There is nothing more deadly to a website than outdated content. However, if your site is not easy to use, that is exactly what will happen to yours. On the other hand you can build conveniences into your website that make updating and maintaining it a snap. You will save lots of trouble and hours with a few simple techniques.
Help your visitors easily find that for which they are looking. A simple navigation flow is critical to a succesful site. If visitors get frustrated clicking through your pages in a futile search, they will soon look elsewhere. Thinking through the layout of your site, the location of menus, and where to display important items is very important. We've all been to sites that required a dozen clicks to arrive at our destination. If you are selling a product this spells death to sales.
Design goes hand in hand with ease of navigation, but takes it a step further. A cluttered site is not easy to navigate. In addition images make a big impression. Words communicate information, and images express feeling. There is no doubt that you have experienced the power of a great image. Design takes fonts, shapes, styles, animations, and more into consideration. Your site is often a visitor's first impression of your business or organization. You don't have long to make that first impression, so do it well. Make sure your home page communicates the look and feel that you are after, and encourage your visitors to click further into your site.
The way to build trust in budding online relationships with your visitors is to provide something valuable. More and more websites are seeking to become a resource to the online community. If you are creating a website for a certain topic, hopefully you know quite a bit about your topic. So, share your knowledge. Establish yourself as a credible resource. Visitors will have a legitimate reason to return when you offer them something of value.
For what are people online actually searching? What keywords do they type into their browser that relate to your organization? When they type those words you want them to find your site, so you need to include those keywords into the creation of your content. This takes a little planning. To read more about keyword integration jump over to our Search Engine Optimization page.
Ultimately, you are looking for people to actually visit your pages. You can do all of the above things well, but how can you know if people are actually showing up and doing what you want? Google Analytics is a free fantastic set of tools that are a must for every web designer. Basically, you add a piece of Google code to your website, and Analytics begins tracking what visitors do on your site. You will know how many came, how long they stayed, what brought them to your site, in what they were most interested while there, and a lot more.