CMS and E-commerce blog

10 Essential Tips to Improve Your Website (15 min read)

Published: Tuesday, February 25, 2020

1. Planning

Your plan is the foundation in which to ensure your visitors become customers. Which pages are they going to view, what content are they going to read and how can you convert them into customers? Understanding this will help you design a website that helps lead through the sales funnel.

2. Content managing

Try to stay away from creating muddy content. With visitors that only have an attention span of 5-10 seconds, creating a good first impression is a key element of how to make your potential customers stay on your site. Complicated animations, content that is too long and confusing website images will detract from the value you are trying to convey. Words like 'cutting edge', 'easy-to-use', 'innovative', 'robust', 'scalable', 'groundbreaking'.... are words that have been used thousands of times before and are not very appealing to visitors.

3. Navigating your website

It would be great if you knew that every visitor would start on your homepage and follow a predictable path. That is not the case most of the time. When thinking about how you want to build the most effective navigation, it`s good to understand the connection between navigation and user experience. The average user visits beetween 100-150 websites each month, so they have no shortage of ways in finding what they want. If you don’t offer a clear navigation menu on your website, breadcrumbs or other ways to easily explore your site, they won’t bother using it.

4. Long or short frontpage 

Dont be afraid of designing a slightly longer homepage that can help the users get a better idea of what you are selling. If you give the user a great first impression, they will scroll through. The first section should usually be a 'value proposition'. A good value proposition opens you up to prospective buyers and helps you make a strong first impression on visitors. Your value proposition should describe how your product or service solves a problem. But keep it simple. More great features which you could utilize include an intro video, an overview of services/products, features, about us and customer success stories.

5. Mobile friendly

Remember to optimize your site for the mobile user. Next time you take a bus or bus, look around you. 90% of passengers look down at their phones. Browsing news, playing games, watching videos or ordering products online. According to Google 61% will not revisit a site they had problems loading a page on their phone. And 40% of those will visit a competitor instead. Therefore, it is a necessity to tailor your site to the mobile user. What do you want to eat prospects to see on your mobile?

6. SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimazation. This uses methods that can increase your website's ranking on search engines. SEO is a complex subject and can not be summarized easily. A Google search for SEO returns 600  million results, and a lot of information is out of date or irrelevant. That said, I'm going to try to explain the 5 basics for 2020. 

Keywords and long-tail keywords

Keywords are topics that define what your website is about. In terms of SEO, they're the words and phrases that users enter into search engines. Your goal in achieving a higher ranking on search engines is to drive organic traffic to your site from the search engine result pages. The keywords you choose will determine what kind of traffic you get. 

You might be tempted to use singular keywords because they have massive search volume. The problem with this is that you will be competing against the big chains. If you want your website to appear near the top of the search results list for cars, it will be difficult to outrank Tesla or Ford for example. Long-tail keywords have more specific content like "cars for sale in Oslo" or "car repairs near Oslo". Long-tail keywords have less competition and with room for you to attract visitors more successfully.

Page titles and meta data

Optimizing page titles and meta descriptions is done behind the scenes in the CMS, and not using an element shown on your website. Page titles an have the biggest SEO impact, but meta descriptions work as an description for your content. The title attracts a visitor's attention, but it's the meta description that convinces them to click. Remember to write descriptive titles and meta descriptions that include your keywords to increase organic traffic and improve your ranking. 

Page content optimization

Content optimization is about making your website's pages look more attractive in search engines and to visitors. The process seeks to transform keyword research into text that can increase your ranking. Content is still Google's strongest ranking signal and great content can move your website up the ladder fast. Use headings, keep new content coming, optimize text/images, use social media and keep it clean. 

Update your business around the web

Search engines use more than just your website to build information about what you do. Update your information on social media and business directories, and search engines will use that to build trust and gain an understanding of what you do and where you do it.

Link building

Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites which direct to your own and helping visibility for competitive keywords. Google's own explanation to this: 

“Links help our crawlers find your site and can give your site greater visibility in our search results. When returning results for a search, Google uses sophisticated text-matching techniques to display pages that are both important and relevant to each search. Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote by page A for page B. Votes cast by pages that are themselves ‘important’ weigh more heavily and help to make other pages ‘important.'”

