What is one simple way I can improve my business website this year without totally overhauling it?
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. Try LiveChat
We’ve been using LiveChat on many client projects and absolutely love it. It conquers a few key areas with one app — instant sales insights to know what a prospect is most interested in, real-time feedback on what’s confusing with your current site and an easy-to-use messaging system to contact you for support requests if you’re offline.
- Patrick Conley, Automation Heroes
2. Experiment With Video
We found that integrating well-produced videos into a page can dramatically increase conversions. Integrating video is generally simple and can be done without redoing the basic design or navigational structure of your site. Of course, the hard part is generating great video content!
- John Rood, Next Step Test Preparation
3. Create Clear Calls to Action
Many businesses lose customers because they do not provide a clear path for customers to navigate through their websites. Having clear calls to action that explicitly state what you would like the customer to do is an easy way to raise revenue with little work involved. Think about the most important business objectives you have, and then place logical CTA buttons throughout to support the goals.
- Lawrence Watkins, Great Black Speakers
4. Include Testimonials
Putting up customer testimonials greatly improves your conversion rates and social proof. If you can add a few killer testimonials — in the form of tweets, videos or quotes — it will really increase your business website’s impact.
- Vanessa Van Edwards, Science of People
5. Rewrite Web Copy From Your Customers’ Perspective
So many business websites are written in a language that’s not relevant to their customers. Take a step back and look at your website copy through your customers’ eyes. You should first slash the word count by half, and then rewrite it with an eye for using plain speak versus jargon, put it into their words and facilitate skimming versus reading.
- Leah Neaderthal, Start Somewhere
6. A/B Test Potential Changes
Test out changes before making them with tools such as Visual Website Optimizer orOptimizely. They’re affordable and simple to use. Sometimes, little changes can yield big gains.
- Josh Weiss, Bluegala
7. Upgrade Your Fonts
You’d be surprised how different the same content looks with a few simple font changes. Make an update. Go modern. Websites are trending more toward a brochure style. Up the font size, and use a Google Web font to expand your options. It’s a simple change that yields a big effect. The same content will stand out in the crowd.
- Trevor Sumner, LocalVox
8. Add a Phone Number
Great customer service is critical to creating happy customers. While most startups try to streamline their service with robust FAQs and a “24-hour reply” promise on emails, the most effective way to grow sales is to add a phone number on your site. Make it front and center — talk to people when they are on your site and ready to buy!
- Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches
9. Refresh Your Home Page
Redesign your home page with an eye for user experience. What type of information do new visitors need most? Figure out what resources help users make the best use of your site, and then relocate the links for your most important tools and information to the highest-visibility areas of your main Web page.
- Heather Lopes, EarlyShares
10. Create More White Space
Find ways to create more white space around the most important areas of your website. Chances are, you’ve cluttered areas of your website as new ideas and content have emerged over the years. Take some time to review what is critical to your business and what is not. Remove what isn’t, and find new, cleaner ways to present the refined content.
- Janis Krums, OPPRTUNITY
11. Focus on Conversions
What can you do to improve website conversion? It could mean making a phone number more prevalent on your home page if you’re a service business or making small tweaks to the wording and action items.
- Andrew Fayad, eLearning Mind
12. Pay Attention to Your Analytics
Google Analytics is free and incredibly powerful if you use it correctly. Add the tracking codes to your site, and analyze the data at least twice a month. Pay attention to the customer flow and drop-off rates for each page. Make the pages that have the highest average time easier to find. Analyze the lowest-performing pages and look for ways to make those stickier to keep visitors engaged longer.
- Brittany Hodak, ZinePak