Do you dream of having a great website?
You can only make a first impression once. Don’t blow it.
Your website is about building credibility, gaining greater recognition and getting more customers. Yet most websites never live up to these expectations.
It is not one thing that makes a website great. Websites that perform well do so for multiple reasons.
Here are some of the most important factors you should consider regarding the success of your website:
Many times little thought is put into registering domain names. It is a huge mistake, because the wrong domain name will hurt your business forever.
Here is what makes for a great domain name:
- The best domain names are short. The shorter the better. Don’t even consider domain names that are longer than 15 characters long.
- Use the .com for your domain. It is the most recognized domain name in business. The .com gives you much more credibility than most other extensions.
- Avoid numbers. Numbers in domain names can create confusion. If you must register a domain with a number, make sure you register the domain with the number and spelled out too. For example, if you want to register 25greatideasfordomains.com make sure you also register twentyfivegreatideasfordomains.com.
- Avoid hyphens. Domain names with hyphens can lead to conclusion. They also look unprofessional.
What is the purpose of your website? What are your goals? Your website should be more than a brochure. Be very clear about your expectations for your website and what you are willing to do to meet your goals.
Who is your audience? How do they make decision? What is important to them? Everything you do should be in consideration of your audience.
There are millions of poorly designed websites. You might feel like a rock star getting a cheap website, but a poorly designed website can hurt your business for years to come. Hire a professional web designer. If you are not a designer, your time is better spent building your own business than building your own website.
The best website platform today is the WordPress Content Management System (CMS). You will love having your website on the WordPress platform. There is a reason that WordPress is so popular. It is open source, robust, and easy to use.
Your website must be mobile-friendly. There are more people searching and browsing using mobile devices than desktop computers.
The world is full of cheap hosting and they are cheap for a reason. You get what you pay for. Cheap hosting can hurt your website. For example, cheap hosting servers are frequently hacked. Many websites on these cheap hosting account get infected by malware and other malicious code. Most business owners are unaware of this until it is too late and their sites get banned from Google. When your site contains malware Google drops your site from its index. The result is your site will no longer appear in the search results. It is the worst possible thing that could happen to your website.
Chose your website colors wisely. Some colors are more desirable than others. Blue is the safest color to use for a website. White space is also highly desired. Don’t overwhelm people with too much color.
The easier it is to navigate your site, the more time will people spend on it. Make your site navigation as simple as possible. Use a standard navigation. Make your navigation descriptive. Avoid too many items in your website navigation.
People often prefer to search your website instead of using your navigation. Have a search window in a clearly visible area.
Images help you tell your story or explain ideas. Use images, graphics, photos, videos, and infographics throughout your website.
Use easily readable fonts. Verdana and Georgia are some of the most readable fonts.
Your website footer should have your address and a way to contact your business.
Content is what makes a website great. You can turn your site into an authority by adding great content. Most website have little or no valuable content. Content is a great differentiator.
The most effective website content includes:
- Blog posts.
- White papers.
- Reports and studies.
- Video training, tutorial, or advice.
- Audio training, tutorial or advice.
- Survey results.
- Success stories.
Collect email addresses from day one. Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing tactics today.
What makes your business unique? What sets you apart from the competition? Communicate it throughout your website.
Link to your social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Make your content easily shareable. Include social share buttons on each page and blog posts.
Encryption is a must for every website. Your website should have a security certificate installed.
Get Google Analytics installed on your website. Analytics help you understand what’s going on with your website. Analytics will show you how many visitors you get, how much time people spend on your website, what keywords they used, and more.
Site maps are useful for search engines. They make crawling your website easier. Every site should have a site map.