COVID-19 has caused a long slump for many businesses around the world. But there are hidden positives – it has also created an opportunity for companies to focus on digital housekeeping such as website improvements, in order to offer a better online service. This effort now could result in an increase in potential buyers when work and buying behaviours return to ‘normal’.
Can your business take advantage of this opportunity? Absolutely.
There is likely a lot that you can do to improve your website. And not just from the perspective of Google, to increase your search rankings. These improvements will also benefit your customers. Your website might not be quite as user-friendly as you think, and that can hurt your ability to make sales.
Here we’ll take a look at six website improvements you can do to encourage a post-COVID-19 sales boost.
Improve page load times
The first thing that every business website owner needs to think about when it comes to website improvements is page loading speed. You might think that this happens automatically – surely all websites load relatively quickly, right? Well, the answer is no. And page speed has an enormous effect on your site.
Not only is a slow page load one of the most common factors in a visitor leaving your site, but it also has a big impact on how well your website is ranked by Google and other search engines. In essence, having a slow-loading website makes you harder to find and makes you more likely to put off customers.
There are plenty of ways you can improve page load times. Some are simple and can be done in minutes using a WordPress plugin, such as condensing image file sizes. You can also take more drastic steps such as changing your hosting provider to a dedicated cloud server, to allow more bandwidth.
Freshen up your written content
Are you in the habit of rarely updating the written content on your site? You might have assumed that as long as the content is readable and optimized, there is no urgent reason to spend more time on it. In fact, written content is an important factor in the success of your site – and SEO research suggests that it’s extremely worthwhile to freshen up your content.
Review the content currently on your site using a simple content audit checklist. Any content where you are making sales (products, services) should be short, succinct and punchy – don’t fall into the trap of being too wordy. Look for places to update facts, links, and keyword optimization.
Some websites still make the mistake of cutting corners by using written content from someone else’s site – this could be a supplier, or even worse, a competitor. Duplicate content is a big no-no with Google. You run the risk of the affected URLs not being shown in search results.
Experiment with CTA button colours
The simplest detail, such as changing the colour of a CTA button, can have a huge impact on your website. Ultimately you want your button to be clicked, and there’s often a lot of focus on button microcopy – but the colour can be every bit as important. That’s why it’s high up on the list of website improvements.
“We were surprised at just how successful changing up the colours of our buttons has been,” says Mark Edmunds of Wessex Garage Doors. “We tested a number of different colour options, and orange has been the most effective, which is why we now use it on our key linking buttons”.
Different colours work better depending on your industry and audience, so it’s a great idea to follow this advice and test multiple different colour options until you find the one that is most effective.
Offer better customer service options
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, electronics retailer Currys PC World found themselves in hot water over challenges relating to their customer service. Frustrated shoppers were finding it impossible to get through on busy phone lines, and even getting disconnected or receiving poor customer service when they did get through.
To avoid similar problems for your business, it’s a great idea to add live chat customer service to your website. This helps customers deal with their issues and enjoy a better experience with your brand. You need to be prepared for how to handle an uptake in orders as businesses reopen – and one of the best ways to do so is to improve your customer service options.
Add more images and videos
It cannot be overstated just how important images and videos are when it comes to making sales through your site. Having great written content isn’t enough. If customers can’t come to a store to see a product in person, they will still want to be able to get a good look at what they’re considering. Images and videos really help with buying decisions.
If a customer can’t see a photo of a product on your site, they will go elsewhere to find one. Try to get pictures of your products from a wide variety of angles and, if possible, in different use cases or settings. This will allow customers to get something closer to the in-store experience of really looking at a product.
Invest in targeted advertising
When you think of website improvements, it’s important to think about the methods you use to earn traffic as well. Now might actually be the perfect time to invest in paid advertising – specifically because the challenges surrounding COVID-19 have forced many businesses to reduce their marketing spend and there’s less competition.
In fact, nearly 70% of businesses believe that they will need to decrease their advertising spend in 2020. If your company wants more customers and you believe in the ability of your website to convert, look into digital ads now while many industries will have a lower cost per click.
But of course, you don’t want to simply spend your money blindly. To make the best use of your ad campaigns, first consider which platform will best suit your needs. Google Ads is the natural choice, but if your company offers particularly visual or eye-catching products or services, you might find that social media advertising would be more beneficial.
Many businesses plan to use the period following COVID-19 to help their finances bounce back. Applying these and other website improvements can ensure you have the best chance of doing exactly that.