What are the main factors behind a successful website? Creative Director, Shaun Uthup, gives his top 5 tips...
1. Get the home page right.
This is the most important page. People generally decide within 5 seconds if they want to stay on your site, based purely on the home page design.
DON’T try and say everything on the home page. This is the most common mistake I see. You have plenty of opportunity throughout the rest of the site to explain what you do, so don’t feel you have to say it all on the front cover.
2. Keep the navigation simple.
Try and rationalise all of your products or services into a few broad simple choices. Your user needs to be able to navigate easily through the site without getting lost or overwhelmed with links.
3. Search engine optimisation.
It is vital that your site is on page 1 of Google BUT it must be for the right keywords. Make sure you spend time researching the most relevant keywords for you.
You need to think about the best ways to convert Google positioning into sales. An intelligent SEO strategy can transform the conversion rate of a website.
Your website, and especially your home page, must correlate strongly and immediately with your targeted list of keywords.
Landing pages must be clearly thought out to promote your USPs and explain what you do in relation to your targeted keywords.
4. Web Design, Images, Video and Copy.
Don’t use pre-designed templates and don’t use a web programmer to design your website. Good web design requires an experienced graphic designer.
A graphic designer will know how to brand your website correctly and ensure your key messages are intelligently communicated.
Quality images and intelligent copy are paramount. Make the copy as concise as possible and try to engage your audience rather than just talk about yourself.
Try and commission your own photography rather than use stock imagery.
Video is becoming more and more important online. A good video can describe your products or services much more effectively than reams of text with a few still images.
5. Social Media Marketing.
It is increasingly important to embrace social media within your online marketing strategy.
When it's done well, social media can create a more engaging and personal form of communicating with your audience. It also allows you to reward loyal 'fans' of your company with exclusive offers or news.
For service businesses, a common tactic is to give away interesting or useful information and then attract an audience for it on sites such as Blogs, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. If users like this information, they will then read it, comment on it and hopefully share it with their contacts.