With all the web development tools available, you can create a beautifully designed and fully functioning website without the help of professional designers and developers.
In fact, there’s no shortage of resources on the internet helping people set up their websites, find reliable hosting providers, and install the most popular themes and tools of the year.
But there’s more to creating a profitable website than just the basics.
Luckily, even if you’re just starting out, taking your website to the next level is not that hard to do on your own.
Take a look at these simple DIY tips for your website that even you can do, no matter your experience or skill level, and watch your traffic grow, conversions rise, and sales increase.
1. Know Your End Goal
Creating a website and publishing some blog content is the easy part when you’re launching a site for the first time.
After all, setup wizards guide you through the setup process, and you can blog about anything you like.
It’s when you want to start building a bigger email list or selling products online that things get tricky.
But they don’t have to be if you map out your goals from the very beginning.
Before launching your website, sit down and think about what you want to achieve in the future.
Also, think about what you want site visitors to do when they land on your site:
- Submit a contact form, request a consultation, or get a quote
- Complete the purchase of a product or service
- Download a lead magnet and subscribe to your newsletter
- Call a telephone number or visit your brick and mortar shop
These types of conversions are easy to set up on your website if you have a plan. They’re easy to track too, so you can make sure you’re making progress.
In fact, creating a simple landing page for your website, like this one by H. Bloom, is one of the easiest ways to achieve your conversion goals.
Notice their easy to fill out a contact form that lets people schedule a complimentary design consultation, in hopes that this point of contact will build their email list and lead to future sales.
Having an end goal will make building your website that much easier because you’ll have a central focus.
2. Optimize for Speed
Your website’s speed and performance will have a significant effect on the user experience and the success of your site.
According to surveys done by Akamai and Gomez.com:
- Site visitors expect your site to load in 2 seconds or less
- Nearly 50% of people will abandon your site if it doesn’t load in 3 seconds
- 79% of online shoppers that have trouble with site performance won’t return to buy again
- 44% of those online shoppers will tell others about their bad experience
As you can see, there’s a lot to lose when your site takes too long to load.
To check how fast your site is loading right now, use the online speed test tool Google PageSpeed Insights.
You’ll also see optimization tips to help you make improvements:
Another thing you can do to speed up your site is using a content network delivery (CDN).
Using servers spanning the globe, and delivering site content from the server closest to your site visitor geographically, a content network delivery (CDN) will reduce latency and boost site speed significantly.
3. Add Social Proof
Those that are just starting out have a hard time showing new site visitors why their brand is better than the more established brands.
That said, you can build credibility in your industry by using social proof.
There are 6 major types of social proof you can easily add to your website yourself:
- Customers: social proof from existing customers in the form of case studies or testimonials
- Certifications: credible, third-party entities certifying you’re what you claim you are (e.g., “USDA Certified Organic”)
- Experts: social proof from experts in your field that show the same behaviours you want site visitors to
- Celebrities: social proof from influencers that will endorse or promote your brand
- Crowds: social proof in the form of sheer numbers to convince others to join in (e.g., “50,000 people have already subscribed”)
- Friends: social proof from those just like your site visitors that are actual friends
You can find many examples of social proof across the web to inspire you.
However, you should know that 85% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, making customer social proof one of the most powerful types to use.
And, it just so happens that Freshbooks does an excellent job capitalizing on their customers’ testimonials and reviews to generate more sales among their target audience:
And we all know that Amazon, the world’s leading retail giant, displays customer reviews and ratings on every product for sale:
If you need help collecting testimonials for your website, be sure to check out how MailChimp lets you send automated follow-up emails after every purchase made on your site.
This way, anytime someone purchases from your online shop, you can extend your thanks (which is great for building long-lasting relationships with customers) and ask them to leave a review.
4. Improve Your Keyword Strategies
The way to drive more traffic to your website lies in how well you optimize your site’s content using keywords that are relevant to what you have to offer.
It won’t matter how good your content is, what your lead magnets are, or what you’re selling from your eCommerce shop if no one knows your site exists.
That’s why focusing on your keyword strategies is crucial to your success.
Luckily, with a little bit of knowledge about SEO and keyword research, and some helpful online tools, you can master this yourself.
One of the easiest ways to conduct keyword research is to use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner. Though you need an AdWords account to use it, you don’t have to run PPC ads.
With this tool you can do two things:
- Find New Keywords. Enter a keyword you’re looking to target and get related keywords that you can use in your content. You’ll see relevant keywords and their search volume, so you know if they are terms people are looking for. You’ll also see how much people are bidding on each keyword.
- Determine Keyword Worth. If you already know which keywords you want to use, you can also see how many clicks and impressions they get in search results, as well as their CTR and average cost per click if you want to use them in ads.
The goal of keyword research is to find keywords that are relevant to the site visitors you want taking action on your site.
You don’t want to use overly popular keywords, because the competition will be too tough, but you also don’t want to use keywords that have nothing to do with what you’re offering.
The key is finding the sweet spot through your research and giving people exactly what they’re looking for so they’ll be more likely to click on your site in a search result and check you out.
5. A/B Test Everything
Split testing elements on your website is an easy way to find out what’s working for you, and what’s not so you can make improvements to boost conversions.
Many optimization tools let you A/B test elements on your website. OptinMonster, for instance, has built-in A/B testing tools that are easy to use.
You can split test things like:
- Landing pages
- Call to action buttons
- Colours and fonts
- Value Proposition copy
- And so much more
In the end, testing your website to make sure it’s the best it can be will help conversion rates, revenue, and site visitor satisfaction.
Creating a website is easy. But so is creating a profitable one; if you know what you’re doing.
By implementing the above-mentioned DIY tips into your website building and digital marketing plans, you’ll see your site become more successful over time with minimal effort.
Don’t let the thought of handling things on your own scare you into doing nothing (or worse hiring a costly professional that you don’t need).
Just invest some time and patience into designing your website for your target audience, and you’ll see the benefits within no time.