A great website is more than just an online collection of your blog posts and products. It’s a marketing tool that can be used to drive traffic, increase sales, and generate leads. A winning website can make all the difference between success and failure. Great content, a slick design, and the right marketing strategy can all help your website to stand out from the crowd, while a poorly designed site can cause potential customers or followers to dismiss you before they even know what your site has to offer them.
But how can you create a fantastic website and ensure that the right people notice it?
In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about what makes a great website and how to increase your traffic.
Why is a great website so important?
A great website is important for businesses because it allows them to promote their services and products, increase sales, build a customer base, and generate leads. In addition, businesses can collect information about their customers which may be used in the future for cross-selling or up-selling purposes.
Creating a great site is also important for individuals who require a strong online presence for a personal blog or a portfolio. A good looking website with professional content can help individuals to establish credibility, and gain recognition from potential clients, employers, and followers.
Why is increasing traffic so important?
In the past, it may have been enough to design a well-structured, informative website with accurate and up-to-date content. However, today’s potential customers are bombarded left right and centre with marketing messages from different companies every day. In order for your business to be successful, you need an edge over other websites that offer similar services and products.
That is why increasing traffic is so important – when people land on your site they must feel compelled to stay and spend time engaging with your site rather than immediately leaving because there is nothing of interest to them.
Increased traffic can lead to increased sales, more subscribers and followers, internet fame, and potential monetisation.
What are today’s website visitors looking for?
One of the main reasons why traffic is so important today, and will become even more important in future years, is because website visitors are becoming harder to impress.
Today’s consumer expects a personalized service that caters for their individual needs. They do not want to be bombarded with generic marketing messages or offers, they want targeted content that relates directly to them. If your site does not offer any value through a great design, fantastic layout, or engaging content, then people are not going to stay on it for very long, and will finding another one which provides what they are looking for.
With that in mind, here is our twelve step guide to getting your website noticed.
Identify your target audience
Before you start designing your website, it is important to first identify the type of people that will be visiting your site because once you know who your target audience is and what they like or dislike, you can base all of your decisions around them in terms of the design, content, and even some technical choices such as which CMS platform to use.
For example, if you are building a website for a business like Starbucks or Costa Coffee then your target audience may be commuters aged between 25 – 39 with disposable incomes of over £30k per year.
Based on this information you can now start designing your site around that demographic’s preferences and needs. This will ensure that your website delivers engaging content which will help you to achieve your goals.
Conduct effective market research
In order to focus your site on those preferences and needs, once you have identified your target audience, you will need to conduct thorough market research to find out what they are looking for. This research should include:
– What websites they already use
– How often they visit those sites and why
– The type of content that keeps them coming back for more.
Once you have this information you can then create a site which offers similar products or services, but with an added twist to make it stand out from the crowd.
Analyse what your competitors are doing well
To help your website stand out from your competitors, you must first find out exactly what those competitors are doing. You need to look for both areas of their websites you could improve, as well as elements you can adapt or borrow to while designing your site.
There are various ways to analyse your competitors including:
- Looking at their design and seeing how it compares to your website.
- Using different analysis tools to show you exactly how they are performing.
- Analysing what keywords they rank for and the extent of their backlinks.
- Looking at their calls to action, internal links, and other methods for keeping visitors on their site.
- Analysing whether they use chatbots, guest books, testimonial sections, mailing lists, or any other visitor engagement tools.
Once you have this information it will be easier to spot areas where there is room for improvement on your site or potential areas where you can get one over on the competition.
Choose the right domain name
Choosing the right domain name should always form part of your initial market research because once you have established who your target audience is, along with their likes and dislikes, then choosing an appropriate URL becomes much easier. An effective, well-thought-out URL will make it easier for your target audience to find you. It also helps if the URL matches the branding or tone of voice of your business or personal blog.
For example, if the target market is young women aged between 18 – 24, you may want to choose a domain name that would appeal to that age group such a fashionfaves.co.uk.
