Meg Thornley Social Media and Project Manager How To Make Your Website Effective By Yourself Over half of small businesses have a website these days, and even more larger corporations are understanding the importance of a digital presence. But what a lot of those businesses don’t realise is that it’s no longer enough to just have a website – it has to be a good one. Obviously there are so many ways to improve a website, from tackling a high bounce rate to improving your user experience, and we’ve recently been releasing a ten step series on how to improve an ecommerce website. But even without the big, fancy (and sometimes expensive) jobs, you can improve your website yourself in several easy ways. 1. Secure Your Site Cyber security is obviously very important, but what does that actually mean in terms of your own site? Well, fist we need to look at why small business are so likely to be hacked. Sarah Green, a cyber security expert and business manager for Cyber Security at Training 2000: “Hackers prey on the knowledge that small businesses tend to have lower defences than larger organisations, usually due to lack of financial and human resources. By their very nature, thriving small businesses are innovative and niche, which again is very attractive to the bad guys who may be interested in customer data and intellectual property and know exactly how to pick out the weak targets.” Never assume that you’re too small to be targeted- cyber security should be a critical concern for your business. So, to improve your security… it takes a bit of figuring out what’s right for you, but the government has released a ten step guide to help. And if you’re an eCommerce site especially (but all would benefit), make sure you’ve got an SSL certificate. 2. Use Google Analytics to Track the Progress Of Your Website If you’ve never used Google Analytics before, it might seem difficult and ‘techy’, but what takes a few hours to learn is completely vital to your business’ growth. Google even offers free analytics training, which you’d be crazy to ignore! Once you know which pages perform the best and where your traffic is coming from, you can optimise your content and focus on your target audience. Image found here. (PS. Indiespring are Google Partners, so if you don’t have the time to dedicate to analytics you know where to go!) 3. Improve Your Content This sounds like a no-brainer, but how do you actually improve your content without paying a copywriter thousands of pounds? We recently wrote a blog post on this topic, highlighting three simple tips; Keep It Clear Keep It Visual Call To Action Keeping it clear is pretty simple, even if you’re not linguistically inclined. Word processors such as Microsoft Office Word and Pages offer up ways to rectify grammar and spelling mistakes, as well as useful tips on brevity in your writing. This allows your users to focus on the important points in the text, and not your over-use of adjectives. Visual is key when it comes to content. There are plenty of free tools to create your own images (canva is one that we use). For example, check out the difference in performance between the types of content we created. But this doesn’t necessarily mean images and videos are the only ways to improve your site content. Adding in white space and different layouts (eg. bullet points) will spice up a wall of text for your users. Call To Action simply means that whatever you want your users to do – be that buy from you, follow your social media or sign up to an email list – you push them to do through your content. There’s no point in spending time writing content if your users simply read and then close your site! Make sure that any buttons are visible and in an accessible place, and your text reminds users what they’re here to do. Of course, improving your content means making sure that the links you provide – whether it’s to pages on your site or someone else’s – actually work. You can check if they do really easily, simply type your URL (for example, indiespring.com) into the box here to check. It shouldn’t take longer than five minutes to make sure your whole site is linking to the right places! These Aren’t Your Only Options There are many ways to improve the effectiveness of your website, and these are just a few. For other ideas which you can improve yourself, check out this extensive post. For any more personal advice, contact Indiespring today.