The most successful websites on the Internet have some common features that contribute to the success their owners, operators, and patrons enjoy. These elements may not seem significant on the surface, but are key ingredients of a thriving online property. Let’s look briefly at each of these features.
Number 1: Branding
Create a logo. A logo serves as a visual “tag” that will make people think of your site (and your business) when they see it. Having a “brand” that is represented by a logo and other items will add an air of legitimacy to your website. This is especially helpful for new site’s that you are trying to launch in a particular field of interest. Additionally, it tells your visitor that you have taken the time give your site an identity that harmonizes with your topic and reflects the nature of your business, product, or service.
Number 2: Professional and Relevant Media
Images, video, and other forms of media will contribute to the overall experience for your site visitors, it will help them to connect with your brand which, as stated in feature #1, is the reflection of your business. Not everyone enjoys taking in information the same way. Some prefer to read a written document, others do not. They may prefer watching a brief engaging video about your product, service, or brand. Some may not like to site through the video but can scan a web page with images and infer the meaning from bits of text on the page that appear near the images. The key, is to use as many of these media options as you can. By doing so, you will be delivering your content to each visitor in a way that she prefers.
Number 3: Social Media Presence
Having social media channels listed on your website adds a key element of interactivity to your site visitors. While many individuals do not want to take to the time to deliberately browse to your site on a regular basis, they may follow you on social media and when they see an engaging post from your business in their feed, they will follow it if it interests them. An added benefit is that they may know of others that would find it helpful and share it. These behaviors, benefit your website a great deal in the long run.
Number 4: Credibility
Providing credibility to your site visitors is very important since visitors take action based on trust. If your visitors trust you, only then will they make a purchase, sign up, or share your information with friends. One of the easiest ways to foster credibility is to be open with your audience. This is done through the overall “voice” through which you talk to them on the site and by having specific pages on the site that allow the visitor to see your contact info, about, policies, terms of service, and privacy statements. These pages help you site visitor to get to know your company or you personally.
Number 5: User Experience
How easily the visitor of your site can find what they are looking for will impact the success of you website. If your navigation addresses the needs of the person browsing the site, they will feel unhindered in their quest for information. However, if they constantly click the navigation only to get a sales pitch instead of an answer, they will leave. Or, if they do not see a link labeled in a way that allows them to see where they want to go, they may “bounce” instead of clicking through.
So, although none of these are requirements to have a website on the Internet, you will find that your favorite sites will no doubt include at least a couple, if not all of these features. And, it makes sense really, because without these characteristics, the site would not have gained your acceptance so easily.