8 Simple Ways to Take Your Website from “OK” to “Awesome”

Thinking about a website overhaul? Here are eight ideas to incorporate:

  • Pantone color swatches1️⃣ Your color selection process should start with your logo, then take into account your existing marketing pieces. We suggest 3-5 colors as your base palette, then choose a contrasting color – think opposites on the color wheel – for your ‘call to action’ buttons.
  • 2️⃣ Free Google fonts are one of the best ways to incorporate your look into your website, as long as you limit it to 2-3 fonts that match your brand. Using 5 or 10 fonts just because they are available is a rookie mistake; it makes you look unprofessional and slows down your website.
  • 3️⃣ Your contact information and links to your social media pages should appear on every page of your website. We like to include them in the footer, but you can place them in the header, in a sidebar or floating on the edge of your site – just make sure they’re easy to find.
  • 4️⃣ Studies have shown that websites with the logo or name in the top left corner have better name recollection, and visitors find it easier to navigate through the site.
  • 5️⃣ 21% of online donations in 2017 were made with mobile devices and 50% of people surf the web using their smartphones, yet 84% of nonprofit websites display incorrectly on some mobile devices. (Test. Test. Test. And then, test again.) Is your site mobile-friendly? You can check here:
  • 6️⃣ The default WordPress setting for permalinks – the URL to each page – will kill your SEO. Take a look at these two permalinks:
  • WordPress default:
    https://www.heronco.com/?post=661
  • Permalink set to Post Name:
    https://www.heronco.com/8-simple-ways-to-take-your-website-from-ok-to-awesome/
  • Which one do you think is more descriptive? Here’s a hint: search engines look at the URL for clues to page content, which makes the first one useless for your SEO. A much better practice is to enable ‘pretty permalinks,’ using the name of your Post or Page in the Permalink. A simple adjustment to your settings creates the perfect roadmap for Google: from your WordPress Dashboard, go to Settings > Permalinks. From here, click on Post Name and then Save Changes.
  • 7️⃣ If you aren’t using your domain name in your emails, your audience will question your professionalism. If you are a nonprofit, Google’s G-Suite for Nonprofits offers FREE email. Or, if you choose us to host your website, use the 30 @yourdomain emails included with our hosting package. We’ve got a step-by-step guide and free technical assistance to help you set things up.
  • 8️⃣ Make sure you have a clear map for the path you want your visitors to take through your website, and that the “next step” is easy for them to find. Do you want them to Buy Now🛍️, Donate Today💰, Sign Up📧, or just learn more about you? Make sure their next step is obvious.
Speaking of the next step: how’s your website? If it needs help, give me 45 minutes, no strings attached, and I’ll save you hours of time. We’ll talk about what you need for your site, and I’ll help you put together a plan, even if you don’t sign up for our design services. Email me to set up a call. -Leslie Smith, owner