In the competitive digital marketing space, you need to make sure your online strategy is good enough to influence your customers’ decisions. Many websites fail to attract and retain visitors and convert them to leads. There could be multiple reasons for this, including on-page SEO issues or their link building strategies.
Let’s look at some mistakes that might prevent online businesses from growing and thriving. During our last SEMrush Chat, we hosted another real-time website analysis session.
This time, Damon Gochneaur, founder of the Aspiro Agency, speaker, and PPC and SEO expert, joined our other chat participants to analyze and evaluate hamworthy-heating.com. This company is a British commercial boiler manufacturer.
To begin our discussion, we asked our guests what they would change about this website.
When our chat guests first viewed the website, several things caught their eyes. Here’s what they noticed.
Damon Gochneaur said that the website’s owners must add an H1 tag to their homepage. Headings structure your content, and an H1 tag defines your most important heading – it explains what your webpage is about.
He also suggested simplifying the webpage and adding some white space to the design. White space, or negative space, can sometimes function as a website’s most important element. This type of spacing is often used to make webpages seem less clumsy or crowded. Including the right amount of white space on your site helps your visitors differentiate between various sections. “Go with a simpler look. This site can seem a bit busy and it leaves me wondering where to go next,” explained Express Writers @ExpWriters.
Damon Gochneaur @DamonGochneaur
A1: Got to get an h1 on the Home page, get rid of the slider, add some white space, and simplify #semrushchat
Damon Gochneaur and our other chat participants also noticed that the website has a distracting slider. Some websites still use sliders on their homepages. But the thing is, these elements might be bad for your site’s search engine optimization and usability. Harrison Jones evaluated 18 websites that contained sliders and identified numerous recurring SEO and usability issues, which he described in his article posted on Search Engine Land.
Many of our chat participants also mentioned that this website is in need of a clear value proposition. This key element determines whether or not visitors will spend their time reading more about your product or service. A value proposition is a statement that describes how your business can solve your customers’ problems and explains why people should buy from you and not from your competitors.
A value proposition should be the first thing visitors see on your homepage. “I agree with everyone about the need for a value statement. Why them?” asked Reva Minkoff @revaminkoff. Ramona Sukhraj collected 31 effective value propositions examples that you should check out for some inspiration.
Also, many of our chat guests noticed that this website doesn’t have a clear call to action. It only has a “Read more” button, which is by far not the best option. The truth is, “Read more” CTAs actually say nothing. Users now see them everywhere and are becoming increasingly blind to them. This type of CTA may be discouraging your visitors from converting to buying customers. Instead of using cliche calls to action, make your CTAs click-worthy by creating specific and compelling text.
Last but not least, our chat participants suggested that the company improve its site’s navigation. Annaliese Henwood noticed that the site’s navigation elements are not in the right order. Items that appear first or last in any list are likely to be most impactful. You should put your most important elements at the beginning and end of your navigation and your least important items in the middle. Your link to your company’s “Contact” page should typically be placed at the end.
We mentioned several things the website’s owners should definitely change. You can check out these additional elements in the following recap.
As you can see, there’s a lot of work to do on this website.
Let’s see what the website’s owners must do to the desktop version of their site in order to improve their users’ journey.
Below you can find our guest experts’ tips on how to improve this website’s users’ journey.
It’s all about your customers
First of all, any website should be all about its visitors. That means that your website must help you build and nurture your relationships with your customers. Caring for your clients is crucial for growing a successful business. So, treat your users right; make your website speak to them as if it’s a person that’s representing your company. Give them answers to their questions and solutions to their problems.
Tell a story with your “About Us” page
Zala Bricelj recommended that the company rewrite its “About Us” page. This page is a key element of any website. To make your “About Us” appealing, you should figure out your business’ unique identity and communicate it to your target audience. Tell a story about how your products or services are changing people’s lives. Don’t make your “About Us” page sound too formal, because it can make your company look stiff and starchy. Showing the real people behind your brand helps you build credibility and trust with your audience.
Trying to target everyone means appealing to no one in particular
Again, every business must have a unique identity and appeal to a certain audience. If you’re trying to appeal to everyone, it means that your business actually appeals to no one specifically. Who needs your product most? Answer this question, define your target audience, and then appeal to them by using specific marketing strategies.
Improve your website’s navigation
We’ve already touched upon the subject of the website’s navigation. Your site navigation’s design greatly impacts your website’s performance. An effective navigation will increase your web traffic and conversions and make your site more user-friendly. Many of our guest experts recommended that Hamworthy Heating simplify its site’s navigation.
Great visuals make your content beautiful and memorable. What’s more, stunning visuals will help you better communicate your business' value and other important data to your customers.
Analyze user behavior with user-tracking tools
Finally, Andy Drinkwater offered Hamworthy Heating a great piece of advice: to analyze how its users are interacting with its website. Specific tracking tools can show you what parts of your site your users are visiting by visualizing their mouse movements. Andy recommended using Inspectlet, which helps companies better understand their website visitors' intentions using web analytics.
Let’s sum up!
Use these tips from our guests to improve your users’ journey on the desktop version of your website.
Now it’s time to discuss how to make your website better for mobile users.
We asked our chat participants to rate the mobile version of this website on a scale from one to ten. On average, this website scored around five points or less for mobile-friendliness.
Let’s see what seems to be the problem.
Today, people use multiple devices to search for things they need and to make purchases. Therefore, businesses should understand users’ intent across all devices in order to provide the best user experience possible.
