Your website might not feel like the highest-priority item on your to-do list, but in today’s digital world, it’s crucial.
30% of aged care users in Australia choose a provider after searching for aged care providers online. In fact, across Australia, there are 5,400 monthly searches for “home assistance”, 4,400 for “NDIS providers” and 1,000 for “disability service providers”.
Your website is often a potential users’ first introduction to you – which means it’s your chance to present and promote your business, explain the services you offer, and create a good impression. To do this, however, your website needs to be easy to find online, simple to navigate and contain the answers to the questions they have.
Here’s a quick guide to what you need to consider when building or reviewing your website. We’ve broken it down into two sections:
- the website content (i.e., the pages and information)
- the technical improvements you can make to keep your website fast and accessible
There are several key web pages that every website needs: an attractive homepage, an ‘About Us’ page, a ‘Contact Us’ or ‘Sign Up’ page and – perhaps most importantly of all – pages that describe the services you offer.
It’s important to have different service pages for each of your target audiences so that you can speak directly to their needs. For example, you might have one page for Disability Support Services and another for Aged Care Services that can address the needs of each group.
These pages should contain some of the most persuasive copy on your website. Explain exactly what your services are and how they benefit your customers. It’s also a good idea to collect testimonials from past customers and showcase them on your services page to provide evidence for any claims you make.
Other common website pages include ‘Why Us?’, ‘Careers’ and ‘FAQs’. Since you’re selling services to Australian consumers, you must also have a ‘Terms & Conditions’ page and a ‘Privacy’ page to remain in compliance with privacy regulations. Link to these two from the website footer to avoid taking up valuable space in your main navigation.
It’s also worth having a regularly updated blog full of relevant and well-written articles. This has multiple benefits. Not only does it help your audience get to know you, but it also builds a relationship of trust and encourages visitors to sign up for your newsletter (if you offer one).
A blog can also improve your chances of ranking well in online searches – plus, it can increase the number of searches you rank for. For example, if you publish a blog post on the ‘Benefits of Care in the Home’, that post may appear when someone searches for the query, “Is home care a good idea?” Meanwhile, because you’ll have more content about in-home care services on your website, your service page about ‘Aged Care Services at Home’ might rank higher in the organic search results as well.
Language & Tone
Be careful with your language when writing blog posts and service pages, and use language that is respectful and inclusive. Avoid terms like ‘old people’ or ‘disabled people’. Although laypeople may refer to ‘disability care’, refrain from using that phrase – stick to ‘disability support’ instead.
Web Design and Technology
Your website doesn’t need to be as flashy as, say, a fin-tech company’s homepage. However, there are some essential points that you should pay attention to that can improve both your visitors’ experience and your website’s ranking in the search results.
Intuitive Website Navigation
Visitors to your site should be able to quickly find the information they’re looking for, as well as how to contact you. Make sure your main navigation menu links out to all key pages. Try doing a few run-throughs: if you were looking for home assistance for a senior relative, could you find the information you were looking for? What about if you needed disability support services for a child?
Few things annoy users as much as a slow website. In fact, Google has discovered that if a web page takes more than three seconds to load, over 50% of visitors leave the site. When pages load slowly and people can’t get the information they need, they’re likely to simply close the tab and find a different provider.
Check how fast your website runs with this tool. If it’s too slow, your web developer can help you implement things like lazy loading and image compression to speed it up.
Over half the world’s searches are now done on mobile devices. Yet websites that work smoothly on desktop often aren’t optimised for mobile. The text is too small, clickable items are too close together or the menu simply doesn’t load properly. Whatever the issue, it’s frustrating for visitors and a sure-fire way to lose potential leads.
Fortunately, your website’s CMS (Content Management System - e.g. WordPress) or this Google Mobile-Friendly Test can help you view how your pages look on mobile so that you can make any necessary changes.
Accessible websites are ones that anyone can use, even if they’re living with a disability, have issues reading small characters on a screen or use a screen reader. An inaccessible website won’t just undermine your brand, it’s against the law and can also damage your search engine rankings.
You can check how accessible your website is here. To improve on it, consider font sizes, screen-reader compatible web pages, image tags, accessible forms, inclusive colour schemes and keyboard-friendly browsing. If you’re not sure how to do these things, a web developer can help you.
Following these recommendations will ensure that your website is easy-to-use, no matter whether visitors are on their mobile, living with a disability or simply not tech-savvy. They’ll be able to find all the information they need – which means they’re more likely to contact you to inquire about your services.
What’s more, adopting these best practices will optimise your website for search engines and increase your likelihood of ranking at the top of the relevant organic search results pages.
If you’re interested in learning more about boosting your SEO, read on for the 9 things you can do today to rank #1 on Google.