A business’s website is one of the most crucial components of online presence because it serves as the information and communications hub for potential and existing customers, employees, and any other party who wants to learn more about the business.
With the website often being the first meaningful interaction between prospective customers or employees, it has a significant influence on the rate at which people are moved to take further action with the business – be it to make a call, submit a form, or schedule an appointment.
Although the website plays such an important role in online presence, many businesses struggle to make improvements or updates to their websites after the initial build – resulting in unsatisfactory website performance.
If you’re among those businesses and are looking for ways you can improve the performance of your website, continue reading this blog as it will share 20 tips for improving your website’s effectiveness.
1. Align the Website with Its Purpose
Every website has a purpose, whether it’s to share information, connect individuals, offer entertainment, or etc. The highest performing websites are those whose content, layout, and calls to action (CTAs) intentionally support their purpose.
As a business that offers a service, the main purpose of your website should be to SELL your service. Secondary purposes might be to recruit employees or to serve existing customers. If the main purpose of your website is to sell new customers on your services, everything on your website should be intentionally crafted to aid in the sales process.
All your content should answer questions or address concerns potential customers have at each stage of their buying process.
The layout of the website should reflect the stages of the buying process providing information and calls to action in the right place at the right time.
Your CTAs should prompt potential customers to take the next step in the buying process (e.g. requesting an estimate, making a call, submitting a form, reading a customer success story).
2. Keep it Simple
Even though your website should communicate an abundance of information, it’s critical that the information is delivered in small amounts, so your audience doesn’t get overwhelmed or confused.
Many websites share too much information and too many CTAs at once, causing messaging to erode and the audience to lose track of what they’re supposed to do – which is to move along the buyer journey.
By limiting the information to 1 topic and 1-2 CTAs per web page section, you can avoid overcomplicating the user experience and diminishing the website’s effectiveness.
This website home page by Complete Precision Roofing does an amazing job at keeping it simple. Notice how they limit the amount of information provided in each section to just a couple of phrases or sentences. They also include only 1-2 CTAs per web page section.
3. Clearly State What the Viewer Wants
The best way to keep a website visitor engaged is to speak their language and to provide them with what they want to see. The top of each web page should explicitly state what the viewer wants to achieve through either working with your business or by reading the web page.
For example: If you’re a business that installs fencing, and you know the majority of your customers get a fence for privacy, then the top of your website home page should say something to the tune of:
“Get the Privacy You’ve Always Wanted.
Your Backyard Fence Awaits!”
4. Describe Who You Serve
If you’ve been in business for a while, you should have a good understanding of your target customer as well as their characteristics, needs, and desires. Sections of your website should address your target customer either for your business or for each of your services.
For example: If you’re a remodeling business, you might include language on your kitchen remodeling service web page saying: “Our kitchen remodeling service helps homeowners who are tired of their old-school kitchen get their dream kitchen without needing to move!”
5. Show Your Process
Whether you’re going to do something as complex as installing central heating and air or as simple as applying pine straw to a landscape bed, it’s important that you share your process for working with customers and delivering your service.
Providing potential customers with a simple but thorough overview of your process builds trust and credibility by allowing the customer to take a peek into what they can expect if they work with you.
Floors for Living does a great job outlining their flooring installation process on their web page shown below.
6. Provide Case Studies
EVERY business that provides a service needs to have case studies to share with prospective customers – which means EVERY business that provides a service needs to offer their case studies on their website.
A case study (also known as a “use case” or “customer success story”) is a detailed summary of an instance in which your business successfully implemented a service for a customer. They’re important because you can use them as a sales tool to earn the trust of potential customers by demonstrating your team’s ability to meet the needs of your customers.
Learn how you can create compelling case studies for your business by reading this blog post.
7. Incorporate Clear CTAs
A call to action (CTA) is a marketing technique that prompts people to take a specific action, like making a purchase or signing up for a service. It's usually a short, impactful statement that encourages immediate action by using action-oriented words like "call now" or "sign up."
Your website should have clear and concise CTAs sprinkled throughout all of your web pages. By placing CTAs on every page, you create the opportunity for potential customers to take action whenever they are ready to commit to the next step in their buyer journey.
When placing CTAs throughout your website, it’s best to give 2 options – a strong commitment and a light commitment. This increases the chances of your potential customers moving along their buyer journey without feeling pressured to buy immediately.
For example: On your homepage under the services section, you might include a CTA saying “Call Now” as well as a CTA saying “Read More.”
