How to Improve Your Home Business Website for More Profits

8 Tips to Increase Your Website's Appeal and Effectiveness

web design tips
Credit: Laura Beach | Getty Images

Much of building a home business online is generating traffic to your website. You don’t want to have that effort be for nothing by having a disorganized and unappealing website that turns visitors away. Fortunately, there are easy fixes so that visitors can find what they want and have a great experience on your website.

1. Clear the Clutter

Everything your visitors need may be on the page, but if there’s too much going on, they’ll be distracted or unable to find it.

Here are strategies for cleaning up a busy website:

  • Get rid of over-the-top flashy advertising.
  • Focus your above-the-fold (the area readers see without having to scroll) content on the key most important elements of your website.
  • Have a lot of white space, which gives the appearance of a clean site and helps people find what they need.
  • Organize similar content into categories and use menu nesting to clean up your navigation.
  • Keep your content easy to read. Using bullets and marking sub-topic sections makes the site more pleasing to the eye and appear less overwhelming to the reader.
  • Use graphics, within reason. Graphics not only increase social shares, but they attract the eye of the reader. But too many graphics, especially advertising, can distract and annoy visitors.

2. Make Sure Your Website Is Responsive

More and more people are going online through their smartphones and tablets. Websites that aren’t mobile-friendly are difficult to read and navigate.

In April 2015, Google added mobile-responsiveness as one of the factors for ranking websites. This means, if your site isn’t responsive, it won’t get ranked as well as sites that are.

If you’re using a content management system (i.e. WordPress), check that you’re using a responsive theme (the theme notes should tell you).

If you’re still not sure, view your website on your smartphone or check out Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, which will analyze your site for mobile ease of use.

3. Check Your Website’s Page Speed

Visitors get annoyed if they have to wait a long time for your website to load. If you have a lot of graphics, scripts and video, your site might be slow, especially on mobile devices. Google offers a free analysis of your page speed on both mobile and desktop devices, along with tips on how to make improvements.

4. Focus on Your Reader

Visitors come to your website because of something they want or need. If your site is focused on you, they might not be able to see the value of what you offer. Make sure your content is centered on the benefits readers will get. You have to translate what is so great about what you offer into why it’s so great for your reader. Make sure everything from your About Me page, to your content, product/service listings, and even FAQ or help pages are benefits-focused.

5. Tell Readers What to Do

You don’t want to be bossy, but neither can you expect your readers or potential customers to know the process in using your site or accessing your products or features. Having a call-to-action guides your visitors to what they need to do if they want to take advantage of what you offer.

Call-to-actions aren’t limited to sales. They can be used to get readers to engage with you by leaving a comment or on social media, sign up for your newsletter and more. As you create your pages, think about what you want your reader to benefit from and what you want them to do when they finish reading it. Then provide a call to action so they know the next step.

6. Make It Easy to Work With You

Clearing out the clutter (#1) is one part of making the site easy for visitors to use. Another part is making it easy for them to do what they want to do. If they want to follow you on Twitter, is your Twitter info on every page or do they have to hunt for it?

If they want to email you, is your contact page easily found? If they want to buy, are the purchase instructions and processes easy to follow? This all sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many websites aren’t very good at making it easy for readers to do what they came to do.

7. Offer Proof

The Internet is littered with scams and fake resources. So much so, it’s difficult for readers to vet out the good sites, like yours, from the duds. As a result, many readers may be skeptical and resistant to your business. The best way to over come this resistance is through proof. You can build proof and creditability several ways including:

  • Share your education if it’s related to what you offer. If your website is about fitness and you’re a certified instructor, include your certification information on your website.
  • Share your experience. Not only do you want people to know you’re real through your experience, but also, you want to provide proof that your experiences are real. For example, if you’ve lost weight from your fitness experience, share yours before and after pictures.
  • Get testimonials. More than anything, having others say how great you are is the best marketing tool out there.

8. Have Your Email Sign Up on Every Page

All the most successful online entrepreneurs have an email list. This allows them to stay in touch with readers to bring them back to the information on the website, share exclusive news and updates, and make offers. The list is crucial, and therefore, its sign up box should be on every page. You can also use a service such as HelloBar to create a signup form that appears in a variety of spots on your site, such as at the top of the page.