Essential Tips for Creating a Successful Website
What Makes a Website Successful?
When clients contact us about their web design project, they usually don’t have a very effective online presence. That is why they are talking to us in the first place. But what exactly makes your online presence engaging and effective? Well, that depends on your business. Some businesses simply want to get more brand recognition. Others want to sell a product or service. And some just want you to know where they are. But it all hinges on creating a successful website.
You see, when visitors first arrive on your site or e-commerce store, they will have certain expectations. They have a certain goal in mind that they want to achieve on your site. Visitors want to take a certain action on your site. That could be signing up for your newsletter, finding out your store hours, or buying a product. This process has to be simple and provide the best possible user experience. Now you are beginning to see why creating a successful website is so critical to your online reach and engagement.
Creating a Successful Website
For most businesses and brands, creating a successful website will not happen quickly or easily. It will take time, effort, and resources. There are lots of different web design considerations you must take into account. And you will need to consider your website to be an actual business investment and budget for web design costs. If you are planning to launch an online store you need to avoid common e-commerce design mistakes.
There are two basic options for creating a successful website for your business or product brand. Especially small business owners frequently attempt to build their own website. But there are a number of reasons why building your own business website is not a good idea for most business owners. Which is why most businesses opt for hiring a professional web designer or agency. By working with a professional you can save yourself a lot of time and frustration, and most often money as well.
Regardless of which option works best for you, there are a few key factors for creating a successful website. This infographic from Feldman Creative illustrates 21 tips for creating a great website to get you started thinking about this.
21 Tips for Creating a Great Website
Infographic courtesy of Feldman Creative
Key Factors for Creating a Successful Website
Define Your Goals
The first step in creating a successful a successful website is to set realistic goals. What are your expectations for your online presence? And what expectations does your target audience have? Your new website will only generate traffic, leads, and sales when you make sure you have what your target audience wants, and you can provide that for them in a user-friendly way.
Defining goals for both your organization and your target users should be fairly easy to do. And it is absolutely essential! Because if your goals and your audience expectations don’t align, then you will likely have a problem. It is no use to you, the business owner, to invest time and money into a site only to learn that no one wants or understands why they should buy from you. And this will happen when you focus too much on your goals, and not on your target audience.
The next step in creating a successful website is to earn the trust of your target audience. Remember, when they first arrive on your website, they know little or nothing about you. You must be clear and transparent in what you are offering and what you want your audience to do.
Know what motivates your visitors, and how that relates to your strengths, and leverage that. All too often websites lack the emotional or credibility connections needed to earn trust and make the sale.
One simple way to earn the trust of your target audience is to have a comprehensive and effective “About Us” page. Website visitors want to know who they are doing business with and not that you’re just another online presence or ill-defined brand. Visitors care about your intentions. Even the most cost-conscious consumers need to feel that you’re a legit business before providing credit card details.
If you want to create an effective website, you need to stand out. Differentiation is key if you want to rise above the digital noise, and your online competitors. Yes, you can still use a website template and look different. By customizing imagery and styles tailoring them to your brand, you can stand out.
This goes along with earning trust. When you tell your story and create factors like price, quality, customer service, what you do with profits, how you give back, etc., you create the bond needed to stand out from the rest of the templated sites selling the same products or services.
Focus on Usability & User Experience
An essential aspect of creating a successful website is website usability and user experience. You need to make it as easy as possible for your audience to consume the content they need, and otherwise interact with your site.
If you have products or services, make sure that users can get to the appropriate pages with the fewest clicks possible. Don’t assume that a user is willing to click several times to get to your products or other content. Especially mobile consumers are getting ever more impatient. Keep that in mind as your focus on your site design and content.
Start with an intuitive navigation menu optimized for mobile and desktop devices and screen sizes. Think about the placement of your search box and other cues to get to popular content. Keep in mind that mobile users are likely to use only one hand to scroll on their device. Have you placed all important content and buttons so they are easy to reach with your thumb?