This gives your potential customers the option of reaching out to your team (strong commitment) and the option to learning more about your services without having to talk to anyone (light commitment).
8. Use Buttons and Graphics for CTAs
Styling and visuals on websites do more than make them aesthetically pleasing as they play a part in helping people navigate and interact with the website. When paired with CTAs, styling and visuals can encourage people to take action.
Though CTAs can and should be included in the text sections of your website, they should also be presented on buttons or in graphics. This makes them more pronounced on the web page causing people’s eyes to be drawn to them.
This image of Southern Botanicals website is a great example of how to use buttons to present CTAs.
9. Offer Multiple Ways to be Contacted
If the purpose of your website is to drive sales, then you need to offer multiple ways on every web page for potential customers to contact your business.
People have different preferences for how they want to communicate, so offering different options to accommodate their preferences will improve the chance of them reaching out.
Because of work and other obligations, many people search for businesses outside of regular business hours. If your website provides contact options in addition to phone call (e.g. email or form submission), it creates the opportunity for your business to receive those late/early morning night leads.
Below are some contact options that you can offer on your website:
Chat Bot (pre-recorded or AI)
10. Improve Website Speed
Did you know that 40 percent of consumers will leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load? That means if your website takes 3+ seconds to load, almost half of the people who click to view it aren’t going to see it!
Additionally, if your website takes too much time to load, it will negatively affect SEO. Conversely, a fast-loading website enhances user experience and positively impacts SEO.
If you want to test your website load speed, Google PageSpeed Insights and GTMetrix are both great tools you can use. Simply copy/paste your website URL into either tool, and they will generate a report that shares the load speed and the factors contributing to any lag.
11. Break Content into Sections
As we mentioned earlier, your website needs to keep it simple by sharing information in a way that’s not going to overwhelm your potential customers.
A great way to do this is to make text easier to skim by breaking it into small sections. Each chunk of text should have clear headlines explaining what the section is. If there’s a lot of text per section, then you can break the text into small paragraphs to improve readability.
12. Designate a Web Page for Each Service:
If your business offers multiple services, then your website should have a page for each service. This allows you to provide in-depth information about each service (e.g. who it’s for, what it includes, the process, pricing, etc.) without the information getting cluttered.
13. Configure Form Entry Notifications
As simple as this tip may seem, we’ve spoken with businesses who needed to make this update. If you have a contact form on your website, you need to make sure that the entries are sent to someone who can address them and reach out to the potential customer in a timely manner.
Many businesses have an old email address connected to the forms, or the notification emails get sent to an email address’s spam without the business noticing. If you haven’t checked in a while, we recommend you test each of the contact forms on your website to make sure they are working properly and notifying the right people in your business.
14. Offer Content for Each Stage of the Buyer Journey
The buyer is the process a potential customer goes through as they determine whether they want to purchase a service or product. The buyer journey is broken down into 3 stages: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.
Because potential customers are going to be at different stages of their buyer journeys as they explore your website, there should be content on your website that corresponds with each stage of the buyer journey.
This will ensure that your website can help advance potential customers along their buyer journey by serving them the right information, answering the right questions, and addressing the right concerns at the right time for each potential customer.
The buyer journey for a weed control and fertilization service might be:
Awareness – A homeowner notices they have weeds in their lawn.
Consideration – A homeowner researches DIY options vs paying for a service.
Decision – A homeowner compares rates and service packages of 3 weed control companies.
As a lawn care company offering weed control and fertilization services, your website might offer the following content for each stage in the buyer journey:
Awareness – A guide about weeds that are commonly found in lawns.
Consideration – A blog weighing the pros and cons of DIY (with an emphasis on how dangerous the chemicals can be for inexperienced DIYers)
Decision – A portfolio of the lawns your company services along with customer success stories.
15. Organize and Design for Seamless Navigation
Most grocery stores have the same layout. Shopping carts are by the doors. Frozen items are in the refrigerated section. Fruits and vegetables are in the produce section. Aisles connect one row of goods to the next.
As regular grocery shoppers, we all know how to find what we need, make the transaction, and get out of the store. We can go into just about any grocery store and have the same experience with minimal hassle.
But have you gone to a grocery store that’s flipped around or unconventionally organized? If you have, then you know that it’s harder to find what you need and may take you twice as long to shop than it normally would.
Websites work the same way. There’s a common way of organizing them so that visitors can easily move around the website, find what they’re looking for, and take action.
Below are some of the organizational conventions that current websites follow and that consumers are used to navigating:
Website sections are presented from top-to-bottom, not left-to-right.
