One of the most important elements of a brand’s web presence is its website. But it’s no longer sufficient to just have a vanilla website – user experience, layout, and design play a critical role in the way prospects and current clients perceive a brand. In fact, 38% of visitors will not engage with a website if the content or layout is not appealing.
From attractive designs to engaging content on the site itself, you need to envision what message your website should be sending out to the visitors.
What website creation success drivers to be aware of?
As you might be aware, developing, designing, and growing a website isn’t a one-time task that you decide to complete in a day. Rather, it’s an endless endeavor that flourishes with time and efforts.
Launching a new website often gets challenging. Brands approach it assuming they have to be all things to its users. However, that’s not how it works. People do not want more, they want less.
Phew, that pressure is not less! Luckily, the following 15 pointers will guide you through the process of creating an attractive website that persuades visitors to become loyal customers.
- Choose your Unique Domain Name and Host
When building a website, a lot of people make this common mistake: they think of the future, and far ahead. People think of marketing their website prior to setting a solid foundation for it.
If you are in the process of building a website or starting an online business, the foremost thing you should do is to research relevant domain options and your hosting. When you choose a domain name for your website, it’s crucial to focus on how long it is, is it easy to spell, can it be memorized, and undoubtedly, is it relevant to your business?
Ensuring a good web hosting firm and owning a unique domain name is just as important as providing top-notch services. Your web hosting firm should be able to measure and put up with the traffic growth. You reap what you sow. So shortlisting the least expensive web host service provider may not prove to be the wisest choice.
- Use Backend Services and Open Source Content Management Systems (CMS)
Back-end signifies the server-side which you don’t see while using the internet. Back-end developers typically work in systems like operating systems, servers, APIs, and manage content, code for security, and website structure.
On the other hand, a content management system (CMS) is used to manage and create web content through a series of programs. While CMS is not required for building a website, but it is useful for blogging and e-commerce.
The main motive of your website will determine whether or not you need a CMS. Here’s a list of the most used and highly rated systems by Google:
- A Clean Responsive Design
While designing a website, it is very important to take into consideration the different devices used for accessing the web, especially mobile phones. A clean and bold design will easily grab attention and make it easy for users to browse.
Bold designs make a statement, whereas jumbled websites make users switch the tab before you get the opportunity of presenting who you are. A clean design helps in communicating better and also to make the right features pop up!
As much as having a polished website is necessary, having a responsive website design is equally important. By designing your website for every device and everyone, you will be able to grow your site rankings, attract more customers, and reduce bounce rates.
- Seamless Usability and Navigation
Even though it may seem less important, but it is extremely critical. Your website’s navigation design has a big role to play in terms of your success or failure. It impacts your website’s traffic, search engine rankings, user-friendliness, as well as conversions. Here’s your go-to guide –
- Don’t go overboard with dropdown menus. Understand that they are good for helping users choose from a large list.
- Use straightforward horizontal or vertical navigation. Viewers are familiar with it and you wouldn’t want to confuse them.
- Make use of text links rather than inserting buttons. They load faster and are more search-friendly.
- Avoid overloading your homepage navigation. It confuses the visitors and impacts your SEO.
- Source of Contact
Your website is your online call to action. If your potential customers or visitors feel the need to get in touch with you and have to struggle for the same, then your site has lost its purpose.
An email address, functional phone number, a query form, or a drop down that assists a request for more details is essential.
- Page Load Speed
User patience is majorly tested by slow page loading, critical content resting at the bottom after a long scroll, and overlapping texts as the screen contracts. Any site with a fast page load speed strengthens user engagement.
It improves the chances of user-retention and boosts conversions. Even the slightest of delay in the page load decreases user interest. Here’s a list of things you can do to increase speed and optimize site performance –
- Use compressed images in the right format and size
- Make use of content delivery networks (CDN). It helps in improving the page rank and performance too.
- Use limited plugins as much as possible. They hamper performance.
- Search Engine Friendly Site
In a constantly evolving SEO space, it is difficult to gauge the right signals that can boost a site’s rankings. Even so, with the help of things listed below, you can increase your visibility –
- Use high-quality, unique, and relevant content on your site
- Make it visually pleasing
- Incorporate well-researched keywords
- Keep adding new content
- Refrain from duplicate content, your ranking will lower down
- One-Size-Fits-All Approach
It is important to have a website that works seamlessly, irrespective of what the device is. There are a host of sizes and ratios of mobile devices. With numerous browsers in existence, your content gets processed differently.
