Website Development Guide: 10 Rules for Success
Successful website development is much more than simply how a website looks and feels. A lot of what makes websites successful is the way the website interacts with its users and leads them to a certain action or goal. Website development should incorporate consumer behavior research as much as colors, text, and images.
1) Keep It Simple
In a time of exciting technological advances, it can be tempting for a website developer to incorporate the newest features and gadgets of website development into a website. However, there is a lot to be said for simplicity and a clean website.
Simplicity in website development will play an even greater role in the design of the website the older your target market is.
2) Pass the 3 Second Test
Website development has to cater to today’s fast-paced, low-attention span world; enter the “3 second test.”
The 3 Second Test is a very simple way to gauge the effectiveness of your website development with the goals of your website. The test states that a user should be able to decipher what the general idea of the website is within 3 seconds of opening the website.
This rule goes hand in hand with Rule #1; clutter and distractions make understanding what the overall purpose of a website is. Three seconds may seem like not a lot of time, but its all the time you have to grab the attention of your views.
3) Content is King
The old internet marketing adage goes “content is king and links are queen.” Content plays an incredible role in the value and ranking assigned to your website and its keywords in search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, & AOL.
During Website Development, it is important that you do not shy away from creating a good amount of pages and filling those pages with good content. Websites with over 50 pages receive far more traffic than 10 page websites; and websites with over 100 pages receive exponentially more web traffic than most 10 page websites.
Remember, the number of pages does matter, however the content within those pages plays a significant role in website development.
4) Intuitive Navigation
Intuitive navigation goes hand in hand with Rule#2 as far as good website development goes. When a visitor lands on your website, they should not have to learn how to use it.
This means making sure that your main navigation is not difficult to find nor is it in a traditional place; typically, this means in the header of the website or down the side.
Internally linking is not only important for website development, but also for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. Make sure that your internal content and pages link to one another. This also means there should be helpful navigation links in the side bar or footer of the website.
Lastly, the larger or more complex the website, the more there will be a need for support, FAQ, or help pages. More and more websites being developed today also have “live chat” modules to increase responsiveness.
5) Do Not Irritate Your Visitors
There was a trend not too long ago in Website Development of increasing clutter, using a ton of stock images and technical jargon; this is no longer acceptable.
Do not irritate your visitors with harsh colors or contrasting colors. Avoid having too many items in motion and always try and avoid too much clutter.
6) Perfection is Everything
When designing a website, try and make it as perfect as possible. A website may never truly be “done,” but you should always make sure that the details of your website are perfect.
- Spelling: make sure that there are no misspelled words in the heading, copy, links, anchor text, or footer of your website.
- Dead Links: links on your website may become obsolete as you change your own content or the content you link out to evolves. Make sure to use Google Webmaster to ensure that none of your links are broken.
- Lingo: it is important to remember your target market. Although your industry my use jargon or abbreviations, a visitor to your website may not be familiar with that jargon. Be sure to keep your visitors in mind when writing your copy.
7) Its All About Google
Even though Google has lost some of its market share, it still holds sway over about 78% of all search engine queries. This means that adhering to Google’s Rulebook during website development is key to getting indexed and ranked for your keywords.
Its important to remember that just because you want to play by Google’s Rulebook, its imperative that you do not develop your website solely for Google. Make sure your copy is readable and not overstuffed with keywords.
8) People Love to be Social
The Social Media craze is here and is not going anywhere anytime soon. With good website development comes good social media integration. Making it easy for visitors to click and share your content on their social media pages will work out well for you. When shared, you can be sure your search engine optimization will increase dramatically over time.
Social Media Integration goes beyond website development and is more than just having some buttons on your website; get in the conversation! If someone makes a post about your website, business, or post, respond to them or thank them for doing so. A little interaction or special treatment will go a long way in converting customers to regulars or advocates.
9) Overlooking Mobile Would be a Mistake
On April 21st, 2015, Google will put into affect their “Mobile Friendly Website Algorithm Update.” This update will have devastating consequences to website development projects that do not keep mobile device viewing in mind.
Every website should now be responsive in design or have a dedicated mobile version that a user is transferred to when the website is visited from a smartphone or tablet.
10) Never Stop Adding, Editing, & Updating
Website development is a fluid and ongoing process. You should never stop adding content to your website. Blogging is a great way to continually add content and value to your website. By adding new content, you give visitors a reason to come back and you give Google and other search engines new pages to index.
When it comes to the look of your website, you should keep up the Jones’. Google and other search engines, as well as people, can tell when the overall look and feel of your website gets a face lift. You should consider giving the look of your website a boost every now and then to keep things fresh.