How to Build an Effective Website
What does it take to build an effective website? Great content and interactive websites.
Why Good Content Rules
Creating content is the most important element in effective website design. Good content facilitates several goals: it draws new visitors through good search effectiveness, previous visitors return to see seasonal merchandise sales and specials, and educational tutorials gain referral links that direct traffic from other websites.
Interactive websites let visitors find the answers to questions that drove them to the site. Search functions to enter key phreases leading to FAQs or "frequently asked questions" exemplify this type of functionality. Do you provide forms for users to submit questions? Do you have a support ticket system? Mailing lists with self-signup offer future residual as you provide important updates about your business or industry to interested visitors. And any product description should include links to purchase pages or inquiry forms.
"Eye tracking" refers to how our eyes move throughout a web page. Paying attention to details such as color, layout, or the use of graphical links all help to draw the viewer's eye, and prompt them to "do something." Making small changes to your website design to reflect the holidays may pleasantly surprise your visitors, and an image displaying sweaters for sale offers greater visual interest--thus higher potential click-through rates--than a standard text link.
Make sure you use good page names to help visitors get a glimpse of the content before they click a menu item. In addition, good page names and their titles are an important first step in sound search engine practices.
For bricks and mortar businesses, to determine the type of useful content or interactivity you should include, consider your competition, user demographics, sales trends, and future goals. With answers to the questions below, we can help map out a plan for creating your effective website.
Answer the following questions to help create a plan for building an effective website:
- How are current sales generated?
- What new business ideas are you investigating?
- How do you find customers, and how do they find you?
- What is your target market?
- Do they use the Internet, and what is the level of their technical proficiency?
- Who is your competition?
- Are they on the web?
- How will you differentiate yourself from the competition?
- Do you need to streamline communication with customers?
- If you have a website, how is it performing, and what improvements would you like to see?
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