Tips for a Winning Website

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Tips for a Winning Website - VOiD Applications
When you create a website for your business, it’s very easy to get caught up in what you think looks nice and what you like, but you need to remember that you’re not the one who will be buying your product or service!

So, what makes a good website? There are several factors to consider if you want to create a website that performs, which is why we put together this article. We run through some of our top tips for a winning website.

Understanding Your Target Audience

The first thing to understand is who actually visits your website? If you have an e-commerce website and it sells “accessories for the female entrepreneur”, then you probably know that the majority of your audience is going to be a female adult.

But what if your website offers gender-neutral services/products? How do you know who you should be targeting? This is why Google Analytics is super important. With the data found in Google Analytics, you can find out how many people visit your website, which pages they visit, how long for and whether they are male/female, what age range and what devices they visit from. That’s a lot of information!

Using this information, you can tailor your website based on what your customer is actually looking for and you can keep updating it depending on the results.

There are many other domain extensions these days, such as .london, .tv, .business, but these are more expensive than the traditional domains and aren’t necessarily better.

Choosing the Right Domain

It’s difficult to find the perfect domain name for your website these days because there are people out there who buy up popular domain names pretty quickly. However, you can still find an appropriate domain for your business.

First of all, you want to keep it professional, so avoid putting numbers in your domain. It may be a way of getting the name you want and replacing a word with a number, but it generally will look quite immature to do it like this, unless the number(s) are significant/synonomous to your branding. It’s better to come up with an alternative solution.

The domain extension is always a topical debate; do you want to stick to .co.uk if you’re a UK company, or is .com always better? We recommend purchasing a .com domain if you’re planning on selling internationally, but it makes sense to have both URLs and redirect one to the other.

There are many other domain extensions these days, such as .london, .tv, .business, but these are more expensive than the traditional domains and aren’t necessarily better. We would only recommend you choose one of these domains if it will benefit your SEO.

Designing Your Website

We’ve already determined that your website needs to be designed with the customer in mind, but what content should go on your website?

First of all, remember that the purpose of your website is for the customer to find the information that they need and to do so quickly. So, you want to have clear navigation and relevant call-to-action buttons to take them to the right places to make the necessary enquiries. The use of large images in gallery driven showcase websites and animations may impact loading times slowing down the process of navigating the site for the user, which slow speed of a website always proves a deterrent for use. Yes, they have to be impressed by your business, but people are impatient – they want to find information quickly, so optimised, clear, and purposeful information will always trump over the top productions.

Your website needs to be optimised for mobile too – many people forget that phone usage outweighs desktop usage for most.

When someone first lands on your website, what do you want them to see? Will it capture their attention and stop them from going to a competitor’s website? If not, then this needs to change. Some people say you have 7 seconds to capture a reader’s attention, others say you have 15 seconds… whatever it is, it’s not long!

Therefore, you need headings that draw the reader in and pose a question to them that they will wish to explore further. If they do click away from your website quickly, this will increase what is known as your bounce rate and will be another factor that could hurt your SEO (not if we’ve got anything to do with it though).

Making Your Site Secure and Fast

As mentioned, people like to find their information very quickly, so having a slow website will really hurt your business. Most people will be too impatient to wait for it to load properly and will just move onto another website instead. This is why it’s very important to prioritise functionality over aesthetics sometimes, as a lot of the complicated animations and big images are what slow a site down.

Choosing the right hosting company is essential when it comes to speed and security. A poor host can really let down the website. Not only will it run slowly, but it will go down completely if too much traffic is directed to it. Very counterproductive if you’re running a campaign to get lots of visitors to your website!

Google also punishes websites which are not secure, damaging your SEO rankings, which means fewer visitors, fewer conversions and therefore, less money for you.

In addition to all this, a bad hosting company could cause security issues for your website. At the very least, you need to ensure that you have an SSL certificate on your website – most website hosting companies actually provide these for free now. This should produce a little padlock in the browser to show that your website is secure and safe. This is a must if you are running an e-commerce website and handle people’s payment details.

Google also punishes websites which are not secure, damaging your SEO rankings, which means fewer visitors, fewer conversions and therefore, less money for you.

Optimising Your Wesbite with SEO

We’ve mentioned SEO so many times in this article, but what do we mean by this? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and it’s a process we use to try and get your website to the top of Google – as that’s where most people look for companies they can trust!

SEO is always about long-term results. You may hear about people buying “quick fixes” for SEO, but this is not good for your website! Google can actually punish your website for using techniques like this and even kick you off their search engine forever! So, it’s really not worth it.

There are many factors that affect your SEO, but major ones that you will want to think about are:

  • Ensuring you update your website regularly with new content (even informative blog posts like this one every now and can drastically improve your web presence).
  • Making sure you include relevant keywords in your website copy.
  • Filling in your metadata on each page with the keyword you want to rank for.
  • Connecting to Google Webmaster tools and ensuring you have a sitemap and robot.txt file on your website. Contact us to find out more!

Social Media Integration

Social media also helps with your SEO, but that’s not the only reason why it’s important. Millions of people use social media on a daily basis and it’s one of the easiest ways to get your business out there.

You can build up a following on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. and then embed these feeds into your website. This way, visitors to your website will be able to see that you’re active on social media and be able to see regularly updated content directly from your feeds. Many people trust companies who are active on social media.

Customer Retention

At the end of the day, you want your customers to keep coming back to you. If they’ve already purchased from you previously, it’s going to be a lot less work to convince them to purchase from you again, compared to a brand new customer. Tools like email marketing are fantastic for reminding customers who you are, what offers you currently have available and what’s new in your world. The convenience of your brand landing directly in their inbox means it’s no effort for them.

But what about those who are viewing your website, pop something in their cart and then aren’t sure about their purchase? There are actually tools out there that can help you target those people too. This is known as ‘abandoned cart’ and it’s estimated that they’re worth $18bn in 2020! That’s a crazy amount of money. There are tools out there that you can utilise that allow you to capture the data of the people who have popped your products in their cart and you can email them encouraging to check out. Perhaps a discount code or a freebie would help them cross the line.

In conclusion, creating a perfect website isn’t easy, and it will take time. However, by following our tips for a winning website and partnering with the right development studio (hint hint, it’s us. It’s always us), you will be able to produce a great-looking site that performs well, ranks highly in search engines and will keep your customers coming back for more!

So what are you waiting for? You’re already here, you’ve got the know-how, and we’re salivating to start your new project. Contact VOiD Apps today, to see how we can bring the above, to life.