With over one bil­lion web­sites lit­tered across the World Wide Web, it can be incred­i­bly easy to be lost in the crowd. It does not mat­ter which niche your busi­ness is in, there will be a mul­ti­tude of com­peti­tors who are at either end of the spec­trum when it comes to web­site vis­i­bil­i­ty.

Nat­u­ral­ly there is a strong search engine opti­miza­tion (SEO) ele­ment that comes into play when it comes to hits, traf­fic, and over­all vis­i­bil­i­ty. Par­tic­u­lar box­es have to be ticked to ensure that peo­ple are click­ing and vis­it­ing in healthy num­bers:

  • Head­lines
  • Tags
  • Key­words
  • Descrip­tion
  • Back­links
  • Mul­ti­me­dia
  • Social media inclu­sion

Yet it is the aes­thet­ic fea­tures that can be thought of as some­thing of a lux­u­ry. Any­thing that looks good to give a site a bit of gloss and swag­ger is put into the cat­e­go­ry of an add-on, an extra that can be pushed down the cue of pri­or­i­ties.

This is a seri­ous mis­con­cep­tion. Like any piece of adver­tis­ing, from a radio ad to a news­pa­per list­ing, tele­vi­sion spot, or print­ed ban­ner, a web­site must man­age to draw the eye and hold that person’s atten­tion.

The say­ing often goes that peo­ple can tell a lot about you from your appear­ance. Well the same can be applied to the dig­i­tal land­scape. Neglect­ing this aspect tells the vis­i­tor that you are not attempt­ing to gen­er­ate a favor­able impres­sion or are will­ing to stand out from the crowd.

The good news is that there are a num­ber of com­mon-sense strate­gies to imple­ment that solves this issue. Just by fol­low­ing a few sim­ple tac­tics, your site can inject a sense of cre­ativ­i­ty and inspi­ra­tion to bypass a num­ber of com­peti­tors in the process.

A website’s qual­i­ty is a direct reflec­tion of your busi­ness. Invest­ing in this domain will reap rewards in the long-term.

KISS Principle

Used across a vari­ety of dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines, the Keep It Sim­ple, Stu­pid (KISS) prin­ci­ple should be kept in front of the mind. While you will no doubt attempt to push the bound­aries on cool add-ons and sexy fea­tures that spice up the pre­sen­ta­tion, users will become increas­ing­ly frus­trat­ed with the buf­fet of choice.

Any­one who clicks the link and finds your page will want to know a hand­ful of basic things:

  • Who you are
  • What you offer
  • Where to buy
  • How to con­tact you direct­ly

Every­thing else that does not apply to those 4 queries is con­fus­ing the user and will end up con­fus­ing the design­er. Ensure that usabil­i­ty is top of the agen­da. The best sites that stand out will look glossy but at their core, are sim­ple.

This is not just good enough for a desk­top device either. It should be equal­ly friend­ly to mobile and tablet devices.

Google’s Mobile-Friend­ly Test is an ide­al soft­ware appli­ca­tion tool that will inform you about com­pat­i­bil­i­ty. Run the URL through this plat­form to see how user friend­ly your site is on small­er hand-held devices.

Brand Presence Consistency

Brand Presence Consistency

If you stum­ble across a web­site that pro­motes a brand, you will expect to see the same design across plat­forms. Whether it is sports man­u­fac­tur­ers like Rebook, Nike, or Adi­das, the graph­ics, fonts, col­ors, and over­all style will be con­sis­tent.

This is not for the sake of sav­ing time but in accor­dance with a brand strat­e­gy. Any ele­ment that is changed like the offi­cial logo or con­tent style must be trans­lat­ed from top to bot­tom.

Fail­ure to stick to this prin­ci­ple will com­mu­ni­cate a poor mes­sage to users. It indi­rect­ly informs them that every depart­ment of the oper­a­tion is not pulling in the same direc­tion and the busi­ness would rather cut cor­ners than under­take their due dili­gence.

Be Up Front on Subject and Purpose

If reports from pub­li­ca­tions like The New York Times are to be believed, then our atten­tion spans across the globe are cut­ting down.

Accord­ing to their data in 2016, any­thing that does not attract the eye or ears with­in 8 sec­onds is old news. It is thrown away and for­got­ten about with­out a sec­ond thought.

