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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Anatomy of a Perfect Website

Posted by @ 6:36 pm
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Whether you’re just starting out or if your current site could do with an overhaul, there are some elements that should just not be skipped over when building a website.

The million dollar question is however; what makes a great website?

At the end of the day, in my opinion – a great website is one which meets the following rules:

 

  • Content

It’s simple – if a user can’t find information they are looking for, they have no reason to be on your site. You need to make sure content is easy to find; and in a variety of ways.

Google itself considers the freshness of a websites content a massive importance when determining PageRank and relevance. SEO-wise, make sure you keep your homepage fresh and beaming with new content – but importantly, do not neglect your inner pages as well.

Web copy should be concise, snappy and engaging. It is best to get straight to the point, sticking to single paragraphs and incorporating your key points at the outset. It is also important to speak the language of your audience, ensuring that you are using the right tone and terminology while avoiding industry jargon.

 

  • CMS

A good in-house content management system gives businesses the ability to manage and update their own web content. This removes the cost of an external developer every time change is required. Although the initial investment could be slightly higher, in the long run this approach will save time and money.

 

  • Look and feel

You really need to make sure you look into your website design. It doesn’t have to be glitzy and glow; just appealing to look at.
I’ve seen numerous websites with an amazing idea or great content that fail to convert due to bad design. If you can’t get your website to look ‘amazing’ – meet the user half way and at least promote a sense of structure and conformity.

Make sure your logo is on the top-most left section of the website. Same goes for your site search (if any) and top-level navigation. Make sure you try to keep everything consistent! Colours, headings, everything! Consistency above all means that users find it easier to connect to your website and also get more a feel for how everything works.

 

  • Focus on user

Make sure you check how your website, and more importantly, links – look to someone who suffers from varying degrees of colour blindness. You might think that checking things like that are ‘way too left-field’ – but something as simple as this can mean the difference between someone with colour-blindness not being able to distinguish between your linked content and non-linked content!

Make sure there is always a way out for the user. A top navigation, side navigation, search and links back home are great players in this field. No matter how good your website is, there will always be users who get lost along the way.

 

  • Site architecture

Your website structure needs to make sense. Top-down, there should be a logical flow. The header should come first, followed by navigation (if not already part of your header section), followed by the content with any sidebars or side-navigation, and ultimately followed by the footer of the page.

Footers are just as important as headers. A good footer helps the user determine if the page has fully loaded. If the user doesn’t see what they are used to seeing at the base of your page, they should know that the page has not fully loaded yet; bet you didn’t think about that one!

 

  • SEO

It is one thing to have a website, but it’s another for your website to be found among the millions of others. It’s important for business websites to have high search rankings. This can be achieved through Search Engine Optimization (SEO), a technique that helps search engine bots, like Google’s bot, find your website.

 

  • Tracking success

Great websites learn from their mistakes! Use tools such as Google Analytics to help you determine popular and not-so-popular sections of your website. See if you can get down to the reason why ‘x’ is not as popular as ‘y’.

 

Check out the image below – it takes you step by step through the important points to consider when designing a website.

 



Courtney Mills Courtney is an online marketing and communications specialist at ineedhits - a leading search engine marketing firm with over 16 years experience. Courtney has been living and breathing online marketing for over 5 years. She specializes in web and communication marketing, while providing news and opinion to online marketing communities.

View Courtney Mills's profile






Discussion (4 - comments)

[...] The Anatomy of a Perfect Website [...]

By The Anatomy of a Perfect Website | RM2 Project - February 29, 2012



Great Article,

thanks
Oylist

By Oylist - February 29, 2012



[...] The Anatomy of a Perfect Website — Starting a website is tough. Starting a successful website can be even tougher. iNeedHits’ Courtney Mills looks at what you’ll need if you want to create a profitable site. Margie Fisher also published some great tips for creating a publicity-friendly retail website over at Small Business Trends that you might want to check out. Lisa Barone also looked at creating great 404 pages this week. She suggests something that does more than just look pretty (although that helps, too). [...]

By The Best Small Business Marketing News & Blog Posts of the Week — March 2, 2012 – DIYSEO - March 2, 2012



[...] The Anatomy of a Perfect Website You really need to make sure you look into your website design. It doesn't have to be glitzy and glow; just appealing to look at. I've seen numerous websites with an amazing idea or great content that fail to convert due to bad design. Read more on Search Engine Marketing (blog) [...]

By Latest Web Design News | Fantastic Blog !! - March 5, 2012




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