Secrets of a Successful Website
Websites need to have a clearly defined purpose. Visitors should be able to understand who you are and what you have to offer within the first few minutes. Relevant and original content that is well-written will keep your visitors interest. Remove any irrelevant information from your site as it may lose your readers attention and lower your position within a search engine.
Keep it simple, user friendly websites keep the navigation consistent from page to page. Everything should be easy to find. A link to the HOME page must be on every page within the website. Index pages and search bars are helpful for large websites.
A good-looking website is more appealing. Use quality graphics and images. Spend time studying design or use a designer to create a visually enjoyable site. The most popular resolution for a monitor is 1024 x 768 pixels. Never force horizontal scrollbars to appear, unless there is a compelling reason.
Increase the amount of visitors to your site with search engine optimization. Use links between related websites. Include your website address on all advertising materials, stationery, correspondence and even your motor vehicle, if you are not a terrible driver.
The sooner the better. If it takes forever to view the first page of a site, some visitors will leave before it opens. Keep in mind that some visitors may be using an older computer or slower connection. Avoid any content that requires the user to download special non-standard ‘plug-ins’ to access any of your pages.
Including interactive features will encourage visitors to return and tell others about your site, by giving them the opportunity to contribute or participate. Surveys, feedback forms, downloads, competitions, subscriptions to newsletters, online shopping, discussion forums, visitor benefits, games and puzzles are just a few examples.
People will visit a website particularly to obtain the contact details. It can be faster than looking through the yellow pages. Have your contact details easy to find. Provide as many options of contact as possible. Websites without contact details appear less trustworthy. If you do not wish to give out your contact details, make sure you have a contact form where visitors can email you directly through your website.
Update your website regularly to increase interest, make sure your content is always relevant. If your visitors are aware of frequent changes to your site, like ‘monthly specials’ or ‘joke of the day’, it will give them a reason to return or tell others about your site.