15 Jul 6 Key Website Principles to turn your Site from Zero to Hero
So, here’s the thing – starting a website is one thing, but making it successful is entirely different. Sure, there aren’t magic pills to make visitors stay on your site for more than five seconds. Still, you can boost engagement and by extension, your conversion rate if you avoid some mistakes. In other words, you must know what works and what won’t give you results.
What follows is a rundown of tidbits to help you hit the mark with your website.
Get the Design Right
Indeed, this is a no brainer, huh? Well, not so fast! Your site’s appearance has to be on point if you want users to stick around and most importantly return again and again. For starters, an excellent, responsive design improves your website’s credibility and performance. On top of that, it helps boost engagement while saving you visitors the hassle of having to look for information.
Simply put, the last thing that you want is to have a site that looks like a hurriedly assembled project. As Novage explains, it makes perfect sense to use a professional web designer when setting up your website, especially if you’re a beginner. Think of it as a way to ensure that every piece falls into place.
Write Informative Content
Listen, nobody wants to come to your site to read the same old regurgitated stuff. See, there are over one billion websites out there (and the number keeps changing every second) according to Netcraft. In essence, this means that you have to up your game to make any meaningful gains. One of the easiest ways to outperform your competition is to provide value with your content.
People want to learn something new every day. Hire an experienced writer to churn out helpful blog posts if you’re not an expert in your niche. Get familiar with your audience’s problems and solve them with your content. That way, you’ll draw tons of traffic and of course, make some money.
Make your Site Easy to Maneuver
Your visitors want to browse pages, find what they want and move on to other things. So, don’t make them think. Instead, give them control and arrange information in an easy-to-follow format throughout your site. Keep in mind that most people are impatient want instant gratification.
In other words, the more complicated and less intuitive your website’s navigation is, the higher the likelihood of your visitors leaving for better alternatives. So, make sure that no new windows are popping up out of nowhere and place Call-to-Action buttons cleverly your web pages.
Install the “Search” Function
Time is money, so they say. Your website, therefore, should allow visitors to enter a keyword phrase and hit the search but as opposed to sifting through an entire page. Remember, any serious site must take care of all users from prospects to knowledge seeks, buyers and return customers.
Put differently – the search function helps upgrade your website from a “one-fits-all” to a more “customer-oriented” outfit. Besides, it enables you to collect crucial information about your visitors and how they navigate around your site.
Make Load Speed a Priority
Website speed is one of the many ranking factors. Plus, available stats show that it affects virtually everything from your revenue to conversions and bounce rates. Visitors will not stick around if your site is slow – it is as simple as that! And, there are a couple of ways to improve your website’s load speed including;
- Checking your scripts and fonts
- Encoding your images correctly
- Reducing redirects
- Minifying things such as HTML, CSS and HTML
- Upgrading your server’s response time
- Leveraging browser caching
- Optimizing images
Tip – you can assess your page speed with Google’s PageSpeed Insights. It reports two critical metrics – DOMContentLoaded (DCL) and First Contentful Paint (FCP).
Make your Site Mobile Friendly
In case you don’t know already, an estimated 80% of internet users own a smart device, whether it’s a phone or tablet. And, according to Google, up to 61% of users are unlikely to return to your website if it’s not mobile responsive. Even more depressing 40% of these will visit a competitor’s website instead.
It is, therefore, necessary that you customize your website to suit the needs and requirements of your visitors. So, ask yourself – why would a visitor want to access your site on a mobile device? What would he/she be looking for? Is your site offering these things as it is?
Sure, there are ways to spruce up things on your website, but these are the most essential.