7. Social sharing

Social sharing is a great way to generate traffic to your website. If you have great offers and content, it can only go so far if your users can`t share the experience. Social sharing is a non-pushy way to encourage visitors to enlighten their friends about their great find! 

8. Never stop evaluating your visitors

What is clicked the most? How far do your visitors scroll? How long do visitors stay on your website once they've become a customer? This is just some of the information you should be looking at that can tell you if your site is performing the way you want. Create alternatives, B and even C to measure the outcome of differrent pages. Content, design, headings and even placement appeal differently to different visitors. Each alternative can further reveal varied data that identifies why users are interacting with pages in particular ways.

9. What CMS should you use? 

When evaluating what CMS system you should use, there are many options to choose from. The first CMS system ever to be considered a content managment system was FileNet in 1985. Since then, hundreds have been created and developed to create more functionality, simplify the UI and make it easier for those who do not have any coding skills. I have narrowed it down to 8 key points you should consider when choosing a CMS: 

GUI (Graphical User Interface)

A CMS should have a simple GUI that is easy on the eye and doesn't have any overly complicated menus or options. A good interface means you can focus on creating great content quicker, saving a lot of time and making work more productive. 

Easy to customize

When considering a content management system, make sure that it can be flexible in the way content is retrieved and preserved. Yor content should not be dictated by technology. Like som Web designers, many CMS developers have not adopted best practices and have created systems that produce unreliable code. This puts constraints on the design and impacts accessibility. 

Fixed templates: Make sure you’re not obligated to use their design templates. If you want to create great content and be the best at SEO, but are forced to use a fixed and unalterable design template, it will be much harder to stand out from the crowd.

End user friendly 

If the editors are more "design-oriented" than anything else, make sure your CMS don't require programming skills in order to use it. The main focus should be content management and not page management. 

Optimized for visitors and their patience 

When measuring the speed of your website on the browser, how fast your site can make a connection to the server is vital. Choosing a CMS that is bulky will drive away visitors rather then bring them in. Google PageSpeed is a tool designed to help boost a website's performance. 

Support is often more important than software

Support (or a lack thereof) can be a deal breaker when choosing a CMS. There is nothing more frustrating than having an issue that you can't solve yourself and all you get is a chatbot. Some issues are better to talk to a representative about and explain the problem to, which can often be solved with ease. Even better is when you have a dedicated go-to-person when something is not working. The lack of proactive support is in most markets one of the main reasons customers leave. A poor user experience grates on end-users over time. Those end-users complain to their bosses, who in turn complain to their bosses until the decision maker is sick of hearing about it and switches to a new platform. 

Budget

The first mistake many organizations make when choosing a CMS is that they overlook the long term cost of a seemingly inexpensive solution. Free versions are tempting, but often include having to buy plugins or hire developers along the way. Even thought the CMS you choose is free from the start, your budget may not match the development cost along the way. 

Scalability

As your website grows and develops, your CMS needs to handle growth in a way that doesn't impact on performance. If there are companies bigger than yours, it is a strong indicator that it can grow as you do. CMS platforms are often licenses based on the number of servers you are utilizing. This means that it is important to ensure that if you are in the cloud or rolling out additional virtual servers, your CMS license can accommodate this level of scaling

Headless or traditional CMS? 

A headless CMS isn't concerned about the delivery or display of your content. Instead it's focused on the storage and management of data the backend, not the frontend. A headless CMS is the best option if you're looking to build flexible, scalable websites, connect to API and need the full use of modern tecknology gan give you and display your content across multiple platforms like iOS, Android, watches and TV. But in some cases headless might not be the right fit. Loads of great web pages have been built on traditional CMS. When choosing beetween headless or traditional, think about what you want your website to do. 

 

Relatude CMS can be used for both Traditional and Headless. Want a presentation of Relatude CMS & E-Commerce? give us a call. 

 

Daniel Krauss-Larsen
Head of Sales & Marketing 
daniel@relatude.com
+47 46544445