Keep Design Simple
Design, like art is subjective. But it’s safe to say that there are some golden rules you should always strive to follow. Keep it clean, simple and elegant.
Your visitors should not have to think about what your website is about, or worse, how to use it. They should intuitively grasp your message. Use strong and clear call to actions. A clear information architecture allows them to navigate to required content within seconds upon landing on your web page. Always design appropriately to fit your target audience and industry.
Navigation and site architecture should not exclude search engine spiders. Be sure to include a text link-based sitemap so the entire site structure is accessible for the search engines.
Create Engaging Content
Quality content is key for creating a successful website. Content that is topical, compelling and well composed will always acquire links naturally over time. Research is vital for creating quality content. You don’t need to have insider information or doctorate’s degree in your field.
The information is out there, you just need to be smart about how to piece it together. For example, you can compile information that has not been presented before. Quality always trumps quantity. It is better to have 10 solid articles, than 100 mediocre ones.
Use Reliable Hosting
Always try to get a dedicated IP address for your domain. And always use a hosting provider that is reputable and does not host questionable or spammy websites. A good hosting provider should offer specialized services for your WordPress website, perform regular backups, and provide other support services. Of course, a solid up-time record is essential as well. We recommend WPEngine, Kinsta, Siteground and BlueHost.
If you can afford it, submit your site to link building directories such as Yahoo Directory and Business.com. Dmoz is also a highly recommended directory. However, getting listed in one of the main categories is next to impossible these days. Try to drill down to a smaller or localized category for a better chance of inclusion.
Nearly every industry or keyword sector has an authority web hub or directory. Take the time to review their guidelines and submit your site. You can also develop a widget to share your content that contains a link back to your website.
Reciprocal or link exchanges do not work as well as it once did. But that doesn’t mean you should totally avoid doing this. Research and contact sites that are “authoritative” or ranking well in your desired keywords and ask for a link exchange.
Remember SEO Fundamentals
The final step in creating a successful website is to have it indexed by search engines and found by your target audience. Start by researching your industry, competitors and tools thoroughly to compile a list of keywords for your website pages. Tools like Google’s Adwords Tool is very useful in determining keyword traffic, competitiveness and relevancy.
Be realistic about the keywords you want to target. It’s fine to try to go for top rankings in “financial services”, but unless you have a huge budget, you will be in for a very frustrating experience. Instead try to go for the low hanging fruit (e.g. “City + Financial Services”) initially, and then expand from there when you generate a steady income stream from your site.
Once you have compiled your target keywords, be sure to follow these basic on-site and on-page SEO rules.
- Have unique title and description meta tags for each page.
- Spread your keywords or keyphrases in the title, description and H1 through H6 tags, but don’t overdo it.
- Always ensure the keywords you choose are relevant to the content on that specific page.
Final Thoughts on Successful Website Creation
If you want to succeed online in 2019 creating a successful website is absolutely essential. You only have a few seconds to attract and engage your audience and convince them you are the best choice for them. It does not matter what industry you serve, or what kind of products you sell.
Creating a successful website is not as hard as many people think. Yes, it does take some time and effort on your part. And you will want to avoid fatal website errors that will spell certain disaster after you launch your website. And always keep in mind that your website needs to deliver an effective online marketing message.
Creating a successful website is essential if you want to provide the best possible user-experience for ever more sophisticated and demanding mobile consumers. However, mobile-first web design can get tricky, and you may require some professional help. If you are not sure how or where to get started we are here to help.
Do You Create a Successful Website?
Did you create a successful website for your business or product brand? If so, how has this helped your brand meet its business objectives? If not, what is the biggest obstacle you face creating a successful website and online presence? Do you have other problems with your business website design? Please feel free to let us know so our audience can benefit as well and grab our feed so you don’t miss our next post! And feel free to share our post with your audience!
Thank you! We appreciate your help to end bad business websites, one pixel at a time!