The #1 most important digital asset your organization needs in today’s world is a website.
In many cases, your website is the first ‘digital’ impression your business makes. It’s also an asset over which you have complete control. Social media channels, such as Facebook, may limit your ability to post certain types of content and may impact your reach through algorithms. Otherwise, your website is yours to design and configure exactly the way you want.
In the digital world, creating a strong and effective online presence is a must. When people visit your website, they are looking for information. Did you know that the average attention span of people today is only about 8 seconds? You need to ensure that you are providing readers with the information they are looking for in an easy and user-friendly way. Sites that are poorly structured or perform slowly make a poor first impression, and visitors may leave your site sooner – with or without valuable information.
The important thing to remember when planning and developing a website is that it supports your business goals and objectives. If your advertising, events, public relations and social media are successful, they will inspire people to visit your website. Therefore, it’s essential that your website not only tells a good story, but also a consistent message that aligns with what you’re saying in other parts of your business’s marketing.
We’ve put together some key areas to focus on to help you make sure your website stands out.
You want your website to serve a purpose and help support your business goals. Before you start designing (or redesigning) a website, determine what your website’s purpose is. Does it help potential guests learn about the area? Is it to encourage online bookings for your business? Each page on your website needs to have a clear purpose or theme and meet the specific needs of your website users in the most effective way possible. Once you understand the purpose of your website, you can begin to tell a story through your content and navigation.
People want information quickly, so it’s important to think about user experience. Images, videos, and other rich media can help tell the visual story of your business in seconds. It helps attract readers and encourages them to explore more about your website. Many websites are designed like scavenger hunts, making it difficult for readers to find the information they are looking for. To make their experience easier, simplify navigation, use clear calls to action, and use headings, subheadings, and bullets to break up text-heavy content.
According to Google, more than 50% of website browsing is done on mobile devices. It’s more important than ever that your website is mobile responsive, meaning it can navigate as well on mobile as it does on desktop. Nowadays, we call this responsive design. Because there are so many different types of phone and tablet devices, you want your website to run smoothly and be easily viewable across multiple devices. Having a responsive website is a must!
No one likes having to wait long for a website to load, especially on mobile devices. Google best practices say your website should load in 3-4 seconds. You can test your website speed using Google’s PageSpeed Insights testing tool. Make sure your website runs smoothly by optimizing videos and images for faster downloads and using a website server that can meet your bandwidth needs.
It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words and this couldn’t be more true for websites! Having brand photos on a website is crucial in showcasing your story. Ultimately, it sets the stage for the content that follows. A single photo can stop a viewer in their tracks and make them want to explore your site further. The first impression is always the most important.
The image sets the stage, but it’s the copy that delivers the effect. Create copy that tells a story, instead of copy that just lists features. Ultimately, you want to convey a message that makes people remember you even after they leave your website.
Here are the four types of content:
There are different types of website platforms. It’s important to understand which platform will best suit your needs for your organization. Below are some of the most popular types of website platforms.
The main goal of a website is to be found by potential customers and help provide them with the information they are looking for. To help your site get found by Google, you need a combination of search engine optimization and keyword best practices. There are many factors that influence SEO rankings but here are four main areas:
It can be easy to get caught up in writing content that will increase your Google rankings but the most important thing to do is to build and write your website for the people first, Google second. If customers like your website and content, Google will eventually reward you.
When it comes to building a website, there can be a lot of factors to consider, and this list is just a small portion of what you might want to start with. By keeping these principles in mind for your next website, you’ll be closer to having a more attractive, useful, and effective website for your customers.
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