Designing your website with a “one-size-fits-all” approach is a challenge in itself. If your visitors fail to find your website user-friendly, they will bounce off instantly. Businesses should focus on building a distinctive website with a unique URL that’s separate from your main website. This helps to offer a fast and user-friendly experience for visitors using smaller screens of mobile phones.
While talking about having a responsive site, remember to code and choose the right layout for your website which provides the finest viewing experience to the user. A responsive site should offer the utmost ease while reading the content.
It should provide seamless navigation with minimal scrolling, resizing and panning across different devices – be it a desktop or a mobile phone.
- Do not Hesitate to Show-Off
Since you are newly designing a website and making your web presence, it is important for you to showcase your work and prove your experience.
This helps in building trust among new clients and restoring faith in the new ones so that they’re aware that the time, energy, and money invested on your site is worthwhile. If you have had happy customers and clients in the past, consider seeking their profiles and adding testimonials whenever possible. This is one subtle way of projecting your work.
The best testimonials should possess the following characteristics –
Remember, that not all customer testimonials can be similar. If you can get a few testimonials from high-profile clients, in every way, utilize it. Follow these guidelines for posting testimonials on your website and you’re sure to win your prospects’ trust while augmenting the credibility of your business.
- Compelling Blog
A blog has the capacity of bringing in more visitors on your website via inbound marketing. With every single blog post that gets added on your site, it adds up as an indexed page. This is one effective way of showing up in search engines.
Blogs are interesting, engaging, and interactive; they’re also widely shared on social media. This brings in a lot of exposure for your brand. Your blog contributes to establishing your brand with identity and authority. Blog content attracts more readers, drives engagement, and induces conversions.
- Fix a Budget for Running your Website
Fixing a realistic budget begins with understanding what you want your website to do or how you want it to perform. Have a look at some of these essential areas –
- Layout & Design – Will a standard WordPress theme suffice your need? How much customization do you want? Do you need a personalized design? This is the foremost budget driver.
- Content – What quality of content do you need? How much content will you need? Here, content means copywriting
- Functionality – Do you need a basic contact information form or a customized one? Will you be optimizing your site for search engines? Will free downloads be available on your site? Do you need e-commerce? If yes, what are the different payment options you plan to offer?
List down these questions; contemplate on the answers to determine the budget required to make your website functional. The total cost of these essentials will give you an idea of the expense required to build and maintain your website.
- State your Marketplace and Target Audience
There’s only one way of sustaining in any industry – do your best and deliver what your audiences need. If you don’t constantly endeavor to become the best within your competitors and the whole of market, dig in a little closer to understand it.
What makes you stand out? In what areas are you better than your competitors? Affirmative responses to all these questions will define your position. If you wish to have a competitive benefit in your industry, do what others are not doing.
A website without any clarity on its audience and market will only cost you time, energy, and money in abundance while providing very little, or negligible benefit.
- Consider having a Plan of Action
Every business website has a purpose of its own. If you want your website to be a temple of information for people to visit, make sure that you build one that aligns with your goals.
If you want to run an e-commerce site that sells products and entices potential customers to shop, you have to design it with the same purpose in mind. In the end, it is you who knows and understands the mission and vision of your brand more than anybody else. So have a plan that flourishes in no time.
- Don’t Underestimate the Power of Social Media
Social media should work hand-in-hand with your website to promote your brand. Place your social media icons either in the footer or header on every page of your site.
A lot of website owners forget to insert the social media icons on “contact us” or “about us” page. Don’t make it difficult for your visitors to find you instantly on social media – that may increase your website’s bounce rate if they lose interest.
Make sure your blogs are shareable since this will increase your website’s exposure.
This is yet another way of making your goals clear to your target audiences by utilizing call-to-action. You want them to shop on your site? Communicate it.
Add a sign-up form on your page if you eagerly want them to sign up for your newsletter. Your CTAs should be –
- Visually appealing
- To the point
- Clear and easily understandable
- Easily viewable to see from a distance
- Output oriented
It’s Not a One-day Show!
Once you’ve built your website and it’s gone live, you are halfway through. You have taken the first bold step of launching it. But your work doesn’t end there; a website is never completely up-to-date. As the market changes, as you add more products or services to your business, you need to incorporate all the new elements. Adapt to complex designs, templates, software, and things like SEO. These 15 pointers to execute represent days and months of hardcore planning. After all, things built from long-term perspective need to have a solid foundation.