3 Rules for a Great Website

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Whether your website is a space to share ideas and projects or simply a way to drive business through your conversion funnel, there are 3 rules you must always follow. These rules will help you to design your website but they will also form the foundation for refinement over the years.

So what are the rules?

The first rule of any website is that it must provide a great user experience that your audience will love. User Experience or UX is a term that you must be familiar with by now but you may not be so sure about what it means for your business. In basic terms, anyone should be able to navigate and use your website intuitively for a seamless journey from information gathering to making a purchase. This is what UX and excellent website design is all about.

The second rule is that your website must be recognizable. This means that your branding needs to be obvious and your content needs to read as though your business is doing all the talking. When your visitors arrive at your website, there should be no doubt as to where they are.

The final rule is that you must focus on SEO and continuously refine your website to make sure that you are keeping up with the internet giant, Google. Their algorithm changes almost twice a day! While you might not want to update your website that often (and you probably shouldn’t!), this does show that you need to stay on the ball and think carefully about your website and potential improvements.

Let’s take a look at what you can do.

User Experience

The user experience is the main thing that will make the difference between a customer who bounces straight off the page and the customer who looks at a wide range of pages and then makes a purchase. User experience should be at the heart of your website design, from an inviting home page to a satisfactory menu system and quick links between pages. The more you can do to make your site intuitive, the more likely users are to stay. And the longer a user stays on your site, the more time you have to persuade them to buy.

One underestimated area of user experience is load speed. Optimizing your load speed must be a top priority for business because however wonderful your page is, people are unlikely to wait long enough to see it if it takes more than a few seconds. But reducing the time it takes isn’t just about your visitors, Google also likes speedy loading sites and this is a huge ranking factor.

Your conversion funnel is usually the point of your website. Even if your website is just there to get people to email you to ask a question, it needs to point users in the right direction and show them the path you want them to take. One thing that most websites fail to do is give people enough opportunities to convert throughout the funnel. While one person might need more information, another might want to click through and buy immediately. Putting buttons throughout your site to fast-track people to conversion and using follow-up remarketing tactics will give you as many chances as possible to improve user experience and improve your conversion rate at the same time.

Recognizable Branding

Creating a recognizable brand identity is a key part of business and something you need to spend a significant amount of time on. This isn’t just a case of creating a logo and a color palette, you also need to think about the tone of voice you use, what sort of pictures will complement your site and even how your site is laid out. Your branding is the starting point for your business; it should engage your target audience, build their trust and influence your choice of suitable marketing strategies.

Storytelling is one of the main purposes of any brand. You need to tell your customers what you are about, how you can improve their lives and why you are different to your competition. Crafting a compelling brand story is one of the best things you can do to build your brand and your website is the perfect place to do it.

The look of your brand is the equivalent of a first impression so do pay attention to the colors, images and layout you choose. A sense of space is really important – even on the internet! – so do consider how much blank space you leave on each page too.

SEO

SEO comes into almost every blog about marketing, websites, business, social media and entrepreneurship. Google’s algorithm has literally changed the way businesses approach the world and if it isn’t on your radar now, you desperately need to upgrade your tech terminology and join the rest of us in 2019!

Analytics software is abundant and easy to come by but it is still one of the types of software businesses don’t consider using. You should. And, if you still need persuading, you will be glad to know that Google Analytics is free and easy to use. It will give you all the information you need to work out what your strategy should be and which areas of your website are letting you down.

One big area here is content. While you should definitely focus on making everything you produce easy to access and understand for your target audience, you must also consider Google’s needs. This SEO checklist is quite useful for beginners who want to optimize their site but if you really aren’t sure what you are doing, hiring an SEO specialist is often money well spent!

Making a great website is a long process and you should be critical about how your website works in order to continue refining it. Take your time and do research what your competitors are doing. It’s not cheating to steal a couple of ideas as long as you make them your own. Just remember, the user always comes first.

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