Building a website is easy. There are so many drag and drop tools and website builder out there to instantly cut the development time. However, successful ones depends on one major factor, traffic.
If there isn't any traffic to your website, then, there's no point for you to optimize or have one. A website is not a "once set and let it run", this is not the 90's. There are approximately 1 billion, and this figure was set in Sept 2014 by Netcraft. The question is, how do I make my website pop?
Generally, traffic depends on these few criteria.
- Value to User
- Loading Speed.
- Flow of Website
- Copy Writing
Of course, different people have different tastes, and it's impossible to build a website that pleases everybody. However, there are some key rules to adhere in web design.
- Use only 2-3 fonts. For the entire website.
- Stick to max 4 colors.
- Use of high quality, large and relevant images.
- Structured and readable texts
Using these basic rules, you may not have the best looking website, but at least now you can command a better attention from your users.
2. Value to Users
Value is perceived as giving important information for free, like a blog post, an article, testimonial or what is the outcome of using your product. In Gary V book, "Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook", he explained that before you can ask someone to give you a favor, you must give something of higher value.
- If you're a second hand car dealership, you might want to share on "How to check engine bay before purchase" or "Best way to get 95% car loan".
- If you're running a cosmetic boutique, you might want to share on "How to do make up like Taylor Swift" or "Best make up for Gala Dinner".
- If you're a sports store, "How to run faster, further with these simple breathing technique" or "What to bring during marathon"
- If you're in constructions, "How to build your dream house cheaper" or "Renovating Tips for First Time Buyer"
By providing these high value piece of information, you can then only command your users to listen about your products.
3. Loading Speed
The rule of thumb is 2 seconds. Studies have shown that if a site doesn't load within 2 seconds, user will start to lose interest. The best way to check your website is using our favorite tool, pingdom.
By analyzing these data, you can see which image can be optimized, which script is taking too long or maybe, your web hosting company sucks. Ever wonder what made Google so successful? Speed. Google loads it's pages less than 1 second.
4. Flow of Website.
Let's take an example walking into a car showroom. The first thing you noticed is their products. After carefully looking at the cars, you will be attended by the sales man. Before you know it, the sales man is trying to get you a test drive. Soon you'd buy because you love the car and experience of car showroom.
After building websites for more than a decade, a lot of my customers focuses on what I call a "me first" attitude. Wanting the user to know about us and what we stand for before introducing the products. This totally contradicts the car showroom concept above.
People go to your website because of your products, because they have a problem to be solved.
Fundamentally, understanding the customer is the most important thing to do. They don't care if you've won Sullivans Award, how tall your building is, how many years you have been service.
As Simon Sinek puts it, start with why. Why do customer come to my website? Why do customer go to a grocery store? Why do customer go to nail salon? Products (or solution first) then about you.
5. Copy Writing
When you have all 4 above aligned, the most critical point of converting a user to a customer is copy writing. Copy writing is indeed a very big word, but to me, it's about telling a good story.
A lot of businesses have a high quality products, however, not explaining it very well would turn down sales. A story of product should start with end in mind. What does you product do? The shorter, the crispier and the simplest would grab the most attention.
Take a look at these advertisement below.
Headline writes with end in mind. Because of the thoughtful headline, you tend to read the description.
When you first start your website, there's bound to be ups and downs. However, keep nurturing it and figure out how to get more traffic organically. The goal is to reduce the dependency on advertisements to gain traffic. When a website is done right, this also increases sales conversion and trust to your users. It's better to gain 10 sales from 100 users rather than 10 in every 1000 users.
Best of luck!