Like everything else in business, you need to have a website plan in place to ensure it not only works well but also meets your organisation’s particular purpose. Viewers today have high expectations when it comes to browsing and shorter attention spans than ever before. If you don’t catch their attention in the first few seconds, then they will move on to your competitor’s site quicker than you can ask, “Hello, how can I help you today?”
On the flip side, if your website is poorly created or looks unprofessional, then they won’t even give you a second chance. If you sit down and plan a site strategically to meet your aims and that of your customers, then you will have a higher chance of success. Your goal is always to use the best tools at your disposal to maximise your profits.
So what exactly makes a good website?
Make sure your website is easy to use
Overcomplicated websites are a thing of the past. Today’s website visitors expect to get their information rapidly at the touch of a button. Therefore simplicity is necessary, particularly in light of the significant number of people accessing your website from mobile devices. Visit your website from your customer’s point of view.
Ask yourself these and other similar questions. Is the “Contact Us” page up to date and easy to find? Can people purchase from you immediately, without delay? Is the overall viewing experience a positive one? If yes, then you are on the right track.
Write compelling and error-free content
No matter how good the aesthetics are, if the content does not match the design, then it is hardly worth the bother. To gain new followers, keep current ones and generate valuable leads, the content needs to be relevant and of a relatively high standard. Original content is especially useful for small to medium businesses to engage the attention of the search engines. Google, in particular, rewards websites publishing original and consistent content with higher ranking.
So what should you be focusing on?
- Always provide compelling headlines and actionable content.
- Answer your viewer’s questions and respond to their needs.
- Link to third party content to rank higher in the search engines.
- Regularly add new content from an original point of view.
- Spellcheck and proofread each post before you hit the publish button.
- Avoid long verbose posts for the sake of it; short posts are worthwhile too.
Add bold and relevant visuals for emphasis
A clever use of visuals can assist the engagement of your website’s content. Mix your blog posts up with videos, diagrams and pictures to help illustrate your point with more clarity. Be bold if necessary, but similarly to your choice of text, only add images that increase the content’s value or help reiterate the subject matter.
Unnecessary or ineffective stock photos can be left off entirely. Too many large images on your website can slow down the loading time. Reduce the size wherever possible before uploading.
Avoid overcomplicated navigation ideas
If you have a complex design causing people to get lost in the pages, they will quickly turn away. Having an organised and easy to follow navigation system will assist in a more positive user experience. While navigation trends are moving away from the traditional models we have seen in the past thanks to better technology and increased mobile usage, there still needs to be some semblance of organisation.
In the early stages of your business operation, it is best to ask friends and family to visit your website to confirm it is easy to navigate. Losing visitors to overcomplicated ideas will defeat your purpose.
Add a conversion to leads and sales
Your overall aim should be clear: focus on a conversion to leads and sales wherever possible. If it is your intention to monetise your blogging efforts in some way, then you will need to make certain you are guiding your viewers in the right direction. There is not much point sending people to your website if you cannot convert any of them into paying customers, unless you are purely an information portal.
Google Analytics is a valuable tool for business owners when it comes to understanding the behaviour of your visitors. It will help you see their patterns, browsing behaviour and what subjects tend to catch their attention the most.
Often it is easier to figure out what makes a poorly planned website rather than identify the attributes of a well organised one. When in doubt avoid overly busy designs, a mix of bright colours, inconsistent branding, complicated navigation setups, large images and incomplete content. By doing so, you are well on the way to creating something that others may just want to read. Quality promotes trust, and that is what will underscore all of your business transactions in the future.