The best way to come up with good ideas for URLs is brainstorming lists of keywords people may be search that relate to your website offers. However, you need to be aware that the best URLs can be very expensive so you may need to balance the perfect domain name with your budget potential.
Design an eye-catching website
Now that you have done all the necessary analyses, the next step is the most important (and potentially the most fun!). There is a huge amount that goes into designing an attractive engaging website. The most important thing is that your website is easy to use, interesting to visit, and is reflective of your brand. Here are some things you will need to consider when designing your site:
Make sure that you choose a colour scheme for your site that is easy on the eyes and reflects your brand. You can use tools like Adobe Colour or Coolors to help with this process. It’s also important to make sure there isn’t too much contrast between colours as it makes text difficult to read, so try using shades of complementary colours (colours directly opposite each other on the colour wheel). In general, darker websites tend to be more sophisticated, but if yours will require pop-ups or moving images then lighter pages may be better.
When choosing fonts for your site, choose ones that are easy to read and use them consistently throughout your pages for both headers and body paragraphs. It’s also important to consider how different styles of text look together so try previewing different typefaces side-by-side.
It’s important to add graphics and images that enhance the content of your site, but you need to keep them consistent. If you have a colour scheme in mind then try finding images that matches this theme. Similarly, if you already have brand logos or photos, they can make excellent background images for pages with relevant information on top (for example: a picture of your team when talking about your employees).
You will need to create an easy-to-navigate website structure to make life easy for your visitors, so make sure there is logical flow between different sections of your website and use clear categories and headers at the top of your pages. For instance, someone looking for ‘about’ information does not want to be sent straight into your product lists, so make sure you have a page specifically for this information.
Website content and formatting
It’s important to create engaging content that will encourage people to read more, but that also makes it easy for them to find what they need quickly and navigate around your site without getting lost. For example, rather than writing long-winded pages about all of the benefits of buying from you (which no one wants to read), add an ‘about’ section with some key facts or bullet points at the top. Then you can link out through highlighted text wherever possible so visitors can see where each piece of info fits into their larger research journey without having to trawl through every single article on your website.
It is essential that you use keywords here as search engines pay attention not only to the words within your content, but also how these keywords are used and linked together. Which brings us nicely to…
SEO (Search engine optimisation) is the process of using keywords and key phrases throughout your content in order to improve your site ranking within search engines like Google and Bing. Here are just some of the ways you can do this:
Adding meta descriptions
You need to include meta descriptions for each page or post on your website as these tell people what they will find if they click through from their search results (they also show up as snippets under links, so make they are compelling). So instead of something generic like “click here”, try explaining why someone should visit with an actionable statement such as “find out how we helped X company become Y% more profitable” – this way, people are more likely to click.
Including keywords in your content
It is important that you don’t go too overboard with this as Google penalises sites which do not use natural language which its web crawlers think is spam or has been intentionally stuffed with keywords to improve rankings. So for each page on your site, find the primary keyword or phrase you want in there somewhere (ideally in titles and headers), but make sure they fit naturally within sentences so your content doesn’t look like an advert. You can use software like Surfer SEO and SEMRush to get a better idea of how well your website content is optimised.
Creating backlinks is also important because it tells search engines that your site has authority and this helps you rank higher in the results pages. There are several ways to get links from other sites, but what works best for you will depend on how competitive your industry is. One of the most popular methods at the moment is guest blogging where a blogger with a high follower base agrees to post an article about something relevant on their blog which then includes a link to one or more linked articles within yours (this can be done without being too salesy by adding real value through insightful information). You should include these types of outbound links wherever possible as people clicking through from relevant sources shows Google that there’s interest in your content. This will see your website’s ranking improve which in turn will help boost traffic.
To sum up
With every industry and online niche having so much competition these days, ensuring your website gets noticed has never been more difficult. The most important thing is that you carefully consider every element of your website, from its design to its meta descriptions. By systematically taking care of each aspect of your site, you will greatly increase your search engine rankings, traffic, and as a result, your followers or customers. Make sure you do thorough customer and market research first, and plan everything else around, delivering exactly what your target audience is looking for.