7 Tips to Make your Website Better
How to quickly make a better website without too much effort
I always say that a website is never finished. You build it, after probably countless hours of planning, developing and testing, and launch it. But it doesn’t end there. There will always be that font that doesn’t quite fit the theme, that image that isn’t as good quality as we wanted, it is never as speedy as it could and so on. A website is like a creature that lives and necessitates care and attention from time to time.
Your website is your window to clients and it’s vital that it is satisfactory, aesthetically, functionally and conceptually.
Aesthetically your website should match your brand and message. In colours, styling and overall feeling.
Functionally it should be easy to navigate, readable (that doesn’t only mean the content) and flawlessly working.
Conceptually it has to match your intent and objectives. No pages that aren’t absolutely important, nor content that isn’t in line with your message to clients.
Starting from these 3 concepts, these are my 7 tips to make your website better.
1. Refresh your pages
Starting from the most important ones, obviously.
If you have a blog, check the oldest posts first and see if you can rewrite parts of them or in full to be more SEO-compatible to today’s standards. Don’t delete bad performing posts, update them.
Check your services page. Perhaps you changed what you offer. Remove or add as you see fit.
Check also your portfolio and about you pages. Any new projects you could highlight? Add them. Anything new in your life that could be worth communicating your potential clients? Write a new paragraph in your about you page.
Basically, refresh your content, starting from the oldest and the most important one.
2. Check the navigability of your site
This is important for better ranking and for not losing clients because they attempted to contact you but couldn’t find your contact page.
Make sure that your site is perfectly navigable: have a menu with your most important pages at the top or under your main banner. Make its text readable and clear that it is clickable (hovering with the pointer should communicate the readers that they can click on each element). Use breadcrums if you like, or at the very least make sure any important page can be reached in max 2 clicks from the homepage. The fewer, the better.
Use Google Search Console to check for errors, usability issues and such. Follow its suggestions.
Have a thorough check on your pages and see if there are enough subheadings, images, use of bold/italic text as you see fit. Don’t leave too long a wall of normal-sized text without any break (I found that 200-250 words is a good rule of thumb to follow).
Add links whenever you feel they can add informations to the readers. Don’t leave any page without any link to another page in your site, nor a page out.
Most importantly, be sure that your contact page is updated, easy to reach and all the possible ways you may be contacted at are listed. Check that all their links work.
3. Check that the informations are correct and exhaustive
This includes mostly the pages about yourself and your services.
Perhaps you changed your rates. Update the pricing page accordingly. Or you forgot to list a service you offer. Add it.
Maybe you realized there are a few things you don’t want to do anymore or have discovered to be great at a new aspect of the content writing job. Your freeelance writer skills have changed, basically. Update your service pages with this information.
Be sure that anything you can do is listed, even if it means rephrasing a bit the content.
If you have specific hours when you can work or different requirements, make sure they are clearly stated. Make as seamlessly as possible for clients to know what you, what you don’t and what you need to know to start working.
4. Be adamant about your work and proud of it
Do you have any new testimonials or case studies you can add to your site? A new project you are particularly proud of? Perhaps you wrote a book or started a new blog?
Or maybe you completed a course, an online university or finished lessons in a related skill?
Then it is a good idea to add any of these events to your website. Allow yourself to be proud of your achievements. It is your website after all, it is about you. Nothing wrong with a little boasting.
Who is going to talk about these things if you aren’t?
5. Write on your blog
This is the most meta advice as it is exactly what I am doing with this post.
Increase your trust and show you knowledge, better if newly acquired, by writing a new blog post. Of course pertinent with your profession.
Demonstrate you can write quality content by writing for your readers about what you learned, what are your experiences in the field, what is a good practice to follow and what it is not. The possibilities are infinite as infinite are the different lives we live. Make it authentic to yourself and informative. Quality over quantity here.
Perhaps a short guide on how to get started as a freelance writer, or on the pitfalls of the job of content writer or how to improve in your niche can be very good ideas for a new blog post. Write about what you are knowledgeable and can be helpful. That is the type of content that will get you links, clicks and possible new clients. Being a freelance writer is a never ending job.
Show you are active and engaged.
6. See if you can improve your website technical aspects
This is the task that many fail at and that generates the most frustration. Identifying the areas you can improve your website can be not very easy and require an expert look.
If you are such an expert, you probably don’t need much of an advice. See how quick your site load, identify the bottlenecks, check the size of all your media you uploaded and see if you can shave off some KBs. Make sure your site loads quickly, each page not just the homepage, and that Google Search Console nor Page Speed Insight have any suggestions you haven’t followed yet to make it more speedy.
Check for broken links. Especially those outbound. Maybe they changed URL or got deleted. Update accordingly or remove them.
Any video that doesn’t load? Scripts in your site that have a new version? Wordpress plugins you don’t use much anymore? Check the reasons of all these and delete the unnecessary code/plugin.
Be aware of what can be improved in the future if it takes too long right now. Perhaps your hosting isn’t as quick as others. Make a note to eventually upgrade or change it. Or perhaps you have plenty of large images that put a heavy burden on the loading times. Annotate what are and one by one reduce their size to an acceptable, quality-wise, one.
Even if you have no time nor knowledge to do any of this, reading a couple of articles or books on technical SEO can illuminate you and give you suggestions on how to improve your website most technical areas. You don’t have to become a SEO consultant to improve your SEO ranking. It’s easier than you can imagine.
7. Update your audience
If you’ve neglected your social media accounts, perhaps it is time to update them. They’re not strictly “your website” but are part of your persona on the web, and they can give you more visits.
Even if it is just an update to inform them of a new service, a new event or, very simply, that you updated part of your website, inform your followers on these media. Check that you replied to all the messages you received.
See if you can follow new possible clients, publications or people for your job. That will help you get more ideas, keep you updated and perhaps score a connection that may bear fruit in due time.
Re-check, if needed, that your website is linked in all your bios. Be certain that you are referring to it whenever you are creating other content elsewhere. Do you have your website in your email signatures and your newsletters? Do your newsletter work, is updated and sends the informations you want and are in line with your business? If not, fix that.
These are simple things but often missed. Make sure you are not one of those who do.
The website is the core element of your business
Act like your website were the most important aspect of your business because as a freelance writer, it is. Take one of these 7 steps to improve it and do it today. Add to your calendar to routinely check the other steps so you are remembered to take good care of your website.
Never neglect it. Never consider it “done”. Never take anything for granted, especially in a quickly changing world as the internet is. Don’t lose possible clients because of an outdated website.