A lot goes into making an appealing, user-friendly website, from functionality and appearance to navigation and coding integrity. To create websites that are found by search engines, attract customers, and encourage conversions, web developers and designers must collaborate. Whew! That’s a lot of weight on your shoulders. Fortunately, the following 20 pointers will walk you through the process of building a one-of-a-kind user experience that will encourage visitors to become brand evangelists.
- Choosing a Domain and Host
Great domain names (for example, Google and Yahoo) communicate a lot while saying very little. A domain name must not only be memorable, but also accurately reflect your brand’s voice and be practically hard to misspell. Finding the correct name for your company is critical since a domain name that incorporates SEO, easy spelling, and brand identification has a better chance of being found in search engine results. Businesses that are easy to find on the internet get more customers.
- Backend Services (CMS « Content Management System » / Software)
It’s difficult to create a wonderful website without a working programme in charge of the backend, which is where all the magic happens. Your website won’t be able to « wow » your visitors unless it has robust backend services.
- Effective Colour Scheme
Customers underestimate the importance of colour schemes. Colours may elicit a variety of emotional responses, including tranquilly, enjoyment, and dissatisfaction. It’s critical to think about your company’s niche, target demographic, branding, and colour theory when it comes to selecting colours in your website design. What colours do you think your target audience will like? Is your colour scheme overwhelming or appealing to the eye if it matches your logo and branding? Do you want to use a vibrant and energetic orange or a professional, tranquil blue to represent your brand’s voice? Regardless of your decision, taking the time to discover the best colour alternatives will leave a positive impression on your guests.
All businesses, big and small, need to have a strong brand. A viewer’s overall impression is influenced by the design and placement of your brand’s logo. Professionally created logos successfully capture the attention of the customer and provide a clear picture of the brand’s distinct voice. Choose a noticeable area on your site for visitors, such as the upper left corner, because this is where the eye naturally begins to search a website. Consider utilising the same logo on packaging, print advertising, and branded clothes to further reinforce your brand’s identification. Customers get an integrated and memorable brand experience when a company’s branding is consistent.
There are a few things to think about when it comes to functioning. Are there any problems with loading or broken links? Are the site’s security features sufficient for your company’s requirements? Aside from these operational concerns, it’s critical to consider your website’s features from the user’s point of view. Are your site’s contact forms, surveys, and client feedback sections functional? A customer may leave your site due to one or more of these functional concerns.
Customers may leave and never return if your website is unclear and tough to access. Conduct an in-depth site assessment as if you were a new visitor to improve the efficiency and appeal of your site’s navigation. Take note of which navigation streams make sense and which do not. A site map is one approach to make it easier for visitors to browse your site. Furthermore, boosting the quality of your brand’s online presence by optimising navigation by deleting unneeded or underperforming pages may reduce load time while improving the quality of your brand’s online presence.
- Call to Action
Customers are more likely to contact your company if you include calls to action on your website. A polite recommendation like « Contact us immediately! » shows that your company is interested in building a relationship with its clients. It’s critical that calls to action be appropriate for the amount of interaction a visitor has with your business. If they’re new to your company, invite them to sign up for your email newsletter. Perhaps they’ll like participating in your brand’s loyalty rewards programme if they’re already a loyal customer. Always include a call to action at least once on each page, regardless of what you’re asking visitors to do.
- Short Loading Times
Nothing frustrates visitors more than poor loading times when searching for information online. Customers may be turned away entirely as a result of this problem. Testing your website ahead of time can enable you to identify any loading time concerns, which can then be addressed before to the site’s formal launch. Once your website has launched, examine it on a regular basis to boost customer retention and deliver a great user experience. Customers get the information they want when they want it thanks to quick load speeds. If your site fails to meet expectations, a competitor’s site will.
- Active Blog
Customers may stay up to date on the latest products, corporate events, and industry news with the help of an on-site blog. A blog on your website is a terrific method to engage with your audience, especially if your entries encourage them to interact with your company. Customers will be informed of your brand’s ideals and desire to enhance communication if you keep your blog updated on a regular basis. Your company becomes a trusted resource and an industry authority by constantly offering readers with fresh, informative, and interesting information.
- Clean, SEO-Friendly Code
It’s vital to have clear, SEO-friendly code whether you’re creating new web pages or optimising current ones. You may boost your site’s total return on investment by taking the effort to improve the code. By providing a clear picture of your site’s content, SEO-friendly code functions as a guide for search engine crawlers. Certain CMS platforms, like as WordPress, offer plug-ins that make it easier to clean up code and improve search engine rankings. WordPress is a terrific resource for businesses attempting to increase visitors to their websites because it requires minimal (if any) coding skills.
