Not many businesses could predict the closures and downtimes they were to experience this year. Startups and small businesses work on a limited budget, and don’t have room for any undue closures that halt their revenue streams. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an almost damning impact on businesses across the globe and has led to a long, indefinite slump in revenue generation.
While all seems gloomy and depressing right now, and with the second and third waves of the virus already on the cards, businesses can still find a few hidden positives – the COVID-19 slump has given them the time and opportunity to focus on digital housekeeping and manage some website improvements.
Businesses that already had decent online presence have managed to break even during this pandemic. On the contrary, other businesses without a set digital method of selling or performing their services have been left ruing the current business environment.
All is however not lost for small businesses and startups. The efforts you put into your digital presence and website now will be actualized when the situation returns back to normal. There is a lot you can do right now to ensure the perfect reception in the post-COVID-19 world. And, you don’t only have to focus on the SEO side of things.
While ranking your site on Google is your primary motive, there are other objectives as well that you can follow here, including website redesign and a branding strategy in congruence with your identity.
In this article we take a look at some website improvement tips you can implement on your website today to ensure the perfect post-COVID response. Good luck with these tips and we hope you are able to persevere in the world after COVID-19.
Improve Page Load Times
The very first thing that almost all business owners should think of when improving their website is signaling an improvement in page loading speeds. Many business owners believe that page loading is something that happens automatically, without them shedding light or focus on it.
However, if we look at it, page loading is characterized by specific steps you take toward this endeavor. You cannot experience flawless loading speeds without actually working toward the end goal.
Page speed has an enormous impact on your site’s viewership and the number of customers you are able to generate through your landing/web pages.
Imagine a customer reads about you on social media or finds positive reviews regarding your products or services on Google. They may be tempted into giving you a try and checking out just how good you are. Now, when they enter your website as a consumer, they would consider almost everything including page load speeds and website design before finalizing their decision. The last thing you would want here is a webpage that loads slowly and does not set the right impression.
A good webpage should load rapidly, without giving consumers the time to reverse or change their decision. Recent surveys conducted in this regard have found that consumers usually wait for 7 seconds on a website before making their way out. Pages that take more than this are dead meat.
Besides being the number one factor influencing a visitor’s decision to leave your website, page load speeds are also important for getting you ranked on Google and other search engines of the sort. Having a slow-loading website is harder to find and will most likely put off visitors.
The best remedy you have here is to invest in your hosting plan and make sure that your web pages are not crammed with images and videos. While images do add a positive touch to every website, we believe that they can increase load times by a lot.
It is necessary that you go through your website load times regularly and keep reviewing the images and videos you post. High quality images come with more MBs, which isn’t always a good thing for load times.
If putting up quality images and videos on your web page is a necessity, then you should ideally try out a better hosting plan that can help your website load faster, even with the images and videos on the home page.
Freshen Up Written Content
Even with numerous innovations in website design and graphics, content still is king. Content plays a key role in giving customers and visitors all the information they need about your website. This information is typically what pulls them into a sales decision.
When was the last time you went through your website content and decided that you need to upgrade it? If you’re in the habit of rarely updating your website content, then this tip is specifically meant for you.
The lockdown and lack of business activity during the COVID-19 period has its own perks, one of them being that you can perform tasks that you didn’t have time for earlier. Remember how you’d tell yourself that you don’t have time to update your website’s content, well now is the time to do so.
You might think that as long as your content is optimized and readable, there is no need for you to focus more energy and time on it. Well, this is a flawed perspective. In fact, written content is what actually converts visitors. Images might attract and design might impress users, but written content in the form of CTAs is what actually converts leads.
You can perform a simple content audit on your written content and determine whether it is ideal for your website or not. Any content where you are marketing your products or services should be succinct, short and punchy – never fall into the trap of wordiness. Try to limit your content to actual facts, keywords and the services you offer.
Some startups and small business owners make the erroneous decision of sourcing content from someone else’s website. This could be a customer, or even worse, a competitor. Duplicate content is hated by Google and you can eventually lose your position in the search results if you don’t mend your ways.
