What Makes a Web Site Successful

Practically everyone and their dog has a website these days... but not everyone has a successful website. There are actually no secrets as to what makes a site successful... just a few simple things to consider and put into practice. Here are a few tips on what will give you a leg up on your competitors.

Catch their attention and keep it.

Three trumpets with red flags

The average website visit lasts less than 30 seconds. If the visitor doesn't find a good reason to stick around, they won't. The information on your site must be clear and compelling, and your audience must consider it to be worth reading. Sharp design and great graphics won't be enough to hold a viewer's attention if there is no real value to the content.

Most importantly, get to the point! Studies have shown that eight out of ten people read the headlines, and only two of ten people read the first paragraph. Your information, particularly on the home page, needs to be direct and concise. Highlight key points so that your message can still be communicated if viewers want to skip the details.

Know your audience.

Who will be visiting your site, and what are they looking for? Update your site regularly with fresh content - this will offer a reason for visitors to return to your site. And another bonus? Regular updating of content also greatly influences your search engine rankings.

Usability Usability Usability

Like location to real estate, usability is everything in the world of web. We've all experienced going to a website in search of some basic, straight-forward information; only to end up leaving the site, filled with frustration with our inability to navigate our way around the site to find what we need. If a user experiences confusion or frustration while visiting your site, they're unlikely to return. Make it easy for the viewer. If your site visitor has an easy time finding their way around your site and can find what they need quickly and efficiently, they'll be more likely to stay for a while and, better yet, return in future. To learn more about usability, click here to read about Accessibility, Usability, and Web Standards.

Love Those Search Engines

Search engines can deliver potential clients to your door, so search engine optimization is important. The words you use within your content need to coincide with what your viewer is most likely to type into their search engine. Keep in mind that top rankings can never be guaranteed. Search engine rules continue to change, so just make your site as easy as possible for search engines to find.

Don't Overlook Online Marketing

Marketing your business on the internet is a great low-cost way to get your message out there. Social networking like Facebook and Twitter are great marketing techniques that have no direct cost, but they require a lot of work to keep viewers' attention. Pay-Per-Click campaigns can be greatly effective if you have effective advertisements, and their relative low cost make them worth a shot. The key here is to experiment a little and see what works for your business.

Consider the purpose of your website.

What does your website do? What are you trying to achieve? If you offer landscaping services, this fact should be clear immediately. Your content, your logo, your choice of graphics and images will all have an effect on whether the message you're trying to convey is clear or not. People have short attention spans and if your message is unclear they'll move on to another site. Every website should have a set of objectives for its users and a clear call to action. If your site's purpose is to entice viewers to get in touch with you, it should be obvious and easy to do so. The website should be built for the user, but with your clearly defined business goals in mind.