Characteristics of a Successful Website
As we near the end of 2016, it's the time of year that many businesses begin to review their current website. They determine what's working, what isn't, how it can be more easily maintained, and how to reduce their costs and increase revenue in 2017. This also happens to be the busiest time of year for me, as I am often doing complete website overhauls for the new year!
If you're unsure how your website is affecting your business, would like to maintain it yourself, or would even like to reduce your costs, review the following characteristics of a successful website to determine what can be done to improve your website and how I can help you!
No matter what type of business you run, a clean design for your website is a must-have. Users shouldn't be visually overwhelmed when visiting your website. They should be inspired. Be sure that vital information isn't difficult to find (i.e. contact information, or how to find yout), and keep animated page transitions or motion graphics to a minimum so they don't distract from the rest of your website or "cheapen" your look (and leave the GIFs for the 90s). Be sure all photos are crisp and clear, even on a large screen. And be sure to test your web design across various browsers and platforms (Macs and PCs!) to make sure your website looks the way you want it.
Easy to Navigate
Can any given user find what they need on your website within 2 clicks? For larger databases, do you have a search field? Be sure visitors aren't frustrated when browsing your website or they'll be less inclined to visit again, or worse, they may even choose to do business with your competitor if their website is easier to navigate.
More than half of your website traffic will be from mobile devices, so if your website doesn't translate well to a phone or tablet, you should have an alternate version. What makes a website mobile-friendly? A condensed menu, for example (the three lines in the corner we like to call the hamburger menu), and larger text designed to be easily read and scrolled through, without needing to zoom.
Easy to Edit or Maintain (or easy to reach your webmaster)
So many times I'll receive a panicked e-mail from a business owner that needs to update their website in time for a big event or sale, but can't get in contact with their webmaster or support service. Many don't even know the appropriate information (hosting service, passwords, etc.) to allow another web developer to gain access into their site. While not all web developers set up a website that their clients can edit, you should still have the information you need to allow another service to login if needed. My websites are done on a Wix platform that you can continue to maintain once I've set it up, and it's as easy as logging in through your internet browser. No confusing code or uploading process necessary.
It's important to have some sort of social media presence to keep your audience talking about and promoting your business. Blogs are also an excellent way to give visitors an in-depth explanation about services, experiences, or maybe client success stories. Even a clever hashtag can get your audience buzzing about you. But you'll need to tie this into your website by showing social media interactions on your site, or at the very least linking to the correct social media pages.
Not only do you need to keep customers coming back, but you need a way to reach out to new clients. Social media is vital, but so is a high ranking on search engines. If you can't find your own business on search engines like Google, no one else will either.
There should be a way for your business to follow up with your visitors. E-newsletters, or exclusive electronic offers for returning customers are a few ways to reach out to your visitors and keep them coming back for more. You should be able to automate these e-mails so they aren't taking time out of your busy schedule!
So how does your current website measure up? Are you experiencing some serious issues that need to be addressed? How soon can you get a new website, and how can it continue to be maintained?
What if I told you I can remodel your current website in about 5-10 business days, AND YOU can continue to maintain it yourself with no prior web experience through your everyday web browser? Of course, if you don't have the time or desire, I can also offer ongoing support services, and I'm available 24/7 for those late-breaking edits that need to happen fast.
Your website should be responsive, user friendly and headache-free. To make that happen I set all of my clients up with Wix.
Wix is a self-contained platform that works seamlessly and there’s never any need to update software, plugins, or widgets. It uses a simple drag and drop mentality, letting you completely customize your website without being stuck within the confines of a template like Wordpress websites. It offers mobile-friendly versions as well. And best of all, Wix was designed for everyone from bloggers to musicians to online retailers, so it is flexible enough to grow with you and your business as your goals change. Your new Wix website will also be equipped with all the elements needed for a strong SEO strategy. Site descriptions, page titles, custom URLs, search- friendly formatting, and other key elements are all easily managed.
So what are you waiting for? The new year is upon us and it's time to make a positive, affordable change for your business to help it grow in 2017. Wait until you see what a new website can do for you!
Contact me today for a free quote and I'll be happy to discuss all of your options!