The new year is a great time to focus on changing for the better – and as a business owner, one of the most impactful changes you can make is to improve your website. Your website is your most important marketing property, serving as a resource to clients and customers as well as a source of leads through search engines like Google. Redesigning your website is a great way to give your site a “shot in the arm,” as a fresh design gives you an SEO boost that can last the whole year.
Here are a few simple ways to make your website more user and SEO friendly:
Say Goodbye to Flash
If you still have Flash elements on your website, it’s time to change that. Flash websites are slow-loading and not always compatible with all devices. For instance, Apple products do not support Flash, and Apple is a dominant player in the phone and tablet markets. Plus, Flash is difficult to update and often crashes browsers. Finally, Adobe – the company behind Flash – has officially announced that it plans to end support for Flash, signaling to webmasters and business owners that the time has come to switch from Flash to other technologies like HTML5.
Integrate Social Media into Your Site’s Design
Social media is as important for your marketing strategy as your website itself, and that means social media should play a central role in the design of your website. Place social media icons on each page of your website and encourage visitors to check out and follow your social media profiles, as this will promote social engagement. Another great strategy is to include social proof by displaying the number of likes and followers your pages have. You can even include an embedded feed of your social media posts directly on your website, creating an even stronger link between your site and your social pages.
Imagery is critical for a beautiful website and a positive user experience, but it’s important to optimize images so they add to your site instead of subtract from it. Avoid hosting images on your site with large file sizes, as these can slow down loading times and hamper user experience. Optimizing your site for load time will improve the mobile visitor experience and also improve your SEO rankings.
Get Back-end Access to Your Site
Fresh content is critical for both user experience and SEO on a website – and that means as a business owner, you need to be able to update your site’s content, even if you’re not the principal person maintaining the website. Getting back-end access to your site’s administration panel is necessary for having the ability to add content or photos as you please, letting you share important news and updates on your site in real time. It also prevents the need to pay a designer or web developer every time you want to make a small change to your site, helping cut down on web management costs.
Adopt an “Upside-Down” Website Design
Traditionally, most websites feature informational content at the top of the page, then list contact information at the bottom – but is that really the best configuration? Often, visitors come to your website specifically to find your contact information. That means it’s important to make your contact info easy to find on your website. To do this, you may want to consider using an “upside-down” design, which lists your phone number, email, address, and other relevant contact info at the top of the page instead of the bottom. This makes it easier for visitors to find the information they need as quickly as possible, increasing the likelihood they’ll contact your business.
Use Customer Questions on Your Site
Many business or practice owners find that including a frequently asked questions page on their website is a helpful, informative resource for patients – but how do you decide what to include in the FAQ? It turns out, you probably have an untapped resource for this content: your patients themselves! Anytime a patient emails or contacts you with a question, that’s essentially a prompt for your onsite content. Flag patient emails that ask questions and include each one on your FAQ page. Doing so will make your FAQ page – and your site overall – more useful to patients, improving visitor satisfaction and driving your business.