- Compatibility with Multiple Browsers
The number of internet browsers is continually increasing as technology advances. It’s difficult to keep up with all of them, from Internet Explorer and Chrome to Firefox and Safari. When building a website, it’s critical to make sure that it’s accessible from a variety of browsers. Your website, in particular, should work on all major browsers, including older versions. If you don’t take this step, you risk alienating a huge portion of your consumer base, which may be costly for a developing company.
- Integration with social media
Social media integration is no longer a novelty; it’s a must. Businesses without social media integration miss out on what has been compared to modern-day word-of-mouth advertising as technology makes information sharing more convenient. Customers can use social media to promote your brand, leave reviews, and stay up to date on the newest news from your firm. With the inclusion of social sharing buttons on your website, you can simply spread written and visual information, including product photos and branded video, on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
- Captcha Tests
Spam, spam, and more spam. That’s what some businesses get when they don’t have captcha testing in their comment areas, contact forms, or site forums. These tests distinguish humans from machines (you’ll know them as the random letters and numbers typed before submitting a web-based form). By including these quick tests in your contact forms, you can ensure that only people can access your site’s resources, saving you time and money.
- Effective Security
Newer and more advanced security vulnerabilities are emerging as technology advances, posing a threat to the integrity of your website. Websites must prevent security breaches on both the front and back ends, from malware and viruses to harmful apps and the threat of hackers. To protect customer information, websites designed to make online transactions, such as eCommerce sites, require additional security measures. Businesses must have SSL certificates on their websites to lessen the risk of browser-based threats. It’s vital to check the security elements incorporated in your site’s structure and design during development. Businesses must also undertake regular security inspections or contract with a company that does so.
- Customer Testimonials
Customer testimonials, like offsite reviews, can be utilised to promote your business. You may illustrate your company’s abilities, goods, and commitment to clients by including customer testimonials on your website. If you already have a strong customer base, contact a few of them and ask for internet evaluations. Take advantage of this opportunity to make a branded video if they’re willing to submit a recorded testimonial. The more real, thorough testimonials your business receives, the more likely it is to attract new clients.
- Google+ Author Verification
Despite the fact that Google has stopped accepting page verification requests (not to be confused with Google+ business page verification, which is still operational), Google+ author verification for your site is still required. By linking site material to specific writers via Google+ accounts, the search engine can readily distinguish between human-created content and low-quality content. The author’s byline and photo will appear in SERPs after completing the Google+ author verification requirements. Customers who are met with the promise of information supplied by a real person are more inclined to click on the link while browsing for relevant content. In addition, owning your brand’s byline in SERPs makes it easier for customers and peers to find it.
Web developers have the tools they need to evaluate return on investment correctly and effectively, thanks to Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, and Bing Webmaster Tools. These tools can be used to track traffic, engagement, and conversion rates on both standard and mobile websites. It’s easy to determine which marketing strategies perform best and which underperform after going deep into the data. These vital insights on why clients visit, stay, and leave your website aid your team in perfecting marketing campaigns and fine-tuning engagement techniques to get maximum outcomes. Because your branded online presence serves as a 24/7 showroom, it’s critical to make the results measurement process as simple as possible by combining Google Analytics with Google and Bing’s Webmaster Tools.
- Comprehensive Sitemap
What section of a book should you read first when you sit down to read it? It’s usually the table of contents. The table of contents serves as a synopsis of the book’s contents, providing a snapshot of what’s inside. A sitemap, on the other hand, gives users and search engines the information they need to explore and discover your website’s contents. As new pages are added to your site, you’ll need to update the site map to keep it current. This process is made easier for you by Google Webmaster Tools.
- Original Content
It is critical to write high-quality, original material that is relevant to your organisation and products while establishing a website. Your site’s ranking in search engine results is influenced by a variety of factors, including the quality of your content and the keywords you use. Keyword research can generate subject ideas and, when utilised wisely, can help clients find the material they’re looking for quickly. Each web page should have at least 150 words and incorporate links to trustworthy resources and other pages on your website to improve attractiveness. The content you publish on your site should do more than just provide information; it should also reflect your brand’s distinct voice. Use a tool like Copyscape to confirm that it passes duplication standards before publishing. Posting duplicate content on your website will result in steep penalties from Google, including possible removal from search engine results.
- Stock Images
Everything on your website is protected by copyright laws and is considered intellectual property. Images that are copyrighted may result in fines if they are not posted with permission. If you’re going to utilise photographs in your site’s content, make sure you get formal permission and pay any appropriate costs. There are additional websites that provide access to photographs that are copyright-free. However, read the terms of service carefully before publishing them. Many firms find that the costs of legal image use outweigh the immediate benefit of « getting something for nothing. »
Given these characteristics of website creation and design, it’s evident that while developing a branded website, there are numerous factors to consider. Your site’s design, navigation, and content must captivate customers and inspire additional contact with your business, in addition to driving traffic and generating leads. Review the tools and information given in this guide while you develop a website to ensure that it has the tools it needs to succeed.