With more and more businesses competing online, it is increasingly important to create a user-friendly, engaging and functional website in order to maintain your business’ internet presence. Through careful planning and some wise investments you can create a website that captures and keeps people’s attention.
The success of your website will largely depend on how easily visitors can find it. Even with a large amount of promotion, websites with complicated or forgettable domain names will not be visited. Good domain names are short and unique, suggestive of your business category, easy to interpret and pronounce and easy to remember.
The first area of your website that needs planning is the content. Remember that the internet exists to provide useful, relevant and free information. Visitors to your site will judge the usefulness of your website in the first 7-10 seconds. Here are a few ways you can capture and keep their attention.
Your homepage should be error-free, clean and concise in expressing your website’s purpose. There should be clear navigation using text rather than images on the toolbar. Break up the text with headings, captions, images and videos to keep the visitor awake. Regularly update the content of your website to give people a reason to return often. Also, encourage user interaction by providing a space for comments or video and image uploads. People are more likely to return if they feel a part of your community.
Throughout your website, avoid information overload by sticking to key points in each section. Use a readable font size and have a focal point on each page. The focal point should express the central purpose of that section of the website and take up the most space on the page. Balance all your content with an aesthetic amount of “white space.” This will help visitors make sense of the information in each area.
This is an area where it might be worth investing in some outside help. Unless you have a talent for website design, it will pay to hire a designer to create the layout of your site. You do not need anything fancy, but a successful website is unique enough to catch and keep visitors’ attention.
Some things to consider in the design of your website are an attractive color scheme, fun animation or user interaction and easy navigation. Be sure the navigation appears on every page of the site to be user-friendly. Also, the animation and interactive elements are an opportunity to add some fun to your website. Studies show that people are more likely to use things that have an element of fun to them. Remember that users will likely judge your website “by the cover” so it needs to be an attractive and memorable one.
Visitors will continue to use a website that is accessible to them. Be sure that your website is regularly updated to check for and correct dead links. Test your website on real people to be sure that it is user-friendly and make any necessary adjustments.
You will also improve your SEO factor and user experience by having a website that loads quickly. Although it is more expensive, dedicated server hosting will be more reliable and faster than shared hosting.
The final step in creating a successful website is promoting your website wherever and whenever possible. Use social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Comment on related blogs and mention your website. Be active in forums and guest post frequently on well-established blogs. If you need to, you can pay for ads. The more your website gets mentioned the more people will visit it, and the more it is visited the greater your SEO factor. You just have to get the ball rolling.
In order to compete in today’s market, your business needs a quality website. Through careful planning, creative thinking and investing in the right products and services, you will be well on your way to online success.