4 Rules for Creating a Successful Website
Creating a website which is both successful and profitable is not as simple as a lot of Internet entrepreneurs will try to have you believe. It requires a great deal of time, effort and patience. Nonetheless, if your business is spending a great deal of money on professional web designers, then you are probably spending more than you should. For any small business, paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars for web design, SEO and marketing is often out of reach. Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can drive more traffic to your site without spending a lot of money.
1 – Think about Your Site's Purpose
Websites have many different purposes. Some sell products or services while others exist entirely to provide information or to promote a regular business. A website can be used as a showcase for products, a shop, an entertainment venue or just about anything else. Before you can design a great website, you're going to need to know exactly what its purpose is.
Many of the design factors of any website largely depend on its purpose. For example, if all you're doing is marketing an eBook, then all you need is a simple, sales page, commonly referred to in web design circles as a 'squeeze page.' These are incredibly simple to build, since they generally only consist of one main page containing all of the information and advertising about the product you are selling.
2 – Keep Your Visitors Interested
This might sound like a no-brainer, but then there are many websites out there which are so poorly designed that visitors end up being turned off right at the front page. On a normal website, you should keep the front page interesting and not too clogged full of information. Don't bombard the visitor with advertising and product information right away. Start off with an enticing opening followed by a call to action. Set out every page of your site in such a way that it is easy for the visitor to find what they are looking for.
Another important factor in keeping visitors interested is keeping things simple. Lots of pictures, streaming videos and Flash-driven interfaces may look nice, but, in reality, they're a nightmare for most of us. They take longer to load and are often unwieldy and anything but user-friendly.
3 – Get Familiar with Your Target Market
Again, this may sound obvious, but it is important to consider this as a rule for web design as well. Different people like different things. A website should be adapted to the type of people that it is trying to attract. Men and women, for example, often like different things. Likewise, consider the age group, hobbies, education, experience and income of your potential visitors.
Getting a clear picture of your customers will help you to adapt your advertising strategy and website design accordingly. Don't make the mistake that many Internet entrepreneurs make of thinking that absolutely everyone is going to be interested in what you have to sell.
4 – Remember Your Visitors
This basically refers to keeping a record of your visitors. Knowing who is visiting your site is essential for optimizing the site's performance and improving income. With some website analysis, you can easily figure out how people are arriving at your site and how many hits each page gets.
You should also take this a step further and get people's names and contacts. Providing something useful, but for free, is a great way to go. For example, a newsletter or an RSS feed is something that any business site can profit from. It is also essential, however, not to be too pushy. Your email advertising campaigns should be responsible and provide something useful and of interest to the reader. If you don't achieve this, you will quickly garner the reputation of a spammer.