Our special guest believes that mobile users’ intent is different from desktop users’ intent. The mobile version of Hamworthy’s website doesn’t include a phone number. The website’s owners can make it easy for their mobile users to directly connect with their company by creating a click-to-call button or link on their site.
Express Writers found the mobile version of the website fairly easy to navigate. Nevertheless, there’s still some room for design improvements. Adapting your mobile design to the way users typically interact with mobile websites is crucial. You can get some fresh ideas and inspiration from these 18 examples of stunning mobile website designs collected by HubSpot.
Many of our chat participants noticed that the website’s load speed is quite slow. Your website’s load speed is crucial for mobile user experience. Medium Blue @MediumBlueSEM gave five points out of ten to the website: “Technically, it’s a mobile-friendly website, but it has a very slow load speed.”
There are several ways to reduce your website’s load speed, including minimizing the size of your images, using CSS3 and HTML5, and applying AJAX.
Just like its desktop version, the mobile version of Hamworthy Heating’s site lacks a clear CTA. “There needs to be some CTA front and center. Consider the mobile user and give them an easy way to convert,” recommended Matthew Young @MatthewAYoung.
Their only call-to-action button leads to their “About Us” page. The main purpose of a call-to-action is to get your visitors to do something on your website. This could be to add a product to their cart, sign up for a free trial, or something else. A good CTA should provide some value and explain what your visitors will get if they click on it. A button that leads to an “About Us” page is unlikely to provide any real value.
Finally, Perfect Search Media noticed that the logo at the top of the page looks pixelated. A pixelated or blurred logo will harm your user experience. You should make sure that your logo is large enough, but not too large. You can also try using an SVG logo instead of a JPG or PNG logo.
Let’s see what we have so far.
Some of our chat participants think that this website is mobile-friendly, while others think it isn’t. Either way, this site’s mobile version is in need of some improvements. Check to see if you have the same issues on your website and, if you do, fix them.
Earning high-quality links is a real art. The old days – when webmasters could easily obtain plenty of links using black hat techniques – have gone. Today, it requires a lot of work and time to earn links that will increase your organic search traffic. Nevertheless, link building remains an important and powerful marketing tool.
We asked our guests to share some creative link-earning techniques for improving this website’s online presence.
Focus your efforts on crafting your content
First of all, our chat participants noticed that Hamworthy Heating publishes a Boiling Point magazine. Matthew Young believes that the company should forgo this magazine in favor of a blog and develop a brand personality through content creation and distribution.
And Ryan Johnson @rsj8000 suggested that Hamworthy repurpose its magazine’s content into content for some industry websites: “They have a magazine. Could they repurpose some of that content for industry or consumer websites?”
Mathias Saint-Jean @Mathias_sjee gave another good piece of advice: that the company should optimize its content for the Google’s Quick Answer Box: “Make it to the Google's Quick Answer Box by creating "advice" and "how-to" content.”
Do competitor research
By conducting competitor research, you can find out what other businesses in your niche are sharing and where they are getting links from. Competitor research will help you understand your competitors’ link profiles, which websites in your industry are providing links, and strategies your rivals are using to acquire links.
Use social listening
Some of our guests also recommended using social media listening to better understand seasonal trends, slow periods and seasonal drop-offs in your niche. This will also help you come up with new ideas and choose seasonal topics for your content.
Turn brand mentions into backlinks
Damon Gochneaur found out that Hamworthy Heating recently acquired two brand mentions that don’t link back to its website. If you discover some unlinked mentions of your brand, you can try to turn them into links. Create a simple, personalized outreach email and then send it to the people who are responsible for these brand mentions, and try to convince them to link to your site.
Finally, it’s crucial to explain to your audience how your business can help them. “For example, how much money could UK businesses save with more efficient heating? Show us – and people will link,” suggested Bill Slawski @bill_slawski.
Got any other tips on how to earn high-quality links to improve your online performance? We would love to hear about your experience!
At the end of our chat, we asked our guests to mention some features of this website that they liked and to give some tips on how to leverage these elements.
First of all, Hamworthy has a lot of great information on its website. It just needs to clean up and simplify that information to improve its user experience.
Ime (Israel Medina) @ime_wsm recommended that Hamworthy turn its downloadable content from its “Technical Library” section into webpages: “The content in the Technical Library is really good – if only they could turn their downloadables into webpages.”
The site also includes free seminars that are very useful for potential clients. The company could turn these seminars into online webinars to attract a larger audience.
Ben Dahlman pointed out that Hamworthy’s XML sitemap is really good. XML sitemaps allow webmasters to include additional information about each of their URLs, informing search engines about their new or updated content and making sure that their content is indexed faster. So it’s difficult to overestimate the importance of XML sitemaps.
Nevertheless, the owners of Hamworthy Heating’s site have to clean up their XML sitemaps. Ben Dahlman also suggested creating an HTML sitemap. While XML was primarily created for search engines, HTML was created for users. An HTML sitemap allows your visitors to easily navigate your website.
Many of our guest experts agreed that the website’s owners should reorganize it in order to make it easier for visitors to navigate through the site and access its most valuable content.
It’s time to sum up our final question.
And so we’ve analyzed yet another website together with the help of our special guest and our other chat participants. Many thanks to Damon Gochneaur and to everyone who made our chat interesting and productive!
Some of these common problems appear on many websites, preventing businesses from growing and thriving online. Be sure to check to see if your website has the same issues and use the tips from this post to fix them.