Building a website is more than just graphic design and web development—it also encompasses fields like SEO, User experience, digital strategy, and content development. Users keep coming back for more because of the intersection of these diverse fields of knowledge combining for a genuinely entertaining, useful, and powerful website. Your website should help your business grow, not impede it. Let’s look at the various aspects that make some websites more popular than others, whether you’re planning a website redesign or just need a refresh.
Elements of a Successful Website:
1. Start with Strategy
It may seem obvious that you should start the web development process with strategy, but this is a field that is often overlooked. So, before we get into the technical aspects of building a website, we need to think about the big picture—things like priorities, markets, branding, and calculation.
ESTABLISHING WEBSITE GOALS:
There’s probably a reason you’re working on a new website. Is it necessary to make changes to your website in order for it to represent your new brand? Will the company be able to handle a major change? How do you improve your conversion rates?
It’s typical for websites to be designed without a specific target in mind, which leads to a bad user interface, bloated web design, and a low conversion rate.
amplification Setting targets early in the process informs the digital strategy and serves as a road map for critical decisions about site content, user flows, and architecture. Is your website affecting your revenue? If not, it’s likely that it’s due in part to a lack of specific goals.
While determining your goal can begin as a large-scale exercise, it can also be applied on a smaller scale, such as individual pages. Asking yourself, “What is the intention of this page?” is a good exercise. and “Is it possible for a user to take action?” If you can’t figure out what your content’s intent is, chances are your user can’t either.
DEFINING YOUR AUDIENCE
Target markets, including priorities, should be defined and conveyed to the team. The overarching plan that drives the site’s information architecture, how to better accomplish the site’s goals, the site’s content, and, of course, the UX/UI design is informed by identifying this information as early as possible.
In some cases, businesses may need to prepare for different audiences. A university website, for example, would need to communicate with prospective students, current students, different departments, and alumni.
What if your target audience is made up of a wide range of people and you don’t have access to more detailed demographic data? This is where analysis can be extremely beneficial to your company in obtaining information about your customers. For example, surveys, market research, and competitive analysis are all viable options.
This may seem self-evident, but you must ensure that your brand is well-defined. Brand guidelines keep everyone on-brand and encourage those with less experience (think freelancers or agency partners) to hop in and out as required.
Last but not least, you’ll want to make sure you’ve considered how you’ll assess performance. This is linked to your objectives, but it goes a step further to ensure you’re collecting data correctly. Do you have the correct tags set to fire? What method is being used to monitor this conversion? Is the data in Google Analytics accurate?
You can now move on to the enjoyable part, assuming you have all of these fundamental elements in place.
2. Digital Strategy
There are a lot of factors that go into making a great website, and many of them overlap. UX and content management, for example, have a big impact on SEO, and UX encompasses everything from information architecture to web design. There’s a lot to unpack here, so we’ll focus on the major players.
Anything from your website’s sitemap, homepage, naming, and categorization conventions, to the different content types you have on your site, information architecture is the structural design of your site’s information hierarchy.
Well-structured information architecture not only aids policy, but it also has a significant impact on user experience and SEO (as I previously stated). Better grouping of relevant pages and subjects results in a more intuitive user interface, which helps search engines prioritise your site.
The navigation on your website is the most visible example of information architecture.
Is there a way to streamline and better match top-level menu products with the company’s main goals? Is the navigation hierarchy logical, or does it need to be reorganised? These are crucial questions to ask at the start of the process because approaching them later in the project can be expensive.
USER EXPERIENCE (UX)
The core user’s needs and concerns are at the centre of good UX design. Study, user testing, policy, audience, purpose, knowledge architecture, graphic design, and promoting interaction are all factors to consider.
A good user experience is unlikely unless all of the above components are working together. The user is, of course, at the core of user interface design. It’s important that your company knows everything it can about its customers.
One way to predict consumer needs and challenges is to build user personas for your ideal customer. You may also look at analytics data to see how UX updates have affected the site’s metrics.
SEO is the product of several different elements working together, from page load speed to UX and content. When it comes to web creation, make sure your team understands how search engines crawl and index pages, how clean code and other elements can impact page load speed, the types of content you’re producing, and the keywords you’re aiming for.
You should also be aware of SEO developments on top of all of that. Google’s algorithm is notorious for being constantly tweaked, and the advent of voice search is on many SEO experts’ minds. Both of these factors must be taken into account during the production process in order for the final product to be something that both search engines and consumers can enjoy.
Marketers continue to speak about the famous “C” term. We’ve all heard the phrase “content is king” a million times. And, to be frank, it’s real.
It’s one thing to create a strategic, user-centered, and visually appealing website; however, how can people learn about it?How do you create a long-term traffic strategy for your website? There are certainly opportunities between your site’s SEO, digital ads, and social media channels, but you also need to be producing valuable and meaningful content on a regular basis to help push such initiatives.
Instead of thinking about content as an afterthought later in a web design project, start thinking about it now. Many companies make the mistake of creating a blog on their website without a strategy to keep it posted and current. It’s a struggle to keep up with content marketing. It takes years to create anything like this.
3. Web Design
When influenced by strategy and user-centered thinking, the visual layer of a website can boost the entire brand experience. Design decisions can have a big impact on the efficacy of your digital strategy, how well you interact with your audience, and how well you handle complicated problems on your website. Great web design can also help tell stories, and when combined with important, relevant content, it can educate, entertain, and delight while also helping to achieve commercial objectives.
Here’s everything you need to know about it.
User data, company goals, digital strategy, user flows, and other factors all contribute to great user experiences. While it’s true that having a website look nice is important, outstanding UX designers also make it intuitive, useful, and simple to navigate. In an ideal world, you’d have both, but visitors will abandon even the most attractive websites if they can’t locate what they’re looking for.
Google has made a drive in recent years to make websites more accessible to people with disabilities. This applies to anything from text to images (for example, no grey text on grey backgrounds). Even if something appears amazing to a designer, it’s important to follow accessibility procedures to ensure that everyone can read and navigate your site.
Almost everyone nowadays owns a smartphone. That implies your site must be mobile-friendly and optimized. Is this to say that you must adopt a mobile-first mindset? that depends. It might not make sense to think mobile-first if your users usually visit your site on a desktop. Users will access your site via mobile devices in either case, so keep that in mind.
4. Web Development
Last but not least, there’s web development. We won’t go into too much detail here, but we will touch on some of the most important aspects of building a great website.
PAGE LOAD SPEED
How fast your site loads won’t necessarily make your site, but it can break it—Google, your users, and almost everyone else in the world prefer fast websites. Longer page loading times can be caused by large image files, videos, and inefficient programming. Test your own site and come up with a solution with your DevOps engineer or developers.
There are many different types of hosting available, but web hosting is the most significant for things like security and resource capacity when it comes to your website. The level of sophistication of your website, the amount of traffic it receives, and how you manage it will all influence which hosting service is best for you.
In summary, hosting is an entirely different world. It can be tempting to go for a cheaper option, especially with so many $5-per-month options available. But first, educate yourself and make a selection that will keep your website secure and able to withstand traffic spikes.
Designing on the web entails more than just creating something appealing to the eye. That’s a huge part of it, but the final product also needs to operate well for consumers across platforms and achieve business results. If a new website just achieves one of these objectives, or omits even one, it is just not good enough. When web design, digital strategy, and web development are all combined, the result isn’t just appealing. It’ll also be effective.