7 Tips for website success

By Harvey Morton, Digital Expert and Founder of HarveyMorton.Digital . Also founder of The Social Sanctuary Podcast – www.thesocialsanctuary.co.uk.  

Before planning and designing your website, it’s essential to understand what you want to do with it. Firstly, your website should act as a beacon on the internet, attracting customers and clients. To be successful, your website needs to be visible. Secondly, when people choose to click onto your site, you should take those five seconds they give you to persuade them to stay. Finally, a website is successful if it funnels your customers with the minimum number of clicks to the point of sale or a call to action that continues the relationship with you.

#1 PPC for SERP position

Like any industry, website design is one with a lot of acronyms and jargon. SERP is a search engine results page. Realistically, you wAdd Newant to be in the top three listed websites for the search terms used by your customers. If you are on the second page of search engine results, you are almost invisible.

You can buy real estate at the top of search engine pages. You will have noticed paid ads, and these are successful. Most of these listings are pay per click (PPC) advertising. The upside to this is you are at the top of the search. The downside, the client knows it is not an organic search, and you might not be as relevant as those that are listed lower but there because of the validity and quality of the website.

#2 Or use SEO for SERP position

The other way to position yourself higher in a search engine is to optimise your website. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is part science and part art. Your customers will come to you with set phrases in mind for searching. You need to plant these phrases in your H1 and H2 headings and your copy, but in a way that feels natural. 

There is too much to say about Google penalties to be helpful in such a short article – but it might be worth researching Google updates and penalties to check out their latest algorithm updates.

#3 Page load speeds 

You have made your website visible, so have achieved the first criteria of success. Now, you need to keep your customers and clients on board long enough to make an impact. Whether we like it or not, our patience and attention span are lessening. We expect pages to load within a second or maximum, two. 

Part of SEO is making sure your page functions quickly. Part of Google’s measure of quality is your page load speeds. Therefore, when choosing components for your website, you really must consider the size and how long it would take for them to appear on the screen. There are all sorts of techy ways to minimise the load times. It is why website designer is a skilled profession.

#4 Instant impact

Once we are on the site, we will then give it five seconds more of our time to work out if it is what we hoped. Your site branding is vital to engagingof your visitor. Your heading, your logo, your first image – all need to offer simple, sophisticated, and targeted design. 

While simple and sophisticated are key, they are not as crucial to your success as targeted. Get to know your customer inside out and think: what will they want to see from me? You can’t appeal to everybody, and that’s fine, as not everyone will want to work with, buy your product or your service. Make sure the people who care about you know you understand them

#5 Mobile optimised

According to news outlet CNBC, 72% of all website users will be using a mobile device. While only a minority of your potential market or readership will have access to a laptop or desktop, most will have a smartphone. Therefore, it is vital to design your site so that it works perfectly on the smaller screen. Nobody spends any time pinching and dragging their way through text that scrolls off the screen or becomes so small an ant would need to squint.

#6 Website structure

If you followed the tips so far, then you have achieved success one and two. Now, you need to funnel your user to the places they want to go without distracting them. One of the biggest reasons for people to become frustrated with a site is poorly managed advertising. The other is a website structure that requires a PhD in Rocket Science.

#7 Call to action

Finally, your user needs to be told clearly what to do next. You might want them to:

  • Add to your cart
  • Buy now
  • Contact us today
  • Click for your free sample.

Calls to action are simple instructions, usually with an embedded link, which helps guide your user to the next step in the relationship with you.

And, once they click on that call to action, you know you have achieved success number three. You have funnelled them to deepening the interaction with you and your company. Good luck!