You know how important your website is to your small business.

Even though you see your clients in person, many people find you through your website. Even existing clients use your website to find out information about hours, pricing, and to schedule appointments.

But with the ever-increasing amount of businesses being opened, and the sheer volume of competitors within a few blocks from you, it may be time to have a second look at your website and improve the user experience.

Because if a new or existing client can’t figure out how to schedule an appointment, or can’t find a way to contact you through your website, you risk losing them forever.

Here are five simple changes you can make to your website right now to instantly improve the user experience:

1. Make Sure It’s Easy to Contact You

It might sound obvious, but if potential clients who land on your web page aren’t able to contact you, they aren’t going to dig for very long.

In fact, tragically, our attention spans have been reduced to an 8 second average.

If you don’t give your website visitors what they want within 8 seconds, they will leave – and probably forever.

If you don’t already have one, make sure you add a highly visible “contact” page on your website.

An alternative is to add your contact information at the top of your homepage so you don’t lose potential clients out of the frustration of digging.

2. Don’t Give Your Visitors Too Much to Do

We know what it’s like to want to harness the power of social media.

It’s exciting when your business’s Facebook page gets another like, or your Instagram account scores another follower.

And as tempting as displaying your social media accounts on your website can be, consider removing those buttons and icons at least from your home page.

Why?

Well, your website should have one purpose. One call-to-action. What do you want your visitors to do?

Ultimately, you likely want them to book an appointment with you.

That should be the most prominent call-to-action on your website.

The social media icons, links, and other pages distract from your main goal. Don’t forget about that 8-second attention span.

Imagine how ineffective it is for your visitor’s 8 seconds of attention to be used not knowing what to focus on.

3. Include Proof of Your Good Work

You do great work.

There’s no doubt about that.

But you need to prove that to the visitors to your website who don’t know that.

On your website, include social proof by posting pictures of your work, including testimonials from happy clients, and perhaps even showing off your equipment or working space.

For example, if you’re a hair stylist, take before and after pictures of your clients hair and post them to your website. Ask your clients for testimonials that you can quote on your home page. Include photos of your salon, the products you use and the relaxing atmosphere you provide.

These small tweaks can draw in far more clients, making your website work harder for you.

Just be sure to get permission from your clients to use their photos and testimonials.

4. Be Glaringly Obvious

Take a look at your website.

When a new visitor finds it, will they know what you do and what it’s about at first glance?

If you’re not sure, ask a friend or somebody objective to check it out.

Sometimes, we assume that the people landing on our websites will know why they are there. Or we assume that because we know what we do, everyone else does, too. But that’s simply not the case.

If it’s not glaringly obvious what your website is about and what services you offer, the unfortunate reality is that the visitor won’t stick around to find out. So it’s your job to keep them on your web page.

Include a tagline in your header stating what services you offer and who you offer them too.

If you’re a massage therapist, you may think that your website, “Carla’s Massage” is obvious. But take it a step further to indicate exactly what you do. Indicate who you offer the services to, and where:

“Carla’s Massage: Post Natal Massage Therapy in Laguna Beach, California”.

Ensure that your message is cohesive, right down to the colors you use. It would be quite confusing to visit a spa website with a red background, for instance.

Make your purpose glaringly obvious to capture more clients.

5. Be Personal

In the Relational Economy, relationships are everything, and websites in the Relational Economy need to reflect that.

While it may not be appropriate for a technology firm to be personal, as a service-based business, your website needs to reflect you.

Have a warm welcome message. Include a photograph of yourself, or you working.

Include information about yourself on your “About” page instead of just your business.

Potential clients want to know who they are doing business with. They want to know they’re in good hands when they take their dog to be groomed by you, or take their child to have their haircut by you.

Let a bit of your personality shine through on your website and let clients connect with you!

These small, simple tweaks will make your business website far more effective. With an effective website, you will be able to capture more clients and book more appointments, helping you maximize your income and your reach.