Last week we gave you 5 Tips to Make Your Website Amazing that will help you boost your web presence. The tips were relatively obvious, although their execution can occasionally be elusive. As such, we delved deeper into what those tips mean and how to apply them successfully. Having a firm understanding of your audience, how to engage them, making sure your call to actions are clear and concise, keeping the site easy to use, and having an appealing design set the stage for a successful website. Now here are 5 more tips to make your website amazing:
6. Know How to Find Your Site
This may seem silly, but knowing how to actually find your site on the infinite web is vital to consider. Obviously, you can type in your URL and find your site, but how will your visitors find your site? How will you attract your target audience? Today you have options like Social Media, pay-per-click advertising, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and more. When it comes to marketing your site, understand what works best for you and your budget.
Founder and CEO of the content marketing firm AudienceBloom, Jayson DeMers, suggests simple things like the following:
- Focusing on long-trail keywords
- Starting a Facebook group
- Mentioning influences in Tweets
- Building connections with others in your niche
Finding simple solutions that fit your budget is key.
7. Keep it Simple
When you are excited about a product or service—particularly your own—it can be very easy to want to showcase everything you possibly can. There are effective ways to do this without going overboard, though, as one needs to be careful not to overwhelm visitors. To go back to the our previous article for a moment, one could easily start a linear story with the creation of the coffee mug and walk through the history of the coffee mug, up to the creation and implementation of your product. But does your site really need all of that? Does your site really need three videos and instructions on how to properly use a coffee mug?
In general, websites need to follow a “less is more” attitude, if only because it is so easy to overwhelm your audience and lose their attention. Instead, try finding one feature that captures your audience’s attention and keeps things short and concise after that to maintain interest. The easier it is for your audience to engage with you and your product or service, the better.
8. Social Media Sharing
Make it easy for your audience to tell others what an awesome job you’re doing. It isn’t difficult to share a site one likes. You copy the URL and paste it in Facebook or Twitter and hit the “post” button. However, you would be surprised how many people won’t do that, simply because there are too many required steps.
Using your footer or even your header navigation, allow your visitors to easily share your site by clicking on social media icons. If you do not personally have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, (the list goes on) for your site, that’s fine. Adding the ability to share will simply make it easier for others to do so with one click.
Not only does this maintain your site’s relevance on the web, but it is also a form of social marketing, which can drive traffic to your site.
9. Don’t Forget the Details
Teacher and professional graphic designer, Joe Sparano says, “Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent,” meaning, we are programmed to see mistakes. With that said, it can be very easy to overlook the small details of your site, and you may find yourself confronted with issues you may never have considered.
What color scheme will you choose? Are the colors you chose easy to read on most screens? What about your font choices, are they easy to read? Do you have specific images that you would like to use on your site, like a headshot? Are your images large enough for the site?
Things like that can make or break a web page. If you were to find a wonderfully laid out site, with great content and a terrific product, but all of the product images were blurry because they were too small, it would break the experience for you. On the opposite side of that example, if you have beautiful imagery throughout the site, but the font is too difficult to read because of its size or color, then you lose your audience there as well.
Which brings us to…
10. UX (User Experience) Testing
By this point, you have definitely been all over your site and back again. You’ve tested all of the pages and forms yourself and made sure everything works perfectly and now you are ready to launch!
So many people forget to let other visitors play with the site before it is launched to the masses. What may look great to you, or what may be easy to read on your screen may not look the same on someone else’s. What shows up as teal on your screen may show up as a harsh green on another. One of the best ways you can make sure everything on your site is legible and maintains a logical progression is to test it with users other than yourself. They may find mistakes that you missed or have highly valued input that could help take your site to the next level. Where you do not want to give over the creative reign to a friend or family member, it is always helpful to have at least a second set of eyes on something you’ve been so close to.
Although these tips may seem obvious, it can be difficult to know where to start sometimes, and what your options are. As we often have said finding a partner that gets you and what you are trying to do is often your best option.
By: Jen G Anders, for AMI LC