How To Improve Your Website – 3 Lessons Learned from a Website Critique

Lessons Learned from a Website ReviewWhen you are putting together a website, you have so many ideas and information that you want to share with people. The result could be a confusing website layout which could leave a visitor perplexed.

I recently had a website review carried out on this site (click here for that post) and I got some great insight into what people may think when they click over here.

Well, recently I learned some more lessons about how to improve your website.  I watched a video by Adam Costa of Travel Blogger Academy. He was carrying out a review where he highlighted areas that the website owner could work on in order to improve the user experience and ways to eventually make money.

The video was over 40 minutes long. At first I thought there is no way I am going to make it through but Adam’s voice was easy on the ear and he made some really good points. I ended up jotting them down and decided to write a blog post about what I gleaned. Hopefully you will also get something from this too.

There were three main points that Adam discussed:

  • Ways To Improve A Visitor’s First Impressions of  A Website
  • Ways To Increase Traffic to A Website
  • Ways To Monetize A Website

Ways To Improve A Visitor’s First Impressions of A Website
Crazy EggFirst impressions will be the deciding factor as to whether someone will stay on your website or just click away. Adam suggested that a website, in particular the header, should look as clean, clear and as uncluttered as possible.

People want to be able to find what they are looking for straight away. This means creating links that make sense and are not obscure terms. If a link is called Fresh Fruit Smoothies, a person will expect to find information about fresh fruit smoothies and not bacon and eggs.

Another point that Adam made was that bloggers can become very attached to the information they place on their websites. They do not want to simply get rid of stuff just because one person says they should. Adam suggested a free tool you could use to find out where people click on your site.

The free software is called Crazy Egg and it is a heat mapping tool. There is a paid version too but the free option is good enough for starters. I will have to go check this out for myself.

Ways To Increase Traffic to A Website
Try Guest Posting to increase TrafficEveryone wants to know how to get more people to come visit their website. There are several ways that this can be achieved. Adam’s suggestion was to try guest posting. You write posts for high authority sites with a link to your site at the bottom. People will then click through to visit your website.

Any website owner can do this. You should make a list of websites that are relevant to your niche. You don’t have to stick rigidly to your own niche. You should see if the topic of your website could be of value to other groups.

Then you just make your way through that list, connecting with those website owners to find out if they accept guest posts and start submitting. This can take some time to achieve but the resulting traffic could really make it worth your while.

Ways To Monetize a Website
Help People with the NeedsIf you are looking at ways to make money with your website, the main revenue streams are advertising, affiliate sales and selling your own product.

The option you choose will depend on the type of site you are running. The website that Adam was reviewing was a travel website and the owner was thinking about looking at getting advertisers and sponsors.

Adam’s suggestion was to focus more on connecting with your audience and finding out what they need. Instead of providing them with a way to click off your site to someone else who is providing the solution, you should work out how you could provide that same solution by developing your own products.

The best way to do this is to find out the following from your visitors:

  • What do they need help with?
  • What do they want to learn?
  • How can you help?

The answers to these questions can be discovered if you build up an audience and a way to connect with them on a regular basis. This would be through a newsletter and inviting people to subscribe to your website.

If you haven’t already got an email system in place, Aweber offers a 30 day trial for just $1.  This is what the majority of website owners use , me included, and it could help increase the amount of sign ups you attract.

When you have enough sign ups, you can send an email with a couple of questions to get people’s feedback. This will definitely help to steer you in the right direction so that you can concentrate on serving people’s real needs.

I really enjoyed watching this video critique and felt that it helped confirm some of the things that I had already learned. I am slowly working on each of my own websites to try and make then easier to navigate. Adding that personal touch also helps people feel more engaged and more inclined to hang around a little longer.

I liked that Adam highlighted the importance of the newsletter, which is something that I am also working on improving. I still have a ways to go with this website before I look at how I can monetize it but I look forward to weighing up those options in the very near future.

Don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter, for regular updates and lessons learned along the way :)

Have Your Say: Have you found ways to improve your own website? Do you have any other suggestions to help with traffic and monetization? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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