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This post was initially prepared for a talk I gave at the Sabona monthly networking event in Melbourne. It was designed to give small business owners quick insights to help them make some effective changes to their websites and to start seeing immediate results. If you find this post useful, please leave a comment below and let me know. Any constructive feedback is always much appreciated…

Change your language

Realise that your website needs to speak to your ideal client. They may not understand your profession, industry or know your jargon. Your website content and tone should be simple, personable and concise.

Get a fresh new look

A complete redesign may not be feasible right now, but a fresh new image could breathe new life into your website and business as a whole. Consider a mini brand refresh.

Refresh your imagery

Is the imagery on your website old and stale? Do the photos represent modern people, scenarios or concepts? If not, it may be time to consider getting these updated. Changing photography is relatively inexpensive and makes a big impact.

The number of websites out there with shockingly poor imagery is scary. Almost as scary is how many websites are still using outdated stock photography that looks like it comes from the 80’s, moustaches, mullets, giant telephones and retro business suits included. Others use photos that are a bit more modern, but are clearly posed and look phoney.

The best is to look for photos that are going to have a high impact, modern, professional and ones that look as natural as possible. At the end of the day and picture speaks a thousand words and your images can either speak 1000 good words or 1000 bad words about your business.

Declutter your content

Have just you copied and pasted your brochure or entire company profile directly onto your website, leaving your prospects to read a thesis? Consider restructuring your content, break it into smaller chunks, highlight important sections, use icons & imagery to create a visual break for your prospect to digest the content before moving on. These methods make content far more engaging.

Today we live in the age of information and with all the content we are bombarded with on a daily basis, many of us suffer from information overload. When we see huge chunks of text on a website, our brains immediately switch of and tell us to move on.

If however we see clearly structured content that is concise, appealing and it appears to breathe, we are much more likely to engage with it and remember it.

Include a Call to Action

Your website may be great, but are you prompting your prospect to make contact or take any specific action. Most times users need a little nudge and by effectively placing a CTA on all pages you are greatly improving the chances of them getting in touch or purchasing.

Numerous studies have shown that simply adding a CTA will greatly improve conversion rates. Going further, you can experiment with: messages, colours, sizes and locations.

Guide your user through a journey

Contrary to what most people will tell you, people want to be led. They want to be shown what to do and where to go, and this rings even more true when it comes to your website. If you can effectively take your user on a journey which educates them, convinces them, and ultimately creates a brand ambassador out of them, then you have been successful!

Optimise your pages

Make sure that all of your pages are optimised for search engines. Ensure that each page has a relevant page title and meta description that matches your targeted key words/phrases, and that these are also contained in your content. Ensure that your images are compressed and that all pages load quickly.

Keep bringing people back

In all of your promotion, online and offline, bring prospects back to your website, where they are encouraged to take action. This is especially important when posting about your business on social media. Always provide a link back to your website.

Start a blog

On the internet, content is king! Producing constant, quality content is a sure way to establish yourself or business as an expert in your field. It’s also the most effective way to improve your organic search engine rankings.

Most of us aren’t very good writers. Most of us don’t have much time. However most of us have something very valuable stored deep within us, like a hidden treasure trove waiting to be discovered. Blogging or writing articles draws out this plethora of knowledge and experience and shares it with others to help them grow.

By establishing yourself as an expert, you put your business in a position where prospects trust you, want to work with you and pay premium prices because they believe that the value they receive from you will be greater than that from any other random business in your industry.

Repurpose your content

Spend the time creating one piece of quality content, then use it across multiple platforms including: your blog, your newsletter, social media and other public forums. Always remember to link back to your website.

Make your website for humans, optimise it for search engines, tweak it for sales.

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