Originally posted on forbes.
Think of a time when you were in Best Buy looking for a new phone, but just as you arrived, the product was sold out. You were forced to quickly reroute your trip to Target, which surprisingly, was selling the product at a better price.
However, everyone else seems to have the same idea as you, leaving you standing in the middle of the electronics aisle, scrolling through Amazon for any last-minute options. The clock is ticking, and to add to the pressure, you only have 5 minutes to complete your purchase because your family is waiting for you in the car.
The web operates much like this today. Consumers want to know where to go, what to buy, where to buy it, and how to get there in a matter of minutes if not even seconds. As a result, websites, apps, and social media platforms have optimized their interface for mobile phones.
But when people can’t find or do what they need within this micro-moment of time, they lose patience and shift to another website or app. Billions of websites have several elements in common which attribute to their success. Some elements are basic, and some are more complicated.
But by implementing these components into your website, you can expect to attract people to your site, motivate them to explore through your pages, and even persuade them to buy your products.
1. An Organized (And Scannable) Navigation
At the end of the day, people want to use a website that isn’t overly complicated to navigate. How you choose to display your content and how you allow users to navigate through that content is crucial to the success of your website.
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When designing a website, many people put too much focus on the display and appearance of a website, not its organization. While appearances are important, a visitors’ goal is to navigate through your website as quickly and easily as possible.
The goal should be to visibly demonstrate the answers to such questions as, “Where am I?”, “Where can I go?”, and “Where have I been?” The main challenge designers face is narrowing down the numerous user types coming to the site, as well as the needs they are trying to fill.
Then, the designer must organize the content around those needs and present information in a visual and scannable way so that people can quickly locate the content they’re looking for.
All successful websites have an organized, transparent navigation system that’s a way to understand and quickly directs visitors to information and other pages on your site. The information and content on the page should also be easy to scan and allow users to navigate to the most important sections with a limited number of taps or clicks.
2. A Clean, Uncluttered Design
Take a moment to surf the web and browse some websites. Which ones did you spend the most time on, and why? Is there a common design threat that you noticed? We can bet that the websites you were drawn to were visually clean, had more white space, less text, big images, and an overall simple design.
Most designers today opt for simple, minimalist designs. Regardless of the business of your company, clean and uncluttered web designs almost always result in high user engagement and conversions. But simple designs aren’t just a trend among websites; there’s cold, hard, data backing up the appeal of clean and uncluttered formats.
EyeQuant’s cofounder and CEO Fabian Stelzer points out how various cases studies have found that there’s a link between clean design and people spending more time on a website. Many designers and markets have noticed this commonality in not just websites, but also apps and social media platforms.
Any successful website features a clean, simple design that organizes its information in a visually appealing way, but without too much information swimming around on the page.
3. A Reliable Hosting Service
Your website’s ability to offer a quality service to the public is largely dependent on the level of efficiency from your hosting service. Many applications use hosting services, such as blogs, systems, eCommerce stores, and websites.
Hosting works to improve the overall performance of your application. The better the performance of your application, the higher level of user engagement you’ll receive, resulting in greater revenue for your business.
In a recent conversation with Fernando Raymond, founder and CEO of SeekaHost, I asked him what goal any good hosting company should work to achieve.
“Whether you have a personal or business website, finding a hosting service that offers reliability, security and efficiency is key to maintaining a successful, high-performing website,” explained Raymond.
“What ultimately determines a good website is its level of safety, quality of content and speed of systems. All of this is interconnected with an easy-to-use web hosting control panel — something similar to SeekaPanel — to smoothly manage all hosted websites. All of these aspects directly correlate to hosting and how well the hosting management system has been developed.”
4. Fresh, New (And Quality) Content
While it’s certainly important to sell your product, any successful website focuses on users’ needs, which means producing new and engaging content on a regular basis.
Updating your website’s content gives visitors more to see and browse through. By publishing fresh, new, and quality content, you’re building a returning audience, which then drives more traffic to your site. Plus, add to the fact that existing visitors might invite friends and family to visit your site and you now have established higher authority for your website.
Additionally, the more content you churn out, the more people will begin to trust you and your brand. Trust is vital to a company’s livelihood, and if that means investing more time and money into creating new content, then so be it—you’ll thank me in the end.
Expand Your Reach
Building a website may seem simple at first, but maintaining it, keeping it up-to-date, and pumping out new, quality content on a regular basis can make your site even more effective. In some cases, these elements are rather basic to implement, but other elements might require more time and dedication.
Remember, your goal is to attract people to your website so you can turn a profit. Once you accomplish that, you can look to expand your reach to a larger audience in a way that keeps them coming back for more.