How to Make a Successful Website: 11 Critical Factors

Whether you’re on a shoestring budget doing the best you can with your web presence or have an enterprise-level operation, a strong website opens the door to a wealth of opportunities.

Good websites Put the visitor first, provide a great user experience and you can become powerful marketing engines.

You are investing in digital marketing to drive people to your website; now you need to deliver the experience they’re expecting when they arrive.

Here’s how.

1. Clearly define your goals

While we should always start a marketing or web project with goals, we should consider both ourselves and the user with our website.

The site can only generating traffic, leads, and sales when we make sure we have what our target audience wants and can deliver it to them successfully.

Setting goals for both your organization and your user should be easy to do.

If the goals don’t align, you likely have a problem where you’re looking to make a profit but fail to deliver the product and experience your audience is looking for.

It’s painful to invest time and money on a site everyone is bouncing off of, where no one understands why they should buy from you. This is a big clue that you focused too much on your end goals and not theirs.

2. Adequate Budget

Get ready to invest in your web presence. I have known many brands that overspend on their sites and then go cheap on marketing. Conversely, there are those who want to go big with marketing and put nothing on their website.

Find the right CMS, technology and site type for you.

Off the shelf? Learn what the limitations are so you don’t have to throw it away and start over before you have a return on investment.

Custom design and/or custom code? Make sure it’s not excessive and doesn’t push your breakeven point too far into the future.

Don’t oversell or undersell yourself. Know what your initial and incremental investment is to make the right decisions to support your business.

3. Earn your audience’s trust

Be clear and transparent about what you offer and what you want your audience to do.

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Know what motivates them and what you’re strong at.

Take advantage of that.

Too often, websites lack the emotional connections or credibility needed to win the trust and lead or sale.

A great example I often see are e-commerce sites (and even service company websites) that lack a substantial About Us page.

Users want to know who they are doing business with and not that you are just another commodity site in the space.

If you can’t put names, images, culture, philosophy, or some kind of story on your website, you won’t be able to express what it’s about.

Customers care about your intentions .

Even cost-conscious shoppers simply looking for the lowest price should feel like you’re a legitimate business before entering credit card details.

4 . Find ways to stand out

Differentiation is key.

You can still use a website template and look different.

By customizing the images and styles by adapting them to your brand, you can stand out.

This goes along with earning trust.

When you tell your story and create factors like price, quality, customer service, what you do with profits, how you give back, etc., build the link needed to stand out from the rest of the other quickly built, templated sites selling the same products or services.

5. Focus on usability and user experience

Make it easy for your audience to access the content they want.

If you have a viral video website, direct users to the pages of videos.

If you have products or services, make sure users can get to the desired page with as few clicks as possible.

In addition to having intuitive main menu navigation Optimized for desktop and mobile experiences, think about your search box placement and other cues to reach popular content.

Don’t assume a user is willing to click multiple times to get to the latest video of cats or the best-selling product. that everyone wants.

6. Remember the basics of SEO

This sounds like a basic thing, but don’t forget about SEO.

At the very least, know how search engines crawl and index your content, and make sure that factors on the page are optimized.

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There are many ways to make this easy, including through plugins and semantic coding.

SEO has technical aspects and goes beyond the page , but if you can at least make sure that your content can (and will) be indexed, and that you’re customizing all page elements to literally represent what your content is about, then you can win half the battle.

7. Optimize your landing pages

Landing pages are great tools for campaigns.

This includes PPC ads, email promotions, inbound marketing efforts, and more.

Having a system that allows for quick landing page creation and customization is critical to success if you’re doing marketing.

Make sure your website or content management system give you control and that your site allows you to set indexing status, change navigation, and separate these pages from normal breadcrumbs if you’re using them for dedicated campaigns outside of the normal browsable website content.

8. Use Your Analytics

Another one that sounds like a given, but it goes beyond just installing Google Analytics on your site.

You need information on demographics, goal achievement, and more that you can. You don’t get it unless you take a few quick steps to set it up.

Don’t assume you can set it and forget it and go back months down the road and see how things go.

You don’t have to. that you log into Google Analytics every day.

At least, after you customize it, set up some reports and alerts that come to you automatically so you have a pulse on what’s working and what’s not, and can be adjusted based on the march instead of reacting when it’s too late.

9. Learn from heatmaps

Heatmaps and on-page analytics tools are great sources of additional user experience insights.

Many of aspects critical to website success are UX Related.

Tools like Lucky Orange (I’m a customer and fan, not a paid sponsor) give you insight into how far users scroll, where you track your mouse, what shape are they. complete before bailing out, where they get stuck on your website, and much more that Google Analytics can’t show you.

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By monitoring this level of detail, you can fix UX crashes and further fine-tune the site to see. success.

10. Make sure your website works all the time

Uptime is often the only thing on our minds when it comes to making sure our websites work.

Without However, you might not notice issues like JavaScript not firing, buttons not working, a browser-specific bug, or mobile experience issues without the correct protocols in place.

Just by looking at the sales data and monitoring uptime, you may miss that a segment of your audience is hitting a roadblock.

Many users won’t search for you or contact you when they can’t buy or can’t access the content they want, they’ll just walk away.

Did You Know? Have you recently clicked a button in WordPress admin to update a plugin? Make sure you know if that broke anything.

Make sure your code is functional and has been cross-browser tested.

11. Continually listen and learn

Don’t assume.

We’re good at optimizing and learning along the way with marketing. SEO is an ongoing process that includes adjustments.

Don’t let your website be a static place that has a different management philosophy.

Listen to your target audience and users and learn.

Do it through social media, customer service channels, analytics, heat maps, and whatever data and touch points you have.

Be active in the seeking feedback and ways to improve so that your website is an asset that grows and evolves as your business does.

Conclusion

While most aspects That lead to a successful website relate to user experience and your brand, it is important to understand and leverage technology, insights and feedback to optimize and refine your site over time.

Remember , optimization isn’t just limited to SEO.

More Resources:

  • 50 Questions to Ask to Assess the Quality of Your Website
  • SEO Friendly Hosting: 5 Things to Look For in a Hosting Company
  • WordPress SEO Guide: Everything You Need to Know

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