Opinion: Three ways to make your website shine | Opinion

Most of us can relate to the frustration of trying to buy something online but struggling to figure out the website. Why is it making me enter this information again? Where do I find the specifics about a product? Why isn’t this site cohesive or aesthetically pleasing? The complaints go on and on.

As a business owner or manager, you might fear customers have these issues with your website as well. Don’t worry, here are a few website basics to ensure you aren’t losing customers.

1. Make your website represent your brand

A Stanford University study found that 75 percent of participants have formed a negative view of a company based on its website. Your branding and web design hold a lot of weight with your customers. Think about websites you visit. Why do you like them? Is the purchasing process easy? Do they allow you to create an account and save your information for quick checkouts? Implement the practices you like from other websites with your unique branding in mind.

2. Make your website easily convertible

A conversion happens when a customer completes a task on your website. This could be signing up for your newsletter or for a free trial, or making a purchase. Below are a few ways to optimize conversions.

• Lead magnets: Use something of value to obtain your customers’ information, like free white papers, free guides, customer accounts, newsletters and so on.

• Calls to action: “Add to Cart,” “Buy Now” and other actionable statements in bold font and bright colors will increase your chances of a customer clicking on that option.

• Design for mobile: According to Statista.com, mobile accounts for approximately half of the web traffic worldwide. Make sure your website has a mobile-friendly design that is automatically provided for mobile devices or easy to find on your original website.

• Share reviews: According to Wix.com, studies have shown that displaying customer reviews can increase conversion rates by 270 percent. Adding reviews to your landing page or under each product description is a great way to increase your conversions.

3. Make sure customers can find your site

If your customers can’t find you, they can’t buy from you. Below are a few basic search engine optimization checks you can run and the metrics you should be shooting for.

• Google Search Console and Google Analytics: Install and use this system to view basic metrics like traffic to your site, top-performing pages and content, and low-performing pages and content. Optimizing your top-performing pages can help pages that are already doing well and optimizing poor-performing pages can help them drive traffic.

• Google Pagespeed Insights, GT Matrix and Google Mobile-Friendly Test through Google Search Console: These programs will give you insights into your pagespeed issues and resources on how to fix them.

• Yoast SEO for WordPress: If you have a WordPress site, you can get an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO that will also have some tests and exercises that will give you ideas for improvement. Plugins like Hummingbird for WordPress can give you insight into sight speed and how to improve it on your site.

• SEMrush: For overall SEO needs, SEMrush is a great paid toolkit that provides both analytics and recommendations on how to improve your website’s performance.

Timothy A. Zercher is CEO of A-Train Marketing. He can be reached at tim@atrainmarketing.com.

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