Setting Up a Website the Right Way, Encouraging Clicks Visits and Sales.
When setting up a website there are few things that need to be taken into consideration. In the past it was relatively simple, get a designer in, tell them what you wanted and end up with a copy of your corporate brochure live on the web. It talked about you, what you do, how you do it and more to the point, never got visited by anyone because it wasn’t optimised for search and certainly was more of a liability for the business than an asset.
Times change, the web community and Google now demand that in order for your website to be recognised there are certain criteria that your website must adhere to. They are not difficult and in fact they make sense.
To meet the relatively simply needs of web users, webmasters have lots of work to do when setting up a website. To ensure your website is a knock down success each of the following eight crucial criteria must be satisfied.
8 Step Guide to Setting up a Website that Converts.
1. Content Rich to Attract and Retain website Visitors.
The content that you produce for your website needs to be useful, fresh and engaging. By doing this the content will generate trust, build user confidence and encourage visitors to dwell for long periods of time, revisit and share with their friends.
2. User Friendly Navigation
When setting up a website make sure there is a user friendly navigational structure with a well considered hierarchy of information so users can find what they are looking for effortlessly and without frustration. After all there is nothing worse than landing on a website and not knowing where to go to answer your query. If that happens you usually hit the back button and bounce to another website.
It is essential to make sure your website, is clear and simple to understand and navigate through.
3. Persuasive, clickable and searchable web copy to convert visitors into customers.
Your site must be clear and easy to digest in order to get your message across clearly. It must be search engine optimised so it can be indexed and ranked in search engine listings; wording should therefore be clear, precise, relevant and have a purpose. That purpose could be to provide information about your industry, specific information around the benefits of your product or specifically designed to get users to convert, whether they opt in to your email list, share your content via social media or buy.
4. Aesthetically pleasing design and well-managed development.
Clean and simple is the order of the day when it comes to the internet. The more complicated and cluttered a web page is the more distracted a user becomes from the end goal, which of course should be to convert.
The web development should highlight the content, attract users and be designed in such a way that making updates and changes can be done quickly and easily.
5. When setting up a website make it visible to all.
All users, including disabled and blind people who might be accessing the website via screen readers or other technologies, must be able to access the site as must potential users who are browsing from their mobile phones or tablets. Having a mobile friendly website design is important.
6. Reliable and fast loading.
A website needs to be always available, quick to load with little to no down time. The internet is a 24/7 environment where people want answers and information right now. If you can’t provide it they will find a website, a company, or a competitor that will.
7. Secure and customer friendly.
The internet is a two way process, therefore you must give the user the opportunity to get in touch with you, leave comments, reviews and ask questions. More importantly the comments, reviews and feedback should be responded to quickly. Payments should be taken securely and user details and privacy must be protected by maintaining a secure site where transactions are restricted to a secure interface only.
There must be metrics in place to measure what users are doing once they arrive on the website, how they enter, the path they take through the website and how and why they leave. Without this information you are quite literally left in the dark as to what level of engagement you have and more importantly how to improve the conversion rate moving forward.
Every single item on the checklist must be considered. If you miss one out then your online success will be hampered. For instance, if you tick all the boxes but fail to make your website search engine friendly, few people will visit the site and there will be little return from your initial investment.
If you have a high ranking and accessible site which gains high volumes of traffic via the search engines and via mobile phones but have poor web design, navigation or content, you will end up with lots of visitors to your site, but minimal orders and no repeat traffic.
Setting up a website that is an asset to your business is more than just throwing together a site that has some images and text about your business however all you have to remember is that all the average web user wants to do is browse websites which are fresh, useful and fast. If you can enable the user to access information and perform tasks as quickly and as easily as they possibly can, they will most likely stick around, revisit and convert so your website will pay back your initial investment and more.