Guest Contribution by Sherryn de Vos
So, you have set off on the journey of starting a brand new website and have no idea how to create a successful website? Well, we are here to help. Whether you are starting a new business adventure or finally taking yours into the online world, you could be slightly daunted with everything out there and where to actually begin.
Don’t feel alone. Research shows that there are over 547,200 new websites created daily! That is a lot of new content going up and a lot of noise to compete with, right? Well, don’t panic, there are several ways of making yourself stand out, reaching your target audience and drawing them into your site.
It’s all about getting those basics right, so focus on getting the site’s foundations up before moving onto the rest. We will take you through a few absolute must-have guidelines on creating a successful website(1) to convey the message and tone of your target audience. Your rule of thumb at all times is to create it with your customer in mind!
Here Are The 4 Most Important Elements of a Successful Website
A User-Friendly Website
This might seem like a very obvious point, but the first thing you need to decide is how your website is actually going to come about. If you are new to the internet world, and if you are going to be managing it yourself, you will want it to be as simple as possible. You will also want it to be easy to navigate for your visitors.
You have three options. You can choose to use a website creator platform like WordPress or Wix that creates generic website templates that you can mold into your unique site yourself. The second option is to hire a developer to create the whole site from scratch and create something uniquely yours. Or, lastly, you can opt to buy a website.
Every one of these options comes with its own set of pros and cons. Developing a new site from scratch, although it makes it unique and absolutely customizable, is time and resource-heavy.
Using a tool like Wix takes the excessive time factor out of the process, but you will have to make do with generic templates that might blend in with other sites.
Buying a website also faces its own challenges. In most cases, you will be purchasing the full business, together with the current traffic, but you might find yourself being restricted to keeping it as it is.
There are many websites for sale, which you can take into consideration, but it is worth your while spending some time finding the right one for you.
A Searchable and Memorable Name
They say that it is all in a name, right? Well, this is true online too. Picking the right name for your website can be tricky. Firstly, there are possibly thousands of similar names already floating around the world wide web, so getting something truly unique is tricky.
You will also need to make sure that it is something that your customers and visitors will remember. A great name will be relative to what you are selling or providing, and this will hugely help people remembering it when they need to go and search it again.
This will also significantly increase your SEO rankings, as Google will easily be able to identify you and rank you higher on the search results.
It is, therefore, crucial to get the right website host. Not only will you be able to choose the name of your site and host it on a platform, but also be able to have an associated email box. And this doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg. There are several cheap websites hosting services out there to get you started.
Ease of Contactability
Have you ever faced a problem with a product or service and tried to go to the company to sort it out and simply could not get hold of them? In the contact us section, there is just a contact form that you have to fill out.
The Q&A is generic and unhelpful, and every path you take simply leads you to another computer-generated answer.
A successful website makes the customer journey easy from the start. It surprises, delights, and provides the customer with all of the support they need. So make sure that you make it easy for a customer to contact you.
Keep in mind, different customers communicate in different ways. Some prefer email, some prefer direct calls, and others prefer to live chats. Try and cater to all of them on your site.
If this sounds a little bit out of your depth, don’t panic. Live chatbots are actually easy to integrate and to manage if you do it correctly. And, if you look at some live chat statistics, you will see that 97% of customers feel like options like this are vital to a company.
The Right Content
The last point that we will look at is how vitally important content is on your site. In fact, there are hundreds and hundreds of sources out there that can provide you the insight you need to get the right content out. If you are starting out, we highly encourage you to do a lot of research into this.
Not only does the content make it easy for your customer to find you, but the right content on your site will draw a visitor in, allow them to engage with your website, and convert them to a customer.
Content is critical for SEO as Google regularly scapes your site for keywords to determine where to place you on the search pages. The higher you rank when someone types in the type of product or service you are offering, the more likely you are to get a new visitor.
It is then up to that content and the story you tell on your site to entice them to convert to a buying customer. From product descriptions to the story about your company and even your CTA’s, every bit counts and needs to be optimized to ensure your customer finds you, stays, and then actually comes back.
( Also Read: 4 Website Customer Engagement Tools )
If you feel overwhelmed by starting your new website, we suggest you take one step at a time. Research everything that you implement and integrate. Test everything that you have added to run a successful website, and make sure that you, at all times, keep the customer journey top of mind to make sure they come back for more.
Sherryn de Vos is living in the beautiful city of Cape Town. She worked with a startup brand that launched in South Africa called GoBeauty where she was assisted with content generation, as well as conceptualized events focused on women’s health, entrepreneurship, careers, and tech to run alongside the brand. She has extensive experience in writing and uses a lot of her practical experience to create useful content in the business, finance, and marketing world.