Everyone has a website these days, but as well as having one, you need to have a good one. Poorly designed websites with a painful user experience can be damaging not only for your image and your customers sanity, but also for business as it demonstrates a lackadaisical attitude and lack of attention to detail. Here are 5 essential tips to creating a successful website.
1. Classy content
Unfortunately many businesses overlook the importance of content, preferring to invest all their time in SEO research and pantones. However, getting your content up to a high standard using correct English grammar, easy to read language and a well written, informative structure should be task number one on any website, and an essential component of any web development plan. If you can’t write – get a freelancer to do it for you. The professional touch will benefit your business and your customers for years to come.
2. SEO for dummies
You’ll come across web design and development companies who will have you believe that you can’t possibly expect to get onto page 1 of Google without investing hundreds in churning out millions of articles for directories and daily blog postings optimised for well researched keywords. However, since the latest Google updates, this type of level of activity is no longer required, and actually anyone can do a simple bit of SEO by themselves.
Try to do the basics, such as including meta tags, natural use of the keywords you think people will type when they are looking for your business and simple site navigation throughout. Use H1, H2 and H3 tags where you can, and ensure all the pages of your site can be accessed in no more than 2 clicks from the home page. Over and above all this, do NOT copy and paste content from other sites, and do your best to ensure you are generating high quality, useful and original content for your site (see point 1).
3. Make some noise!
You can’t expect anyone to visit your website if nobody knows it’s there, no matter how good your content is. Promotion is easy these days, with thousands of potential customers at our fingertips on the numerous social networks of the world. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are popular forums for some well thought out and subtle promotion (don’t be a spammer!) but you can also visit and comment on blogs that are of relevance to your industry or products.
4. Consider the user experience
Make sure you view your site from a user’s perspective. There are a few forums out there for getting free or very cheap testing done by people at home, so if you can, get a few people to test out the site and feed back to you. In many cases, it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees when you have been closely involved with something, so getting a fresh pair of eyes on the project can often throw up glaring mistakes that you might have missed
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