When building and running your website, it is not enough to just write content or list some items for customers to buy. There are more elements needed to create and run a successful and profitable website.
Have a USP
Your site needs something that gives people a reason to visit it, and this will be your USP. USP stands for a unique selling point, and it applies to any website regardless of whether you are actively selling something. If your website is generic or very similar to other people’s why should people spend time on it? Instead, you want to have unique written content, products displayed and sold in a unique way. This doesn’t mean that you need to only sell completely unique products, but you do need to think about why someone would buy from you rather than an established company like Amazon. It can be the small details that convince people to stick around, and those will be your USP.
Keep It Simple
This one is important. You need to keep it simple. You don’t need to have flash videos and animations on your site. In fact, cluttering your website can easily put people off visiting. Firstly, it will take longer to load in people’s browsers both on their computer and smartphones. Secondly, these flashy items get in the way of what your website actually is and the content/products you provide. They are annoying and cumbersome, plus they you are wasting your time on something that people don’t like, and that is negatively affecting your site. Don’t use them.
Easy To Navigate
People want to be able to navigate through your website easily, and without any hassle, so you want to oblige them as much as possible. If parts of your website are difficult to reach or your layout is confusion, then you are going to put people off and lose visitors. You need to think about it from a new viewers perspective ‘is this website easy to navigate?’, and if the answer is no, then you need to redesign so that it is. If you are using a theme, then you should try and see if you can customize to the way that you want, and if you can’t then, you might need to use a new one. Alternatively, if you have used a web builder or made the site from scratch, then you will need to alter to layout this way. It is best to get this kind of thing right from the very start because changing it months or years into running your site is not good.
Effective use of social media can make or break a website. You need to have a presence on the major social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook. However, you might find places like Pinterest or Instagram useful depending on the nature of your website. Whichever social media sites you use, you need to start to grow a following that you can link back to your website. You should also have links to your social media profiles and accounts on your website and for them to be easily visible to your viewers. The more followers and subscribers that you have, the more people will see the links to your content or products. If you are having trouble gaining a following, then you should reach out to a professional or search for some tips on how to use social media. One of the major things about using social media is to be active a lot and do not constantly post about your own products or content. Instead, you want to focus on things that are related to your industry or market. It takes time, but gradually people will start to gravitate towards you as put post useful and interesting things on your social media accounts.
You want to appear in search engines. This will be one of the primary ways that you get clicks through to your website and, as such, you should use keywords. SEO sounds like a scary term that requires a lot of time and expertise. In reality, a few Google Searches should tell you pretty much everything you need to know. When it comes to using keywords, though, you want to use specific words that people are likely to search so that your content comes in their search. For example, if you are selling furniture then you want to specifically name that furniture in the title and then in a description below. You want to use the keyword a few times, but make it feel natural. Instead of saying ‘this’ or ‘that’ name what you are talking about. If you are writing a blog post, use tags and include keywords there. What you shouldn’t do is compromise what you are doing and turn the whole thing into keywords. Keep it natural, but have keywords in the back of your mind while you are doing so. If you are struggling to do effective keyword work on product descriptions, then you could always hire a freelance writer to do them for you. They are relatively inexpensive and know how to construct professional product descriptions.
Be Safe and Secure
The last thing you want is for people to not trust your site. If they don’t trust you, then they won’t visit ever again. With this in mind, you want to make sure that your site is safe and secure. This might mean clamping down on a comments section to keep the chat from becoming volatile or for an online store it means ensuring that your payment options are secure for the customer. You can use services like PayPal, but a lot of people won’t use this and prefer to use their credit or debit cards instead. This means that you need to provide a safe and secure payment portal. A lot of site builders and tools come with them prebuilt, but you want to ensure that and double check that yours is safe. Also, you want to make sure that you are using HTTPS rather than the older HTTP. The ‘s’ means that your site is secure and a lot of virus software will block people from entering an HTTP website.