Website Wizardry: The Essentials for Attracting More Visitors and Keeping Them Longer

Some websites have it. Others don’t. What keeps visitors on-site longer? Here are what the pros know, that you don’t.

A Responsive Version Of Your Site

A lot of business owners are still using mobile versions of their websites. Big mistake. A few years ago, mobile websites were all the rage. That’s because Google, and a few other search engines, made a big deal about businesses being discoverable on mobile devices.

And, well, web designers ran with the idea and started creating special .mobi websites for clients. Do you remember those? You might even have one yourself.

When you have a dedicated mobile site, web visitors will see it when they try to load your website from a mobile device, like a tablet or smartphone.

While there is nothing technically wrong with having a .mobi site dedicated to mobile users, it is a practical waste of time and money because responsive websites make dedicated mobile sites obsolete.

A responsive site automatically detects the browser size, and device, and then readjusts the website to fit into that screen size. Responsive design lets you update your desktop site and have it update all mobile versions simultaneously.

So, if you’re not using a responsive design, tell your web developer to create one for you, and make sure that it works on all screen sizes. If you want to see an example of this, go look at Taylors Estate Agents.

Speed Up Your Load Time

One of the biggest problems on the web is the slow load times for many websites. Unfortunately, spinning graphics, and whiz-bang flash and website motion graphics seems to take precedence over the message the website needs to deliver. You need to resist the urge to do this Prioritize page load speed on all pages of your website. If you’re not using a managed host, consider switching. Use content delivery networks, like Cloudflare, or something similar, to cache your website across the web. This will help speed up load times for end-users who live farther away from your website’s server or datacenter.

Use Google Page Speed Insights to monitor your site’s speed. Google Page Insights can tell you where the bottlenecks are and what you need to do to speed up your site.

Most of the time, fixes are simple. But, if you run into something you can’t handle, this is a great opportunity to hire a web developer to help you iron out these problems. You’ll notice an instant and general improvement in your site’s ranking, and you should also see a reduced number of bounces from visitors.

Use Email

A lot of business owners use email as a way to communicate with vendors, but are you using it to help drive sales? If you’re like most businesses, you aren’t. Email isn’t outdated. In fact, expert marketers, like Ben Settle and Sean D’Souza use it routinely to send people to a sales letter which sells a variety of products and services.

Basically, the way it works is, you place an email signup form on your website. Then, when people opt in, you send them emails whenever you have something relevant or interesting to say. Professional marketers, like Settle, make it a point to use stories and interesting angles on sales messages so that there’s something to say every single day.

The more email you send, the more sales you make.  And, while it’s not a strategy that works in every market, it works in many, if not most.

Add Social Media To Your Site

Many websites make use of social media icons. Basically, these icons sit at the top or bottom of the page, and let users share or tweet posts and pages. You want this. It increases your site’s ability to be shared. And, it can make posts and pages go viral.

It can also build a following on social media, which you can use to drive people back to your website, so you can increase email signups and, hopefully, sales.

Add Your Phone Number

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is not putting a phone number on their order page, or anywhere on their website, for that matter. A phone number is an important piece of information. Many consumers don’t trust the Internet with their credit card information, and they will not buy from a company that they can’t call on the phone.

It sounds strange, but many marketers have tested this and they all seem to agree: adding a phone number boosts sales. Make sure the number is in a prominent place, and that your potential customers won’t have a problem finding it.

Tommie Wilkins works with small retail business owners on their website and marketing needs, from social media management to website updates and more.

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