If you want to expand your business beyond your immediate surroundings then you’re going to need a website. The thing is, none of your skills from outside the internet really prepare you for how to build, maintain and gain traction with a website. It’s an entirely new area.
For that reason today we’re going to take some time to look at some important and essential ideas that you need to understand in order to make certain that your website doesn’t end up in that gray place of the internet, where people don’t visit and websites go to die.
Are you ready?
Make sure you understand the trends
Website design, just like clothing design, goes through trends. And you’ve got to be aware of them. Otherwise, there’s a good chance that you’ll design your page, only to find that that trend is just going out of fashion.
And that will make your page look clunky and old (even though it is nothing of the kind). So you’ve got to be aware of what’s coming and what’s going.
Don’t rely on your gut
There are plenty of programs out there to give you an idea as to what is happening on your website. One of the most cited is probably Google Analytics. This is because it’s free and offers you reams of data to compare, digest and interpret.
You need to have this installed. Without understanding what websites are being visited, where people are bouncing away and where you’re getting real traction, it is very difficult indeed to have any idea what you’re doing. You are, in effect, flying blind, without a map or a compass. That means you’re probably not going to end up where you want to go.
And that can’t be the point!
Clarity and ease of navigation above all
Sure, the website idea that you’ve got might look awesome, but that will only take you so far. You’ve got to make certain that it is also user-friendly because people are willing to forgive you if your site doesn’t look that good but works well, while the reverse is one of the internet’s cardinal sins.
We want sites that are intuitive, logically structured and that don’t need three dozen clicks to get things done. The less clicks the better.
The best thing you can do is copy what the bigger websites are doing. Go to a website of somebody who is trying to achieve something similar to you (though not the same, you don’t want your website to work exactly like that of the competition) and take notes. See what works well and what doesn’t.
Then preferably have a few customers repeat the process and tell you what they do and don’t like about the page that you’re exploring. With that information in hand, you’ll then be able to sketch out the basics of your website design.
Make it readable
Sure, strange letter types and colors might be fun, but they’ll quickly become a nuisance if your visitors can’t actually read what is on your site. So make sure you choose a font that people can easily read.
Also, make certain that you understand the trends of font and color choices in your sector. That will help you make certain your page doesn’t end up looking outdated, stuffy or off kilter.
We like empty space. For that reason, don’t try to pack everything into the first page. Instead, divide your text with gaps, have nice sidebars that are clean and efficient and choose for a design that is relaxing for the eye (and quick to load to boot).
Also, make certain you don’t have things that flash, jitter, glow or bounce. This might have been something that worked way back then but isn’t going to get you a lot of converts today.
Oh yes, and don’t auto-play videos. People really hate that.
Make sure you’ve got quality content
Your quality has to rock. The internet is already full of oceans of mediocre content and adding to that is not going to make your site impress anyone. For that reason, make certain that your content is as good as it can be. That means agonizing over it, editing it, putting it aside, returning to it and adding to it as you learn new things.
New to the quality creation business? Then don’t do it all by yourself. There are plenty of tools out there to help you.
- app.Grammarly.com – This is a good place to start, as this app will make certain that you’re not making any serious grammar mistakes (though it’s not perfect, so don’t depend on it alone).
- www.HemingwayApp.com – This one’s great to know if you’ve got sentences that run too long and aren’t easily understood, as it will highlight difficult and impossible sentence structures for you. It too is free.
- www.UrgentEssayWriting.com – get professional advice on how to do anything, from the writing of text upwards. They can also do it for you. Sure, it might cost you a little bit of cash, but you’ve got to spend money to make money.
- www.Upwork.com – If you don’t have that much money to spend, check out the upwork site. It’s full of Freelancers willing to work for a pittance. The only problem is that you can never be certain of the quality, so be careful about who you choose to use.
Logo, character and header
You’ve got to make certain that your logo is spick and span and your header works well as well. Perhaps get somebody professional involved to help you in this regard, as it really matters.
Also, try to make certain that you use faces. They really are a vital, as we evolved to interact with other people, not with abstract designs. This means that we’re far more likely to connect and form a bond with a website that uses faces than those that do not.
Preferably, make certain the faces are similar to your target audience.
And finally, don’t sit on your laurels, but keep thinking about ways to make your website better. As already said the internet is constantly evolving. It’s not only that, however. It’s also the fact that as you gather more and more information through the analytics you’ve installed you’re in a better position to understand what does and doesn’t work.
You can then use that to improve your website and evolve your user experience so that it becomes ever better and ever smoother. Keep doing that and sooner than you think you’ll look all professional and flash and only the people that know you know that there are only a handful of people behind the site.
And that’s a fantastic place to be.