I spend all day on the internet. When I get to work at 9 o’clock on a Monday, I fire up Chrome and begin my webventure that doesn’t end until I set my alarm and plug my phone in so that it and I can recharge for the following day. My job lets me explore the in’s and out’s of our clients’ sites. My inability to get off of my phone lets me explore some others.
There are loads of things that frustrate me about a site: slow load speeds, non-responsive design, and broken links, just to name a few. What is even more frustrating is when I happen upon non-technical errors on a site. I can feel for you if you’re having trouble getting your site to be mobile friendly or if there are some display or mixed content errors. That stuff can be tricky for someone who doesn’t live in WordPress. What is unforgivable, to me, is when I’m smacked in the face by easily remedied content errors or the lack of necessary content features.
Simple ways to improve your website
BE MORE ACCESSIBLE
You want people to be able to contact you, right? You’re probably thinking, “Well, I already have a ‘contact’ page…” For some users, like me, submitting a form into the void leaves me with an unsure feeling. If you’re a smaller home-grown business, you could be losing conversions by not being more accessible.
My tip? Put a phone number in your footer, or somewhere on every page. People will trust you when you have a line to dial and a human to talk to.
We know you’re smart. Leave that poor thesaurus alone. We are on your site because we want to hear your voice, not some word-abomination that you pulled out of a onomasticon (See? You had to look that up, didn’t you?). You may end up teaching somebody a few new words, but that’s not why you’re writing.
This one seems obvious, right? If you have more than one spelling error on any given page, this tells me the page was hastily put together without giving it a second pass. What does this say about your product or service?
BE CLEAR ON THE CONTENT
Who are you, and what do you do? It’s time to woo potential customers with your expertise, but don’t confuse your visitors with jargon. Save the longer content for the blog. Explain what you have to offer, but be concise and relatable. They want your service, not a lengthy lesson. Personality is great, but use your charisma where it counts.
If you offer a carpentry service, you shouldn’t be blogging about that great restaurant you went to with the missus on Sunday. Not on your business site, at least.
ORGANIZE YOUR CONTENT
People are lazy readers. No one wants to have to dredge through a page of text to try and find the information they need. See how each of the sections in this blog have bold, capitalized headers? That was no accident. Bullet-pointed lists (like the one at the bottom) are great for making important information pop.
If your using grammar bad, it are hard to read.
There’s an English teacher in all of us, whether we are conscious of it or not. How many of you had the urge to correct my spelling of “you’re” in the first sentence? Poor grammar makes people muscle through your content and can leave the ultra-sensitive raging.
CALL TO ACTION
You’ve written all this great text about an event that you’re having next month. It’s so clean and well-written, even you are tempted to sign up! You’re done, right?
Inevitably, someone will read your text and say to themselves, “huh, cool.” or “now what?” and navigate away. You had the fish on the line, but there was no hook on the end! That’s what a call to action (commonly abbreviated CTA) does. People need to have their hands held and be told what they need to do next. For that event, entice the reader to register. For that great new product, navigate them where they can place an order. You’re just a button away from improving your conversion rate.
Too Long; Didn’t Read
So what can you do to improve your site’s readability?
- Make sure visitors understand what your site is about.
- Check for spelling and grammar mistakes.
- Put 👏 the 👏 thesaurus 👏 down 👏.
- Give users a reason to click, and a reason to come back.
- Be accessible.
So go off and improve your website. If you are looking for more ideas, be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter filled with tips you can apply right away.
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Simon and Lorraine spent some time chatting about this topic recently. Listen to the episode now:
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