What Makes a Website Successful?

What Makes a Website Successful? Simple. Convert visitors into customers. But how to go about converting your visitors into customers is not so straightforward and takes time as well as effort. Converting visitors into customers is the holy grail of a successful website.

How to convert visitors into customers

The following are six steps that should be taken into consideration when looking to create a successful website that will help convert visitors into customers.

User Experience

Any visitor your website will want to be able to navigate it to find what they are looking for easily and quickly. If they do not find what they are after easily they will leave your site and find another one that does. Once lost they are never likely to return. But ease of navigation is just one of the factors that goes into making up a satisfying experience. Design, look and feel, content and search engine optimisation are some of the other factors that all help towards creating a successful website. According to some, user experience is the critical factor when it comes to making the decision to sign-up or click on that submit button to conclude a purchase.

Good Design

The design of your website must persuade your visitors to sign up, purchase or get in touch. It is however not always just about great graphics, your chosen designer must be able to put themselves into the shoes of your potential customers and think like them. You probably will know more about your potential customers and how they think than your designer, so a designer who develops a close relationship with you and understanding of your target audience is vital. A designer will be able to translate that relationship and understanding into the design of your website and help convert visitors into customers.

Look and feel

Your website is your shop. Treat Landing pages as your shop windows and for e-commerce sites these may also double up as your shop floor. Visitors must like the look and feel of them otherwise you will not be able to convince them to stay. Don't put off customers by having a part completed website, a website that is messy to navigate or one with broken links, incorrect links, out-dated content and news items. These all imply to a lesser or greater extent, neglect and impact on the look and feel of your website.

Ease of Navigation

Visitors to your site must be able to find what they are looking for easily and quickly. This usually means what they are looking for must be found within a couple of clicks from your home page. If you have landing pages other than your home page, make sure this landing page will take then directly to the product or service they were searching for. Nothing is more off-putting to a potential customer than having already done a search on the web for a specific item or having clicked on a link expecting to be taken to that item, than to find themselves on a website's home page and then having to search all over again for the item.

Speed is also of the essence. The time it takes to load a page is key when it comes to the overall user experience. If a page does not load quickly you will probably end up loosing customers. So make sure any content you load up to your site, for example photos, videos and PDFs have been optimised for the web.

Content

A website with great design but bad content will not engage your visitors and turn them into customers. Fresh and relevant content is what we all look for when searching online and it’s no different for the major search engines. And as these deliver your potential customers, your content needs to be as appealing as possible to both the search engines and your visitors. Don't forget content covers words, photos, videos, information, relevant articles and related links, as well as your products.

Search Engine Optimisation

Visitors make or break the success of your website so make sure you have them. There are two ways you can get people visit your website. The first, you give them the link of your website. This can be done by displaying your URL on advertising material, attaching it to your email signature or social bookmarking it through Facebook, LinkedIn etc. However, by far the most effective way to get visitors to your website is still via the major search engines. If you want to reach the vast global pool of potential customers looking for goods and services through the web you must be seen on the major search engines. It is no use having a website which has been designed taking into all the previous factors into account, if it cannot be found. This is where Search Engine Optimisation comes into play. SEO used to be something that could just be bolted onto a website to make a below average site rank as though it was the best in its field but not today. Effective and continuing SEO is now vital to the success of any website.

CGT offers a number of one to four day bespoke courses that can help you with successful website design, including our popular one-day Master Google Adwords (PPC), Search Engine Optimisation Essentials and Search Engine Marketing Essentials courses. What's more with our bespoke courses, content from different courses can be combined so that you learn precisely what you need to suit you particular needs. So please contact us for further information.

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