Written by Brad McElroy
You need to create a website; we already covered that here. Now, how do you create one that’s actually successful? After all, it just needs to generate traffic, generate sales, and generate customers. Sounds easy, right? It actually is… when you know what you’re doing. There are many ways to measure the success of a website. From getting thousands of clicks a day to thousands of purchases a day, your website should have at least one clear action in mind for the user to take — buy the product, read the article, contact us. Here’s how you capture that user with these six elements every successful website should have.
Before you ever put in that first line of code, you should have a clear idea of what your website’s ultimate goal is. Maybe you want to sell products, gain more subscribers for your newsletter, or encourage your customers to contact you about the services you provide. All of this should be clearly defined before you start building your website. If not, you may build a site that’s disorganized, hard to use, and confusing. By creating your website with a specific end goal in mind, you have a clear reference point to keep you on track and help you identify areas of success and improvement for your business after the site has launched.
A good marketing strategy can move mountains and the masses when it clearly understands its audience. Good design and good content work together to create a good website. How you speak to your audience is just as important as how you design to them. Learn what excites your audience, what gets them engaged with your content, and what inspires them to reach for their card, and you’ll have a successful website that converts a visitor into a loyal customer.
User experience (UX) covers how a website feels to a visitor when they land on your page and how they interact with it. Having simple navigation, fast and responsive load times, and design that isn’t visually cluttered help create a user experience that can either make or break your entire business — literally. In fact, in a recent study from Forrester Research, a well-designed user interface can raise a website’s conversion rate by up to 200%. And according to InVision, 88% of customers are not likely to return after a bad experience. Let’s hope the other 12% love long load times while they talk on their landline. They can visit your competitor for that experience.
Even if you just want to build a landing page, you need to have content of some kind on your site. Average content might get the job done, but engaging, insightful content that speaks directly to who is visiting your site will have customers throwing money at their computer screen — and into your business. How do you do this? Make sure your content adds value. To put it simply, good content should always do two things, sometimes both at once: provide insightful information about your business or service and entice the customer to take a specific action. If not, that visitor may go back to Google to find a competitor that is doing those things and doing them well. At the end of the day, customers like to know what they’re supposed to do when they visit your website. Generating website traffic is nice, but converting visitors into customers is even nicer.
Let’s get this out of the way: you don’t want to be on Google’s second page. That’s every business’ nightmare. Search engine optimization (SEO) prevents that from happening. But it also does a little bit more than that.
From the technical side of things, SEO covers your site’s link structure, canonicalizes your site’s pages, identifies crawl errors and broken links, provides site performance metrics, and so much more. SEO also covers submitting your site to a search engine so the “spiders,” automated programs that index sites, find your site and include it in search results faster. All of this works together to prevent your site from confusing search engine algorithms and potentially reducing your rank. That’s how you end up on Google’s second page.
Then, there’s the content side of SEO. If visitors traffic your site often because of the authoritative information you provide, that’s going to signal Google that your page is popular and should be ranked higher, and ultimately generate more free traffic for your business. You can also include short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords that users are searching for when they visit Google. Those phrases in your content will help you appear at the top of the list, but don’t overdo it. Mindlessly plugging in keywords to trick search engines will only hurt you in the long run. After all, the second page of Google may be scary, but that’s nothing compared to the third page.
Okay, so this one is not exactly related to website design or website creation, but it can definitely help you attract customers to your website. After all, generating traffic is an effective benchmark of a successful website — you can’t sell to the nonexistent. Besides, if your competitors are on social and you’re not, you’re not being competitive.
Get on social and advertise your product, your service, your location, your story, your brand. Give customers a chance to find you on Instagram and Facebook to maximize your reach online. Take a chance on email marketing by sending monthly newsletters to your growing list of subscribers that help you stay on the top of your customers’ minds or offer them exclusive email promos. Those are just some of the ways to make your digital marketing efforts work for your digital market. Live online and live social. You won’t regret it, and neither will your website.
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