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4 Ways to Improve a Website on a COVID-19 Reduced Budget

By Snap Agency August 10, 2020

During the last several months alone, marketing budgets have been slashed like nobody’s business. A staggering 72% of companies have either reduced or cut their budgets entirely, not seeing advertising as a practical investment at this time. But a decrease in funding doesn’t mean you have to lose the progress you’ve made with your marketing strategy over the years. 

How can websites be improved, and brands continue to stand out with such limited resources? The answers may be even more straightforward than you expected. Here are some ways to tweak your website that won’t break the bank.

1. Simplify That Landing Page

Whether your customers find your website via a search engine or a social media ad, your landing page or homepage is the first glimpse they get of what you do. First impressions matter, even in these uncertain times.

Ask yourself: Can users quickly find the information on your page that brought them to your site in the first place? If not, are the links to that info easy to locate? Is navigating your site an intuitive experience—not one rife with pop-up ads, dead links, or far too many buttons to click? 

Ask yourself some oft-forgotten questions, too: is your landing page (and your site as a whole) mobile-friendly? Could your landing page be perceived as distracting, confusing, or misleading? Do you clearly convey your brand’s mission and what you offer? Remember, your customers are almost certainly not working with your product as much as you are, so what might be evident to you may not be to them. Simplify, simplify, simplify—whenever possible.

2. Optimize Your Navigation

What’s an impeccable homepage if your navigation isn’t up to par? You’ll want your website navigation to be as straightforward and intuitive as possible.

For starters, try eliminating those drop-down menus, as they can be wordy and overwhelming for new users. Apple did it best with their revamped support menu. They start with visuals of each of their devices (iPhone, iPod, Apple Watch, etc.) so that users can click on those images and browse the troubleshooting options for each product. That’s far less cumbersome than a vast drop-down menu or glossary of frequently-asked questions. It’s no wonder the company has such a reputation for offering a user-friendly experience—not just product-wise, but also in customer support.

Another great way to optimize your site’s navigation is to rearrange your menu order, based on what links are the top priority. Place the most important links at either the beginning or end of your menu; these will stand out to customers in the moment and in their memory. 

For example, here at Snap, we have a link to our Services page at the top of our navigation bar, and the link to our Contact page at the bottom. That’s not to say the contact info is the least important—instead, this saves users time scrolling through the menu to locate valuable info. And if you have a social media handle or two, place those in your navigation bar, preferably directly parallel to your site’s navigation tabs (again, see our sidebar for details). You’ll likely see more traffic to your social media platforms when you arrange things in this way than, say, when links are slipped in at the very bottom of your site.

3. Make Those CTAs Easier to Find

Calls to action (CTAs) are an important way to propel conversions, but they won’t work if your customers can’t locate them in the first place!

What are some quick and easy ways to get your CTA buttons noticed and clicked? For one, be sure you’ve made these buttons look clickable. If they don’t look interactive, consider removing other distracting text links, creating complimentary borders, or surrounding CTA buttons with white space. And then, of course, positioning is crucial. We typically read in an F-shaped pattern when perusing web pages, so placing those CTAs at the top of your page, in the right corner or sidebar, is highly recommended. 

Finally, what do the CTAs themselves actually say? If they’re too wordy, users might tune out or not even fully register them at all. Short, concise, action-oriented CTAs are your best bet—for example, “start my free trial” or “get instant access now.” Your customer will have shifted from “reading mode” to “action mode” in no time.

4. Continue to Invest in Digital Marketing, Period

In a recent survey, 42% of respondents cited budget cuts as a “significant challenge” to their business. During times of recession such as these, marketing budgets are often among the first items to be cut. We hear you, and we sympathize—eliminating or reducing any amount of spend is never easy. All the same, we suggest that you evaluate your options before completely saying goodbye to your marketing efforts.

At Snap, we believe that small changes can have massive impacts on lead generation, engagement, and overall success. If you’re looking for cost-effective options or asking yourself, “how do I modernize a website?” during COVID-19, message us today.