A website is a window to the world when coupled with the efforts from a search engine. Visitors can obtain a lot of information by keying in a few words by way of their fingertips. Like every other business, websites are expected to elicit good response and feedback from its visitors, making the use of it worthwhile. Website owners should design a website that is consistent with the user needs.
Here are a few tips for first time owners of websites
1. Short and sweet domain names
Choose a short and sweet domain name that goes with your business. If it is already taken, improvise with the name i.e., add pronouns, adjectives and the like. Also use targeted keywords in it to aid you in Search Engine Optimization.
2. Hire a dedicated team of web professionals
It should be able to handle the required traffic and not sink under the weight of its esteemed visitors. All its activities should be constantly monitored by a dedicated team of professionals, who are always at the beck and call of its owner to fix any inadequacies or in case of emergencies arising out of such scenarios mentioned previously. After all, the website’s reputation is at stake. I understand it is a herculean task to be available round the clock and coax others to, but this is a worthy option to look into and is crucial in building a brand image and a cult status. These qualities are endemic to a business.
3. Make websites user-friendly
Don’t leave your customer stuck in a network of mazes and left stranded clueless in the middle of nowhere while navigating on your website. This is not a quest for treasure, make sure the information that your visitors search for is accessible and is at a distance of a least number of clicks as possible. Otherwise, they can get dazed and confused and look for other alternatives on the internet and mind you, they are very likely to find one in the vast expanse of the virtual space that internet rules over.
4. Be reachable
Don’t deny them the prospect of finding you, use clear-cut tabs, embedded with links for them to reach you for feedback or other queries. The embedded link should be made available at the home page itself in a noticeable or highlighted font.
5. If you offer something free, scream out loud that you do
Don’t discourage users looking for freebies. Mention every service that is free, for the users to make the most out of it.
6. Build a good FAQ page
Use relevant FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) to satisfy the curiosity of the inquisitive visitor and guide them. Include a few paragraphs about your company’s history, founders, achievements and a peek into your endeavors for the uninitiated and inquisitive visitors.
7. Make the home page friendly
The home page should live up to its name of being a home. It should be provided with a display of the site map to facilitate easy navigation of your website’s visitors. It should point out the position of the user in the website layout and direct him with the help of it as to where he can end up by clicking suitable options at his disposal.
8. Use CAPTCHA to keep spammers away
Make use of text recognition CAPTCHAs to keep spammers at bay and be sure to provide users with the options to type another set of characters if the text of the first one is illegible.
9. Don’t waste visitors time
Don’t display information the visitors look for in the form of video or other content that take ages to load. An average visitor lingers on a site for 15 to 20 seconds at the most. This may annoy him.
10. Use Search Engine Optimization
Avail the services of search engines and use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to draw users to your site. Keep a tab on your statistics and ranking in the search results. Many search engines such as yahoo and google have come up with algorithms to determine where your website is placed in the search results. Hire a dedicated SEO expert to guide you in these activities.
All these should be done with a keen foresight and astute observation on your part. Be ready to adapt to changes as and when they beckon. You will learn a lot as your website grows and as and when the need arises. Necessity is the mother of invention and I end on this note.