All business owners with a website need a great website, after all it’s their online business card. There are several ways to build a website, but how do you build a great website?
It takes time and effort to create a great website. However, even when you have the time and put forth the effort you may not have the skill to achieve the results you are looking for. Fortunately, novice and experienced designers have several choices when it comes to website design. Their options may include, off-the-shelf and downloadable web site creation tools, “in-house” web design programs offered by most web hosting companies, hire someone, use knowledge of HTML and scripting, or start with a WordPress template.
Each choice comes with a set of pros and cons. For example, proprietary “in-house” web design programs can create a decent website; however, there may be some limited features and limited functionally.
Usually, a website created with proprietary software can only be published with the hosting company who supplied the tools. Moving the website to a new host provider can be an extremely difficult and a lengthy process. If it can be moved at all.
Regardless of how a website is built and where it is hosted, if no one is looking at it, it’s not working. If you find you have little to no website visitors, disappointing as that is, you are not alone. Website failure happens frequently.
Here are 13 points to overcome website failure:
Check the loading speed of your site
Internet users expect immediate results. Very few will wait for a webpage to load. They know there are other competitive websites vying for attention. If your website takes longer than a few seconds to load, it’s too long.
To shorten your website load time:
- Avoid third party images
- Optimize the images you do use
- Stay away from HTML image resizing
- Compress your content
- Limit 301 redirects
- Update old coding
Websites peppered with huge pictures or unrelated material can distract from your message
Select images that directly relate to your content.
The homepage should introduce your website. A homepage with everything and anything is confusing. It is not the place for overcrowding, music clips, banner ads, tons of images and popup offers.
Do not encourage visitors to leave
Pay for your website hosting. Free hosting providers typically run banner ads on the bottom or top of their customer’s web pages. These advertisements are clickable and will take visitors away.
Is your message clear?
There should be no question in the visitor’s mind what you do or what you offer. Don’t frustrate your visitors with hard to understand industry jargon.
Good website navigation is essential
Make it easy for your visitor to find the pages they need. List your pages in an ordered clickable menu. Do not hide information in small print on the bottom of your site.
Always include a Call-To-Action on your homepage
What do you want visitors to do: Buy something, download a file, fill out a form, leave a comment?
View your website on other devices
If your site looks great on your PC but does not fit on a mobile phone for viewing, you will miss out on a lot of opportunities.
Design a website that can be indexed by internet search engines
With WordPress, your website can be configured with an SEO plugin supporting the WordPress platform. With other web site design tools there are guides and suggestions offered by Google and other main players.
Extend your online reach by tying your website to your social media accounts
Include a Facebook feed to create changing content that will generate dynamic SEO content for the search engine spiders
Add a blog and post on a schedule
Compose informational blogs, technical blogs, tell a story or talk about your company. Keep it light and interesting.
To avoid trust issues, install an SSL certificate
An SSL cert establishes an encrypted connection between the web server and the browser. It improves search engine ratings and verifies your credibility with website visitors.
Consider adding testimonials, customer feedback, and affiliations
Include a brief history of who you are and the purpose of your website.
A well-designed website can be the difference between success or failure
Aim for an aesthetically pleasing design, with just the right mix of visual content and text with easy to use navigation. Make your content relevant, clearly written, and to the point. When you use these 13 steps as a guideline you will not be disappointed with the results.