It doesn’t matter if you have a tattoo parlor or an accounting firm, you need your own website. Many people won’t even think of using a business’ services without first consulting its website. On the other hand, maybe your whole business IS your successful website. Remember that the same rules apply – a good website is a good website, no matter who owns it.
A lot of people are starting up their own, without actually thinking what makes a website good. Sure, promotion and content come to mind first, but that’s not enough. Some rules are essential – they are non-negotiable.
1. Have good, high-quality content
This one is a no-brainer, and yet a lot of people forget about their content. They think that a snazzy and good looking website, with solid SEO functionality, is all they need. However, this may get you some traffic, but it will definitely not keep and maintain it.
No matter if it’s blogging about your life, giving workout advice, making artsy videos, photography or whatever your passion may be – you need to make it stand out. Focus on quality, work on your craft. Quantity may be easier, but in the long run, it will not help you reach success. But, at the same time, don’t let your website turn into a ghost town. Post content in regular intervals, and try to keep people coming, without sacrificing quality.
2. Take Formatting Seriously
Don’t forget about this either. Formatting may seem like a boring chore, something even beneath you. Don’t think that way. One thing you can always count on is that the average internet reader will skip over any wall of text he or she finds.
You can avoid this in a couple of ways if you want to maintain a successful website. First, remember that “Brevity is the soul wit”. So, if you can say it simply and quickly, do so. Avoid repetition, unnecessary and ancient quotes, tautologous and fustian vocabulary, repetition, and long-winded sentences that are full of filler, that go on and on and on.
Next, header tags are your friend. You can chop up and break your writing into a couple of sections and subsections using header tags. This will let people read your stuff a lot quicker, as well as making it much easier to navigate a page.
3. Don’t Neglect Your Contact Page
Contact pages seem like something you just tack on to your website, without even thinking about it. And sure, having a small, basic contact area somewhere on your home page is a nice idea. But, you should also have a proper “about us” or contact page. This means address, phone number, e-mail, and even a small bio.
Also, definitely have a simple and easy to use form, so people can send your comments and questions directly. Remember to keep it nice and stylized. Don’t just leave a blank white page, but actually take care of how it’s optimized and built. A good contact form will definitely keep some of your traffic and may get you clients for life.
Furthermore, there have been reports of websites that provide proper and nicely laid out contact information are ranked higher by Google’s algorithms.
4. To Have a Successful Website, Links Are Fundamental Important
First of all, check for any dead links. The folks over at Green Web Marketing have been in this business for some time now, and they believe that one of the biggest problems (and one of the easiest to fix) is dead links. Not only are broken links annoying for the (potential) customer, they mess up your SEO usability and influence your Google ranking.
Of course, you don’t have to check any of these links manually. You should listen to GWM SEO services, and get some tools or apps that can do that for you. There’s a lot of good stuff out there, but the best are probably the good old Google Webmaster Tools and Xenu Link Sleuth.
5. Go Mobile
Not only does a huge chunk of internet traffic for any website come from mobile browsing, Google has (since 2015) begun to actually lower a site’s search engine ranking if it has no mobile optimization. It’s quite obvious that you should optimize your website for mobile since the very start.
6. Social Media is Mandatory
If you care about your SEO ranking (and you definitely should!), then social media sharing is non-negotiable. Tweets, Pinterest pins, Facebook posts and any and all type of sharing of your content will drastically influence your SEO rank. This means you should never forget to place social media buttons on your website.
Place them in conspicuous places, but try to not let them interfere with the actual content. You want you potential clients to notice these buttons and to use them easily, but you also don’t want to pressure them. If a person thinks they are being nagged or pushed to share something on social media, you can be pretty sure that they won’t.
7. Don’t be Lazy With Site Navigation
Site navigation isn’t just about placing content on your website randomly. You should have a well thought out plan, with the user in mind at all times. This means that your site’s architecture should make it very easy for visitors to find what they want, when they want it, and to find it again if they decide to do so.
We recommend the so-called “flat” architecture, which is essentially like a family tree or a pyramid. Also, have a maximum of four levels (number one being the homepage). This is not only good for your SEO efforts but is just generally easier for people to navigate.
Maintaining a website does not have to be hard. There are a couple of hard rules you should follow, but also remember to be creative and patient. It takes time to develop a solid visitor base, but if you have good content, you dot your I’s, cross your t’s and wait a while, it’s only going to be a matter of time.
Author bio: Emily is a business psychologist with a passion for marketing. Researching, exploring and writing is her favourite thing to do. Besides that, she loves animals, music, and travelling