Developer Resources | Date Posted: 03/17/2015
What factors go into designing a successful website?
There are many factors that go into designing a website. You may have a great looking site. But that doesn't necessarily mean it will be successful. Search engines are not superficial they are more concerned with the content of your site. You also have to develop an online presence. This involves developing a relationship with your audience. So what factors go into designing a successful website?
Your home page is the first impression you will have with your audience and should contain your featured content. You want to give visitors a reason to bookmark your site. You need to know your audience and you need to make a great first impression. Your site should have a consistent theme. Elements of a theme include typography, color, and layout. Your site should be well organized and easy to navigate. A common practice is to include navigational links in the header as well as in the footer. Hyperlinking your logo is also a common practice; most people take it for granted that clicking the site logo will take them back to the home page. And don't forget to give visitors a way to contact you by including a contact form and contact information. Also you should incorporate Responsive Design to provide an optimal viewing experience for your audience across a wide range of devices.
As you know from your own experiences online - no one takes the time to read content. Typically we scan websites for information. Too much information can result in "information overload" and exhaust your audience. When you are designing a website you want to keep this in mind by using headlines and subheading; highlight content you want to emphasize; use bullets - ordered and unordered lists; as well as images.
You want to keep your content fresh so your audience will keep coming back. One way this can be accomplished is by incorporating a blog into your site. Blogging is an important marketing asset. It allows you to interact with your audience. It allows you to build credibility by providing helpful content about the services you have to offer. Blogging will help your site in the rankings as well. By frequently updating your site search engines will crawl and index your site on a regular basis. The more frequently you update your site the better chances your content will be featured in search results.
You also want to incorporate social media into your website. Social media helps you stay connected to your audience; it's an effective tool when you want to drive traffic to your website. You want to make your content easy to share; popular sites to promote your content include Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
One of the great features of this site is that it uses a custom "Content Management System" (CMS). If you want to incorporate blogging into your site a CMS is essential. A CMS allows you to focus on the content of your website without having to be a website designer or developer enabling you to easily keep the content of your website updated.
Analytics will give you insight into how you site is being accessed. You will become more aware of the strengths and weakness of you site; allowing you to identify and resolve issues. By addressing issues your audience will have a better online experience.