If you are about to create your first website or are redoing an existing one, it is important to understand what creates a successful website.
The three main elements include:
1. Clean, simple design with easy to follow navigation system
2. Information, information, information
People generally go online to find information, to be entertained or to connect with their family and friends. If your website can tick all these boxes, you will be far ahead of everyone else.
1. Website design
When it comes to website design, you should select a colour scheme and stick to it. Choose colours that complement your logo and keep them consistent on every page. Check out Go Oz Home & Garden Care website for an example of good use of colour consistency.
Keep colours consistent throughout the website
Provide an easy to follow navigation bar to ensure your visitors can find what they are looking for. People are generally used to looking at the top or left hand side, so give them what they expect. You can also include your navigation at the bottom, especially if your pages are long. Check out Your Health Naturally website for a clean, simple navigation bar.
Easy to follow navigation bar
Stay away from special effects as they tend to slow down the website load time. And people are not going to stick around if they have to wait too long.
If you have links pointing to other websites, make sure they open up in a new window, so that when your visitor is done viewing the other website, they return back to yours.
Whilst it is ideal to have a clean, professional looking website, it is far more important that you focus your attention on the content of your website. When visitors are looking at your site, they want the information, there and then. They are not going to wait until they can call you to find out what they need, instead they will go somewhere else.
Some of the important details to include are:
Product / Service details
Frequently Asked Questions
Return / Refund Policy
Links to useful websites
Links to your social networks
Check out Ceremonies with Style for an example of a website with excellent content and good use of testimonials.
Provide Great Content Including Testimonials From Happy Customers
Your website should be updated regularly. Whenever something changes in your business, make sure you update your website.
And don’t forget the search engines, while you are writing your content. Add keywords that people use to search for your business within the copy of your pages, titles, headings, meta tags and image alt tags.
Online you are competing with thousands of other websites from your industry, so make sure you stand out from the rest by showing your visitors that you are reliable and trustworthy. This can be done by including:
- Testimonials and references from happy customers
- Before and after photos
- Details of reputable trade associations you belong to
- Awards your business or staff have won
- Media articles your business has appeared in
- Portfolio of projects you have completed
- Product reviews that appear on other website
If you build these elements into your website, you have a much better chance of succeeding online and getting ahead of your competition. Creating a website is not a one off exercise. You need to keep working on it, as the online world constantly changes and evolves.