Why Your Website Isn’t Working and 6 Ways to Improve Your Website

How would you describe your business website?

A lot of people would probably say that their business website serves as an online catalog for the goods and services they provide. To an extent, that’s true, but your website is so much more than that. Your website is the most powerful marketing tool at your disposal.

By taking the time to refresh and optimize your website, infusing it with good, updated content, you can not only continue to use it in all the ways you already do but also start to rely on more organic search discovery.

6 Ways to Improve Your Website

Set attainable, SMART goals for your website

How much can you expect from your website?

That’s kind of up to what you and what you want to accomplish with it.

No matter what you want your website to be, you should plan out some goals. Goals are important fixtures in both personal and professional scenarios, and can help you to determine your motivation, focus, and can add urgency and importance to the things you would like to accomplish.

If you’ve never heard of SMART Goals before, they are goals that help you hone in your efforts and increase the chances of success. SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.

Use SMART goals to plan the trajectory of your website, and how you want it to work for you. Maybe you want to hit a certain traffic threshold before a specific date or produce content consistently. You can create goals for anything, but SMART goals will help you achieve them.

SMART Goals will help you determine:

  • The who, what, where, when, and why of your goal

Traditional goals are often too general and unrealistic and provide no sense of direction. Organize your thoughts and wishes to succeed with SMART goals and apply them to your website to attain the growth you need.

Common website issues and how to fix them

Have you ever been on a website that just wasn’t what you wanted it to be? Maybe it looked like an artifact from several decades past, or maybe it was just impossible for you to find anything you were looking for.

Most websites aren’t perfect. Common issues include small things like missing information or broken links to larger issues such as not ranking in search results due to poor site structure, unpleasing layout, and difficult navigation.

We’ve outlined some of the most common problems seen on websites, and how you might go about fixing them below.

Providing poor user experience

The “user experience,” UX for short, refers to the way your audience interacts with your website. A subpar user experience will result in more people navigating away from your website, which will negatively impact search engine rankings. Developing a strong user experience does not come naturally, and requires some knowledge of how people behave.

When creating your website, take some time to look at it through the lens of someone landing there for the first time. Think about the questions they would have and how your website is laid out to answer those questions. If they are someone hoping to contact you, are those details easy to find? If they are trying to determine your store hours, is that information easily accessible? Think through as many scenarios as you can to ensure you’re providing the smoothest and best experience possible. If you can, recruit a friend to look through the pages to determine whether or not the page structure you’ve created is one that is fluid and makes sense to navigate.

UX is more than just the look of your website. Experience is also enhanced by clear copywriting. Think about all of the times you’ve been on a website that was written poorly. What was the initial impression you had based on the writing?

Outdated content, page descriptions, and meta descriptions

It may be possible that your website and its content are appearing on Google already, but are not offering the most enticing sell to would-be visitors. A website should be completed with both page titles and meta descriptions.

Page Title: A page title is exactly what it sounds like, the title of the page. Page titles appear on the tabs of a web browser. For example, when you pull up bbb.org the page title is, “BBB: Start with Trust.”

Website search result displaying a page title: the title a page is given to help search engines and customers understand what the page is about.
Website search result displaying a page title: the title a page is given to help search engines and customers understand what the page is about.

Meta Description: A meta description is a short one to two-sentence description of a particular page on your website. Meta descriptions are displayed on search engine results just below the website. Similar to our example above, if you search “bbb” on Google, the meta description that describes the home page will display, “Better Business Bureau helps United States, Canada, and Mexico consumers find businesses and charities they can trust.”

Search engine result for a website displaying the meta description: a website description that helps describe what the website is about.
Search engine result for a website displaying the meta description: a website description that helps describe what the website is about.

How to use page titles and meta descriptions

A page title should describe the topic of the page that is being returned in the search, and a meta description should summarize the content included within it.

The goal here is to be specific, but concise. Hint: Take a look at any Google search results to help you understand how much room you have to sell your website and brand.

There are plenty of free tools available that can help you to do this as you create pages, or even retroactively. One of the most recognizable is Yoast SEO, which is a standard plugin through Wordpress.

Not responsive or mobile-friendly

The majority of web traffic is going mobile. At BBB, in the first half of 2020, 51 percent of our web traffic came from mobile devices.

Is your website ready for even more mobile traffic in 2021?

Take the time to open your website on your mobile device, and poke through it to see how functional it is when scaled down for the smaller screen.

Mobile-friendly websites should be organized, intuitive, and fast. This will make content easy to find, and easy to interact with, all while providing a speedy experience for the end-user.

A well-built and optimized website should be a chance for growth for your business. By making your website a core investment for your business and treating it as a marketing tool, you’ll not only begin to see better results, but you’ll also start to have a deeper understanding of what people are searching for to find you. With a finely tuned website, you’ll have a marketing tool that will help you refine your marketing spend into areas that will make the most impact.

Lacking SEO tags for images and other visual elements

Just like pages, the images on your website should have clear titles and descriptions. Optimizing these file names and descriptions helps search engines to better understand what the image is depicting, and can help your website appear in more searches.

As an additional tip, set aside time every couple of months to go back through the content you’ve posted, to see if the images are still adequate. Preferred aesthetic styles change all the time on the internet, and something that may have looked good a month ago could look dated now. So cycle in new images whenever possible! Keep the look fresh and up-to-date to stay current with aesthetic trends and ideals.

How to maintain it all

Your website is a more powerful tool than you likely give it credit for, but it can be a full-time job in and of itself to stay on top of it!

That’s why BBB recently launched THRIVe, an all-in-one business software to help you grow your business.

Whether you are looking for ways to improve your website, or hoping for solutions for posting to social media, or tracking your web analytics, THRIVe is an all-in-one marketing solution that can help you get there.

To get more information on THRIVe, simply head over to our website HERE. Be sure to use the chat feature to get all of the answers you need to make this next year your best yet.

Let’s talk trust! Follow your Better Business Bureau for business resources, tips on maintaining honesty and integrity, and marketplace news.

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