Ten Tips to a Successful Website

Have a list of goals that you would like to accomplish with your website. What would be the main purpose of your website? Do you plan to make supplemental income through an online store? Do you plan to earn $15,000 monthly and use the website as your main source of income? Or, do you just need to promote yourself and/or your business? It’s very important to be realistic about your goals and set reasonable standards that can be attained. Once those goals are met, set new higher ones.

2. Organization of files and content should actually start even before considering a website. It’s a crucial early stage that will help you along in the process of having your website built later. Once fully organized, things will go much quicker, smoother, and will generally become a lot easier. Everything has a place where it belongs; you must determine a system that works best for you. Organization is truly the key to success.

3. Know your target audience. It’s very important to know who you’re selling your products and services too so you can construct your site with them in mind. Some important demographics to look at are age, sex, income, buying habits, interests, etc. For example, if you have a line of reading glasses for older people, you wouldn’t have a high tech fast paced website.

4. Use strong imagery like photography, graphic arts, logos, etc. to make your site pop. Your site has to look attractive to be noticed and taken seriously. You may have a vast amount of important information but it will become bland pretty quickly if not presented properly. A professional website must be both beautiful and informative.

5. Be consistent. This is a mistake newcomers often make; their website is a motley collection of various design elements that don’t seem to mesh well together. You are creating a brand, you want things to generally have the same look and feel throughout the site. When things are consistent, it ties everything together. When thinking of consistency, it’s also vital to incorporate any print work such as logos, business cards, flyers, brochures, etc., into the overall equation.

6. Make use of clean, easy navigation and don’t make things too complicated. You never want to make anything too simple but don’t over complicate them either. If a visitor to your website becomes frustrated because it’s taking him or her five minutes to find what they are looking for, they will leave your site and NEVER come back again. You can have the most amazing looking, technically advanced site in the world but if the user can’t figure it out, it won’t amount to much.

7. Have a strategy to keep visitors on your site as long as possible. These days, people don’t stay on websites for very long; the less someone is on your site the less chance of making a lasting impression or a sale. You have to create content that will inform, entertain, and keep viewers coming back for more. The more “sticky” your site is the more successful it will become.

8. One of the most effective ways to keep people on your site longer and keep them coming back to your site is to include video. More and more, video is becoming the norm on websites and the majority of time that is spent online is most likely watching videos. Videos can be used for entertainment purposes, educational, or both. A potential customer is more prone to make a purchase after watching a detailed video about a product or service then reading a review with a few photos. A video is the next best thing to seeing a product live.

9. Utilize Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to help with your online exposure. Creating meta tags, or the scripting in your site that the web spiders use in locating search terms is a great starting point for SEO. You should use words and terms that you think anyone might actually type when searching for your product or service. You have to think like the potential customer. These techniques will help you get listed at the top of the best search engines like Google.

10. Use social networking to promote your site. These are free to use and just about everyone seems to have an account with the top services like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Linked in, etc. These tools are great for letting people know about your latest news, events, and/or products. Social networking is also very useful because it lets other people do the work for you due to the fact that the information spreads virally through these networks.