Always get a second opinion whenever you change content on your website. It is necessary that you know what you are doing and are sure about it.
Experiment With CTA Buttons and Content
CTAs or calls to action have a big impact on your ability to convert. Even the slightest change to your CTA can increase conversion rates. To understand how you should proceed with changing and updating your CTAs, it is necessary that you rate your current calls to action.
Where does your website stand currently when it comes to CTAs and conversion links? Do you have simple content for your CTAs, or do you use clickable buttons to make the experience even more interactive? If you don’t use clickable buttons for CTAs, we believe that now is the time to start this process. Killer content, followed by clickable buttons, is exactly what you need to convert visitors.
Once you start using clickable buttons for CTAs, you will be surprised to know just how successful changing up colors on your buttons can be for you. Many businesses have experimented with CTA buttons and have benefited from a certain color, which they previously didn’t have in mind.
Different colors can be appropriate for your website, based on your audience, your branding strategy and your industry. Hence, it is a great strategy to test multiple CTA colors on buttons and find out the one you think would be most effective on your website.
Offer Better Customer Service
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses providing essential products and services have really dropped the ball when it comes to customer service and delivery. Even with a global pandemic, customers expect efficient customer service from brands.
You can add live chat customer service to your website to ensure that customers are always connected to your customer support team.
Customers value customer service and post-sale services even more than they did before the COVID-19 first started. Keeping these changes in mind, it is essential that you prioritize customer support for your consumers.
Currys PC World is one business that found themselves in really hot waters during COVID-19 due to the challenges in providing efficient customer services. Frustrated shoppers would call on their numbers every day, only to hear the bell ringing and have no one pick the phone up.
Even when customers did get through, they would receive poor customer service from the brand due to the serious magnitude of complaints and the lack of resources. The reputation of the brand was damaged beyond repair and it is still reeling from it.
Even during periods when customer complaints go up, you should have a complaint registering procedure in place. Customers should be given the assurance that their complaint has been registered and that the brand is working on it. This gives customers a better experience with your brand. As we mentioned earlier, you can flawlessly achieve this with a live customer chat support of your own.
Add Images and Videos
In a recent research, surveyors made customers go through two different websites. One of these websites had more images and videos than the other. When asked which one they liked more, a majority of all customers pointed to the website with more images and graphics.
If customers cannot visit your store to see a product in person, they want to be able to get a detailed look at what they’re considering buying.
Adding images and videos to your website can most definitely improve conversion rates by helping customers with their buying decisions. If your customers don’t see enough photos of the product you offer, they will go elsewhere and will probably end up with a competitor that has multiple pictures on their website.
Now, you might wonder, whether adding photos and videos to your website would increase load times? This is a classic Catch 22 situation. You want to add photos and videos to attract visitors, but doing so can increase load times, eventually repelling them away.
However, photos and videos only increase load times when you have a basic hosting plan. What’s stopping you from getting a better hosting plan that can help you showcase more photos of your product, without compromising on load time?
Invest in Targeted Advertising
When you think of improving your website, you should also consider the methods you have for bringing your target audience to the website through paid advertising.
Now might be the perfect time for you to invest in paid methods of targeted advertising online. The challenges surrounding COVID-19 have made going tough for businesses today, so most of your competition will not be considering this option.
If you have the cash flow required for paid advertising online, then you should definitely proceed with advertising options. You can consider digital ads as a possibility today, as most industries will possibly have a lower cost per click rate.
To initiate your ad campaign in the best manner possible, you should naturally choose Google Ads. The platform is reliable and results are almost guaranteed. However, if you want to target your audience in a more casual manner, then you can take to social media advertising as well.
However, remember the motive behind the advertising and spruce up your website before you invest money in paid ads. The last thing you want is for customers to run away the second they step onto your website due to the poor design and aesthetics.
Many businesses already have contingency plans for how they would like to step into the period following COVID-19. With limited finances and market complications, applying these website improvements can help take your business forward in the post-COVID world.