Each website section is distinguished by a different color than the sections directly above or below it.
Navigation menus are in the header (top) and footer (bottom) of the website, not on the left or right sides.
Websites for service-based businesses have the following navigation menu items: Home, Services, FAQ, Portfolio/Gallery, Contact Us, About, Resources.
Website text should be presented in 1 column, not 2 or 3.
CTA buttons should be included in each section.
16. Incorporate an Abundance of Photos
Though the text on your website should communicate all the information your prospective customers want and need to see, your website should accompany it with relevant photos.
Including photos that depict the information that’s being shared adds another dimension to what your website communicates – often helping people get a better understanding of what is being explained than they would if they were only reading.
This is especially important for businesses that offer complex or multi-step services. They will benefit from showing more than telling.
Incorporating plenty of photos also builds trust, credibility, and an appreciation for the work you do.
For example: As a landscape installation company, you can only get your potential customers to envision so much if you write about a seasonal color installation containing pink flowers. But if you show them the picture of a seasonal color installation with pink flowers, they don’t even have to try to envision it!
Some photos you should incorporate in your website should include photos of:
Your team in action
Completed Jobs or Projects
Jobs or Projects in Progress
Your full team
Before and After Service
Equipment and Supplies
Your Team Interacting with Customers
17. Use Original Images
It’s super convenient and cheap to use stock photos, but we highly recommend you avoid them!
People can spot stock photos from a mile away, and are finding them to be a turn-off because they exhibit a lack of authenticity during this era where people are craving authenticity.
Search engines like Google and Bing can also identify stock photos as well as photos taken from other companies. They penalize websites for using them. That’s right, using unoriginal photos on your website can damage your SEO!
If you do not have many original photos to add to your website, we recommend you spend $500-$1,000 on a photographer to build an initial collection of images that you can use. Ideally, businesses should work with photographers quarterly or even monthly to continuously build a collection of photos that showcase their work.
Investing in photography for your business is worthwhile since the photos can be used in way more places than your website. In this blog, we share 7 ways in which you can leverage photos to attract more business and talent.
18. Make Sure the Website Content Provides Value
Adding content that provides value to your website visitors is important for building trust, establishing authority, and keeping users engaged.
Valuable content goes beyond promoting your services and focuses more on sharing helpful and informative resources that address the needs and interests of your potential customers. As we discussed in tip 14, your website should have content that corresponds with each stage in the buyer journey of your prospective customers.
As a rule of thumb, valuable content usually:
Answers a question accurately.
Provides examples or scenarios.
Explains how something is done.
Solves a problem or provides possible solutions.
Offers in-depth insights and analysis.
Provides actionable step-by-step instructions.
Shares expert industry knowledge.
Presents data-driven research findings.
Offers practical tips for better results.
Simplifies complex concepts for easy understanding.
Explores emerging trends and opportunities.
Provides valuable tools and templates.
19. Incorporate Bullet Points for Lists
If you couldn’t already tell, it’s become a standard practice to ensure the content on your website is easy for your prospective customers to read and understand quickly. Offering lists in the form of bullet points rather than sentences with commas, makes the information easier to skim (on both desktop and mobile devices).
List #1 with Items Separated by Commas (Turf Types)
Kentucky Bluegrass, Bermuda Grass, Zoysia Grass, Fescue Grass, St. Augustine Grass, Ryegrass, Centipede Grass, Bahia Grass, Buffalo Grass, Bentgrass, Seashore Paspalum, Tall Fescue, Fine Fescue, Perennial Ryegrass, Annual Ryegrass
List #2 with Items as Bullet Points (Turf Types)
St. Augustine Grass
20. Mobile-Friendly Design
With much of the internet traffic coming from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, a mobile-friendly design is essential for a positive user experience. Websites that are mobile friendly are easy to read, to use, and to navigate on smartphones and tablets.
Qualities that make a website mobile friendly have:
Short paragraphs to accommodate skimming.
Graphics and forms that fit the dimensions of a phone.
A simplistic and streamlined layout.
Larger fonts to improve readability.
Buttons and links that are easy to tap.
Call buttons that link to your business phone number.
We listed a ton of adjustments you can make to your website, and depending on how much your business prioritizes the website, you might have a lot of adjustments you’d like to make.
If this is the case, don’t get overwhelmed by thinking it all has to be done immediately. We recommend you implement adjustments at a comfortable pace, prioritizing fixes that will have the most impact on helping your website better achieve its purpose.