It seems like everyone has an idea for a website these days, and who can blame people for wanting to try their hand at creating the next big thing (or at least a respectable profit-making thing)? Websites are here to stay, it seems. But of course, it’s not an easy pursuit; the vast majority of websites languish in nowheresville.
Every now and again, however, some break through, and become a success. While you can’t replicate how they achieved success, you can examine some of the characteristics of these successful sites, and make sure that yours also has them. Below, we outline nine such examples.
They Have a Purpose
There are many, many websites out there. Whatever a person is searching for, they’ll find that there’s like millions of results on the search engines. The ones that he or she will want to visit is a website that knows what they’re talking about — they don’t want to waste their time on a site that throws in some information or products because they think it’ll draw in visitors. A website, these days, needs to have focus. It should have a purpose and direction. So think about what you’re trying to achieve with your website (as in, what’s your mission?) and make sure that you stick with that. You don’t need to add extra categories, products, and information just for the sake of it.
They Have Great Content
You can’t fake quality. You could have a website that looks excellent, but if the content — the reason why people would visit — just isn’t up to scratch, then there’s only so far you can go, and it won’t be very far. This is one reason why it’s best to focus your attention on just one topic; it’ll allow you to dive deep, and produce high-quality content that people will find useful. When you create a website, you’re relying on people using their precious time to check out what you’re contributing. You need to ensure that it’s worth their while.
They’re Easily Found
You can live in obscurity if you’re a reclusive, moody artist or something, but if you’re trying to build a successful — which relies on other people’s presence to be successful — then you need to be front and centre, with a spotlight on you. While that might seem a little difficult when there are so many other websites jostling for the same position on the search engine rankings list, there are things you can do. All of the biggest and best sites are SEO optimized websites, which means they appear higher on Google search result pages. There are some things related to your website that you can’t control, but some that you definitely can, such as its SEO credentials. Make sure you’re working with an experienced company that can help your SEO, and you’ll be putting yourself in a strong position to get visitors.
They’re Robust and Well-Rounded
No-one’s going to continue to visit a website if it seems that there’s always one problem or another, such as the website being down or the pages are loading too slowly. As such, you’ll want to regularly make sure that everything’s in order. One thing that many website owners overlook is that a website can look and act differently on different browsers. So don’t just rely on your own machine to tell you that your website is working well; check it on other platforms, too. The successful sites are also reliable sites; when you visit, you get the same experience every time.
They’re Updated Regularly
The secret to internet success isn’t to have a bunch of visitors each month. It’s having repeat visitors; this shows that people are engaging with your website. Fifty thousand visitors means next to nothing if they’re leaving within a few seconds of arrival. Repeat visitors shows that you’re offering something of value to your visitors, and this is really important. You won’t get any repeat visitors, however, if you’re not updating your site. You should endeavor to post regularly. Even if your core offerings seldom change (let’s say, you sell one product), you should be making tweaks to the design and updating the blog as often as possible. It’ll show that the site is actively managed.
They Look to the Future
The exciting thing about the internet — one of the primary reasons why people like it so much — is that it’s always developing; it looks to the future. And so should your site. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to try and reinvent the wheel, and go hyper-futuristic, but rather that you should, at the very least, avoid languishing in the past. You’ll want to keep abreast of developments and what the bigger sites are doing, and make sure that you’re not too far behind.
They’re In-Line with Trends
There’s a staggering amount of data out there, and it can help to make your website better, because it’ll show you what’s trendy. For example, let’s think about video — it turns out that people love video, to the extent that it accounts for around 80% of internet traffic. That’s a broader web trend that you should incorporate into your website, but you can also get more specific, and take a look at the data of your own site. That’ll show you what people like and don’t like it, which can help you to refine your offerings.
They Create Engaging
Your website won’t function purely as a vehicle to spread your message and content to your audience. It will be a conversation. The best sites have a way to create engagement. It could be the option of signing in and getting a personalized feed, or asking for feedback and comments.
They Avoid Annoying Aspects
Finally, remember to avoid the annoying aspects of websites. The best websites don’t rely on gimmicks to get people on board, or use dark patterns — they’re legitimate. Those tactics will work on a short-term basis, but they’re not going to take you too far in the long run.