEO can be related to organic keywords, or targeting what your website is already about through the content that is on your pages, or through paid search, which is paying to appear in the search results of specific keywords. Improving your website’s SEO can assist in producing higher quality leads in the target market you are aiming for.
How do I know the current speed of my website?
It is important to understand how fast your website currently loads on both mobile and desktop and there are many free tools to do so. Some of the tools we recommend using include Google Site Speed Tool, GTMetrix and PingDom. All three of these tools are free and will provide slightly different information about your website’s speed. With the increase in mobile users, mobile site speed is becoming exponentially important in how Google views and ranks your website. While having a high desktop speed is still very important, it is essential to focus on both Mobile and Desktop site speed. A good starting point would be to aim for a score of 70 on both mobile and desktop assessments. If you’re unsure of what’s causing your website to have a slow speed score or need help improving contact us here.
What are Google Core Web Vitals?
Google Core Web Vitals is a way to measure the performance of your website. Specifically the Core Web Vitals include the load speed of the pages on your website, how soon you can interact with a page, and the stability of your pages as website users interact with them. According to Google, about 40% of websites pass Google Core Web Vitals. You can test your site’s Core Web Vitals Here. If your website passed, great, you have quite an advantage already! We are excited that you have a foundation in place for a strong, high-performing website. If your website did not pass Google Core Web Vitals check, we can help! Reach out to us HERE to supercharge your site for success!
The Importance of Mobile Optimization
If you have read this far, you know that desktop is not the only way websites are being accessed today. Mobile access to your site is of ever increasing importance, not only because website visitors are more frequently accessing your site via their mobile device, but also because of the emphasis Google places on mobile optimization and speed in 2022. As we discussed earlier, part of the hierarchy of Google’s search rankings are based on Mobile speed. Optimizing mobile speed can be tricky as you do not want to lose the core functionality and intent of your website. If you need help structuring your website for a mobile device, reach out to us here. Having a website optimized to work on mobile will reduce bounce rates and keep users engaged on any device. Below are two examples of websites on a mobile device. One done well and the other, well not so much.
This company has a website that is well formatted and optimized for mobile. For example, at the top, you see the Company Logo fully visible (on the left), with an indication of a pullout menu on the right (Three Lines/Hamburger Menu on the right). The text is centralized with a border between the text and the edge of the phone screen, and a centralized button that matches the rest of the text. As an additional bonus, there is a clear call to action on what they want their visitors to do before they leave the site.
This company has a website that is not optimized for mobile. You will notice some clear differences from this website and the one above. This website does not have a visible logo, the menu formatting is very off and only optimized for desktop, the images in the main section are not loading and there is no clear Call to Action, or “essential task” that the user should be doing prior to leaving the website.
While we are not trying to be demeaning to the second website pictured, there is a clear difference between a website built or customized with a mobile perspective iin mind. If you are struggling to optimize your website for mobile viewing we are here to help. Reach out to us to learn more about how, with a few tweaks, your website can be ready for mobile visitors.
Focus Your Website (Niche Targeting)
Creating a website is a great way to continue to build your small business. Whether you want to sell products or showcase the awesome services your business provides, creating a clean, focused website is key to creating value for customers. Deciding your niche, or the “small” group of people you want to target as your customer can help guide your CTA and overall website design and layout, thus helping increase conversion rate and ability to generate business through your digital presence.
What does it mean to have a “focused” website?
A focused website is simply a website that utilizes the main Call-To-Action as a filter for building the website. Focusing your website is simply another way to say Niche down. Once you have decided what you want your website visitors to do when they arrive on your small business’s website, you can utilize that to push visitors to that action across the website. From a business perspective this will help you reduce clutter on your website and focus visitors on the main reason you wanted them to visit your website initially.
For example, if you have decided that you want visitors to book a free 15-minute consultation with you, then that CTA should be obvious and easily available for your website visitors. You should not have multiple different CTAs like; schedule a free consultation, buy this product, book a full appointment, sell us your old products that all share the objective of the customer. That doesn’t mean that your website can’t have these pages, but it means you should focus your website to accomplish the big goal or your main CTA. Not only will this reduce confusion for your website visitors, it will assist in increasing conversion rates if website visitors know exactly what you want them to do before they leave the website.
Security should be the foundation of your website. In 2022, there are more threats on the internet than ever before. However, there are ways to combat this like obtaining an SSL certificate for your website and completing scheduled maintenance and updating your plugins and themes.
What is an SSL Certificate?
An Secure Sockets Layer or SSL Certificate is a digital certificate that allows an encrypted connection from server to browser while confirming a website’s identity. This is important because it allows your website to safely secure online transactions and protect the personal information of those visiting your website from being stolen or leaked by transmitting information in a manner that is not readable. An SSL Certificate is key to protect not only your data, but the data of your customers, and is an essential part of avoiding liability on your website.
If you request an SSL Certificate for your own website, you will notice it is complete when the beginning of your URL changes from http:// to https:// and there will also be a secure lock located in the address bar.
Do I need to update plugins on my website?
First, we should address what a plugin is. A plugin is simply just a piece of software that can be added or “plugged in” to your website to add additional abilities in functionality or design. The simple answer to this question is, yes. If you have plugins installed on your website, updating them on a regular basis will help reduce the threat of vulnerability that someone can potentially access through out-of-date plugins. After updating your plugins, you will want to make sure that your website formatting and functionality is still in place. If key areas of your website like the menu for form collection stop functioning after you update them, it can seriously impact the effectiveness, and therefore profitability of your website. If you are unable or unsure of how to safely update your website, we can help!
One way to reduce the risk of plugin vulnerabilities is to vet and review plugins before you install them. Take note of things like how many times the plugin has been installed and what the reviews say. A plugin with 300,000+ installs will be better supported by a more thorough development team, thus providing more frequent updates to fix general issues and bugs compared to a plugin that has only been installed 800 times. A plugin that is monitored and updated on a more frequent basis will be less likely to have security issues caused by outdated plugins.
What is a DDoS attack and how can I prevent it?
A Distributed Denial-Of-Service, or DDoS Attack is a cyberattack on a website where an attacker will flood a server with extreme levels of traffic to prevent users from accessing the website. A DDoS attack can cause users to lose access to your website, causing loss of potential revenue and can force customers to turn elsewhere. To minimize DDoS attacks, there are many softwares that can be used like CloudFlare, WebRoot, DataDome and hundreds of others. If you need help with DDoS protection, we can provide assistance to you.
While these five topics are essential areas to review for your small business’s website, they are not all encompassing. There are thousands of resources available on each of the topics covered and learning about them can help you better understand how to increase the power of your website. These are five of the foundational elements in understanding how to utilize your website as a tool for generating leads, income, or visibility to your small business, rather than having it be viewed as an expense. For more about how to maintain the functionality of your call to action, and website as whole, read more on website maintenance plans.
If you need help with these five foundational areas, or other parts of your small business’s website, we are here to help. Contact Us Here or reach out to get started powering your business.