The 5 Elements That Go Into a Successful Website

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Are you like so many business owners who simply put up a website and hope for the best? If you’ve gone through the process of hiring a web designer – or worse yet, went the DIY route – and you’re not seeing the results you were expecting, maybe it’s time to take a critical look at your website from the user end. In addition to SEO, a properly designed website that gets traffic should:

– Convert visitors into customers
– Advance your brand
– Foster customer loyalty
– Improve your search rankings

The competition to get noticed among a sea of websites gets tougher every day. You have to find ways to show potential customers that what you offer is something they can’t find anywhere else. Here are five critical elements your website should have in order to achieve those goals.

Visual Appeal

You only have a few seconds to get someone’s attention on the internet. However, designing a website with appealing visuals does not mean loading every page with flashy content or gimmicks that just end up looking cluttered and confusing. Unless you have an online catalog, limit photos to a few that are well-placed and relevant to your content. The same goes for videos, which should load quickly. Skip the auto play, while you’re at it. Most website visitors are annoyed by this little gimmick.

Text should be broken up and easy to read, with enough white space to avoid clutter without looking sparse and insubstantial. Your Home page and About Us are probably the first two pages any visitor will check out. They should be concise and meaningful as well. No one wants your entire life story; save that info for your memoirs. Customers simply want to know what you do, your level of authority or specialization and how it will benefit them. That brings us to your Contact page.

Hassle-Free Contact

Youv’e got a customer to your website and made your Home page interesting enough to grab their attention. But, if they can’t interact with you, get answers or order your product without a lot of hassle, all of your previous efforts are a waste of time and money. People like to have choices, and that includes how to contact you.

Your website should have a clearly labeled contact button on the main menu as well as internal links on each page. The basics will do here. Just your company name or contact person, a phone number and an email address. Forms are nice, also, if that helps streamline the process by directing the inquiry to the right person or department. This information also helps with local SEO, which is another critical element if you also have a physical location.

Easy of Navigation

Each page of your website should have a clearly labeled navigation button and internal links embedded in content that relates to other pages. You should periodically go through your website to look at it from a visitor’s perspective to check for dead links, slow page loads and other annoying things that will drive potential customers into the arms of your competitors.

Fresh, Relevant and Engaging Content

Have you ever come across a website that looks like it belongs in a time capsule? Nothing says “Pass’ more than old content, graphics from the 90s and dated or irrelevant information. Not only does stale content tell customers that you’re not very successful or progressive, it also affects your search rankings. Current Google analytic criteria gives preference to websites that are updated regularly with meaningful, timeless content.

Optimization Across All Platforms

Mobility and seamless navigation are more critical than ever. Most people shop, browse the internet and do business on the go. Your content should look and function as good on a smart phone as it does on a PC or laptop.

No matter your industry, having a website that drives traffic and keeps it coming back is the key to establishing a successful web presence. Fortunately, you don’t have to keep up with algorithms and best practices unless it’s something you’re into. When you’re ready to optimize your website in a way that’s smart and scalable, you can learn more by contacting a web designer who understands the changing dynamics of website building.