If you have a website, or are looking at investing then this quick guide is a great place to start. Most businesses these days contact a web designer and have work done for them based on what looks good and suits their business image. And whilst thats important to stick with it can’t be the focus of website development otherwise the point has been missed. Outlined below are a list of 5 key factorswhich determine how successful a website will be when placed live on the internet.
Actively Pursue More Traffic
It doesn’t just happen by itself. There are a huge amount of things which can be done to achieve more traffic to your website, and whilst the large majority of these cost money there are some affordable methods which can be extremely effective.
There best solution to attaining more traffic is a balanced approach and dipping your hand in every jar, rather than focusing solely on one form of advertising, however this usually comes down to a budget issue. It’s important to understand where your customers are coming from and target your advertising campaigns to appear in this medium. Below is a list of advertising mediums you could look into:
Google Adwords, Search Engine’s Organic Listing, Google Places, eMail Campaigns, LetterBox Drop, Mail Campaigns, Television, Radio, Viral Marketing, Social Media, Word of Mouth, Local Business Listings, Directory Services, Press Releases, Newspaper and Media Coverage.
Invest In Your Website By Using Graphic Designers and Photographers
Professional photography doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg (don’t get me wrong, it usually does), but it does look great and adds credibility to your site. A lot of customers these days are very fickle and if your site doesn’t have nice images they think “Well this one doesn’t look very nice, I’ll go back to Google and check the next one”. There are plenty more websites with visually appealing pictures to view, so why would they stay on yours. Seems silly but we’ve all done it. Please, for your own sake, resist the urge to place up photos that have been taken by yourself or a friend, unless you have no alternative.
Most web design companies won’t include this, and if they do they have probably included this in the price somewhere already to cater for it. Using a graphic designer can greatly increase the visual appeal of the website. “But shouldn’t web designers be doing that?” No, not necessarily. Believe it or not there is a large difference between the two and those who are employed as graphic designers focus solely on the graphic elements whilst web designers focus on layout, colours, themes, on-site optimisation, hosting, domain, contact form, e-commerce carts and more.
Use Product/Service Relevant Text With Easy To Follow Site Navigation
When you are developing your website there is excitement in the air, however that quickly turns to boredom as you realise you’re the one who has to collect the images and write all your product/service text. The temptation is to copy relevant information of the net or reduce the amount of text that was initially requested. Websites with larger amounts of relevant text are seen by search engines to be experts in their fields, so it’s important to generate original and relevant text.
With all this text it’s then crucial to have a navigational system that is easy to follow from any level of your website. Including links at the top, bottom and side of your pages means users can get lost in your website with always knowing that can get back to a page they may need.
Display Your Contact Details On Every Page
Depending on what your websites purpose is it’s usually important to have a clear method of contact on every page of your website. Especially the home page and contact pages. I re-designed many sites which don’t even have contact details on the contact page, brilliant.
If you have invested in some form of search engine optimisation, Google Adwords or Organic Rankings, then you obviously are trying to convert traffic into sales. In this case it’s even more important to have clear contact details on the landing page (the page where your user is first directed to). To drastically increase conversion rates place a video and contact form on this page too. You won’t believe the increase in conversion rates, (Google Analytics can measure this for you).
Ensure Your Website Loads Quickly
Humans are impatient creatures, and as such we don’t like anything to take too long. So make sure your website loads quickly. Too many large images on a site can affect this. Google’s Webmaster Tools rates how quickly your site loads, so they obviously think it’s an important factor to stay aware of.
Use A Clear Call To Action
A lot of websites simply try and advertising a service, and miss the big picture. People like to see a website which is easy to use and a site where they understand what is required of them when they get there. Having clear ‘Call To Actions’ means your site leads your customers to perform the task you want them to.
A simple example of a ‘Call To Action’ is having a button or contact form on the home page which show them what you want them to do. In our case, we know people want to see work we’ve done and get a price, so we have a link to the portfolio in the slideshow banner, and a button which links out to the contact form so they can get what they want quickly.