With the advent of online media plat­forms, it is eas­i­er to switch focus from read­ing an arti­cle or doing research than log­ging into social media or watch­ing a YouTube video.

This is the nat­ur­al dis­ad­van­tage of hav­ing so much con­tent at the tip of your fin­ger­tips. That finite amount of time is con­sid­ered even short­er when it comes to a website’s capac­i­ty to grab and hold an individual’s atten­tion.

To com­bat this lack of time, your site must address those 4 key pil­lars that were men­tioned above:

  • Who you are
  • What you offer
  • Where to buy
  • How to con­tact you direct­ly

Have a head­line that pops and falls in line with your spe­cif­ic niche.

Make it Social and Personable

One of the great advents that have changed the web­site land­scape is social media. This is an ele­ment of the dig­i­tal world that is for­ev­er expand­ing and infil­trat­ing every part of the online domain.

There is no need to have a pres­ence on all of the social media plat­forms. That would take up too much time to sync all those accounts into one sin­gle strat­e­gy.

Yet it is para­mount to include these accounts as part of your web­site dynam­ic. It allows the site to gar­ner a high­er SEO score and attract those who might not have found you through a gen­er­al Google search.

Once you have inte­grat­ed social media into your web strat­e­gy and incor­po­rat­ed them through a soft­ware tool like Hoot­suite, give your con­tent a per­son­al touch.

The best method to achieve this is an indi­vid­ual sign off from an employ­ee when answer­ing cus­tomer feed­back.

For exam­ple:

Thank you for your enquiry Cheryl. Please find a list of our cur­rent prod­ucts on our web­site or dis­cov­er our upcom­ing dis­counts and deals on our Face­book page. Kind regards, Trevor.”

Sim­ple and effec­tive. This dri­ves home the mes­sage that the orga­ni­za­tion is made up of peo­ple instead of robots. Peo­ple will intrin­si­cal­ly grav­i­tate to sites that have a per­son­able touch.

Hot Graphics and Cool Images

The aes­thet­ics that will give your web­site an edge comes down to the qual­i­ty of the graph­ics and images uti­lized from the home­page to sub-cat­e­gories and con­tact page.

There is a myr­i­ad of dif­fer­ent styles that will fit into your mar­ket. If your page is catered towards the more cre­ative for a music site or paint­ing illus­tra­tion, then show­case the images via a gallery.

Vis­it these online soft­ware appli­ca­tions to get a bet­ter under­stand­ing of the graph­ic design and secure a page that real­ly pops for the audi­ence:

  • Can­va
  • Vecteezy
  • Juice­box
  • Pho­to­Swipe

Hot Graphics and Cool Images

Content That Counts

There should not be a term, phrase, image, or back­ground that is wast­ed on your web­site. Every part will con­tribute to the over­all design and in that respect, it is vital to ensure that the con­tent counts.

Yet it is use­less to tick those box­es with­out a host that caters to your needs. Scan the most rep­utable domain hosts to see which ser­vice is suit­ed to your design tastes and bud­getary con­straints:

Then you can start with the domain name. Is it mem­o­rable and gives you qual­i­ty brand recog­ni­tion? Begin with a domain reg­is­tra­tion check to see if the sec­ond-lev­el domain can involve a com­pa­ny name/keyword that is unique but rel­e­vant to the tar­get mar­ket.

What comes next is the tricky part – the writ­ten con­tent. This speaks to what is being said, how it is pre­sent­ed and gives your site a voice.

The copy can be com­mu­ni­cat­ed with a video plat­form like YouTube or Vimeo, but that should only com­pli­ment the blog­ging ele­ment of the page. If there is a flood of mul­ti­me­dia, it slows down the load­ing speed of the page which has a knock-on effect for your SEO results. Don’t have too much of a good thing.

The writ­ten con­tent reflects the per­son­al­i­ty of the com­pa­ny and crafts the cul­ture. It must be SEO friend­ly to include the nec­es­sary key­words and back­links, be up to date, pub­lished con­sis­tent­ly con­cise.

This might sound like an uphill task for those that are not accus­tomed to writ­ing. The good news is that it can be learned quick­ly and once a for­mu­la has been set in place, it becomes sec­ond nature.

If this is a depart­ment that is too daunt­ing, sim­ply out­source – there is an entire com­mu­ni­ty of free­lance writ­ers wait­ing out there to give you a qual­i­ty copy.

SOURCE: The Mar­ket­ing Folks