Websites have been around almost 20 years now and some clear best practices are emerging that separate great sites from the rest of them. The sites that present great content, will get the most visibility and user engagement.
Offer Great Content
Relevant and timely information will draw people to your website and keep them interested. To offer great content, you need to have a great understanding of the person you want to reach and where their interests intersect with your business goals.
Start with basic research into the demographics and psychographics of your target audience. Then, get a deeper understanding by paying attention to your site analytics. That will tell you where people are spending time at the site. Google Analytics will also share information about the interests of your visitors.
Structure Your Website Around User Needs
A great website is structured to make it easy for visitors to find what they need. It is not organized by company priorities. The website is designed for and caters to the intended audience, not company insiders.
Navigation, page structure, labeling, and every other aspect of the site should be developed to speak to the target user.
Assess and Improve
Don’t become complacent. Always look to find and improve the things that are not working well at the site. Your users will notice and how you handle these challenges will tell them a lot about you.
Put a program in place to identify where you are falling short of user expectations. Ideas for this include:
- Solicit and listen to visitor feedback
- Enable visitors to rate your pages
- Let visitors comment on content
- Include a feedback form
In all cases, be sure you acknowledge all feedback.
Experiment and Test
Don’t be afraid to try new things. Test ideas and see what works. experiment with messaging to see what resonates best with visitors. Try A/B testing, where you set up two pages with the same goal to determine which works best.