The 5 Essentials of a Successful Website

Okay so number one your website must be visually appealing when a website opens the visitor makes a split decision to click or not to click this first impression causes an intermediate value judgment about the perceived worth of the product or the service well organized visually appealing presentations it’s a positive message about your product or service and it could mean the difference between a cell or non sale visually appealing sites have a balance between content color and graphics there’s a unifying theme that unites the content on the page as well as the pages within the site so as you can see through here through the broadmoor properties it’s very visually pleasing it’s branded really well with their logo it’s it’s matches identical to all their collateral that they have both digital and printed there’s a lot of photography that shows what’s going on at the broadmoor and broadmoor properties it has easy-to-read content with large headers that way when when visitors are scanning through the website they can find what they’re looking for by skimming and then read in more detail it has a very pleasing and easy to read navigation system all of these components make for a very visually pleasing website it’s also worth noting here that all the colors compliment each other one of the nice things our brains pick up on is soothing complementary colors and there’s variety of tools on the internet we’ll talk about that in another episode that will help you pick a color scheme for your website it’s also worth noting here that if you’re going to use additional websites like blogs and forums that they be branded very similar to your primary website but have an identity that will let them stand on their own so as you can see here the broadmoor properties real estate blog is branded same color schemes even the same background but it has its own design in its own look in emotion that is that is complementary to what’s going on at the broadmoor properties yet yet it stands very well on its own number to your website must have useful current and concise information right out the gate when somebody lands on your homepage that information has to be clear and concise and what they’re looking for the way text information is presented the content is important since it encourages or discourages visitors interaction and affects the way the website is found and ranked in the search engines as well in short your content is king it’s the most critical component of any website if you have a simple message present it simply if your message is more complex then break it into organized manageable pieces we will dive deeper into that topic next week but simply tell the broad picture then use links to give more specific information to interested visitors to follow 3 your website needs to be easy to find the beauty of the web is the bane of the web namely tons of information resides at your fingertips both useful and irrelevant if the user does not have your web address then your site must be easy to find in the search engines an example if if you’re looking for a dude ranch in Colorado and you don’t have the website address you’ve got to be able to find it quickly people are going to type in common words like Colorado dude ranch it’s really not any more complicated than that and if your website is presented properly the website that they’re looking for is going to show up in the search engines very quickly very easily in up on top here are some key things to help you when you’re putting together your content so that you can meet this objective let’s look at content when writing content make sure you’re using language that your visitor will use to search for for your site organize the content into page or paragraph groupings using keyword phrases and page titles or page headers like the heading tags it’s real important that your content be in plain English both for the search engines and for your visitors page themes are also important when linking to subsequent pages try to stick to a single theme for the product on each page so when you’re linking in deeper make sure if it says activities that it’s going to be about activities and not about much else design technically sound pages that meet wc3 website design standards incorporate all of the elements that are required to promote page crawling and indexing by the search engines now I control web studio is designed specifically to lay everything out into the best method that a CMS system can give you and still maintain these design standards here’s another tip on all your graphic images make sure that you have the alt tags filled out so that the search engines know what the images are and can index the images as well as your content external linking this is pretty key to for the search engines not only do you want to link from your site to other many sites but you want complementary sites to link back to you so here you see harm else has resources linking out which is incredible for their search engine rankings but you can also see here that the gunnison crested butte Chamber of Commerce has links back to thermals which is also equally important getting inbound links to your home page is actually a crucial element of how your site will perform in the search engines or draw new visitors from complimentary sites it’s possible that a visitor can hit this particular site not knowing who are males Ranch Resort is read their information from here and then wink over these links can be from online directories such as this one blogs or other websites links from similary themed sources content similar or loosely related to yours is better than unrelated websites especially for the search engines as well as for the visitors leaning there if they’re confused when they land on somebody’s website about your message they’re probably not going to click through for your website must be easy to use and navigate this is one of the biggest issues that we run across when we split before we bring web sites over into I control is that their links are all over the map their navigations all over the map they go to places that really don’t have any intuitive information about the particular topic of the website when your site opens up the user should know the theme and be able to get the information that interest them in a couple of clicks or five seconds it’s real simple if your websites about photography but when a visitor lands on your website there’s nothing no information there about photography they’re going to be confused and they’re going to leave they’re going to leave very quickly if they get to there and they’re looking for something specific you need to be able to give them a very quick and easy way from all pages to find what they’re looking for are they looking for pub galleries are they looking for private galleries are they looking for their own photos what is it that they’re actually looking for but you don’t know that right up front so you need to make sure that your website is laid out in a manner that will give them that information to accomplish this the primary site navigation must be easy to see like we said organized logically and let’s give the visitor command over the site give them access to everything that are allowed to have access to if you leave things out or you bury it on the bottom instead it’s going to make it difficult for them to navigate and they’re not going to want to stick around your primary mid navigation must be located in the same location on all internal pages but a lot of people will throw stuff all over the place and you really can’t find anything because you don’t know when to look left right top or bottom for the navigation your primary the main source of your navigation needs to be the same place every time your secondary navigation if you want to throw it from the top down to the left do so but throw it on the left all the time if you bounce from the left to the right in from right to the left and page the page visitor again is going to get confused and there they’re going to leave if you are consistent with your secondary navigation on the left the next this is the very second click that they click on they’ll know that they can look to the left and there’s all the information that they need their brain will be trained very quickly if your site’s laid out consistently since there’s no internal cyber gps navigation available for the web sites the internal pages should also be labeled or tagged in such a manner that the user knows where they are in the site at all times in this particular case we tell them right here that there in public galleries when you’re looking at some of the other sites and you click with inside of a particular section of the site we also let them know where they’re at it stands out it’s different than the rest of the links it’s very important that you let your visitors know where they are because they’re going to be navigate through there and you don’t want them to get lost there should also be no internal dead ends two pages or orphaned pages in short the visitor should be able to get anywhere in the site from any page so always give them the ability to get back to the home or back to wherever they want to go at any given time it’s very important that they can go back and forth without having to meanie what actually you don’t want any dead end links you want to be able to give them the ability to get around easily and efficiently number five your site needs to be optimized for performance your images need to pop and be fast you need to make sure that they’re not directly dumped right from the video from your digital camera your site should load quickly the graphics should be compressed and optimized to facilitate this episodes 1 2 & 3 cover this topic in detail so if you’re struggling with your images go watch those three episodes I think there’s about 40 minutes worth of video in all three episodes and you’ll learn a lot from from that about your images all your internal links should be developed according to the wc3 conventions since they will operate more efficiently and render quick more quickly in browsers a good content management system like I control web studio will take care of this for you so make sure that all your internal links are set up so that it’s real easy to navigate around in and they meet the standards of the industry your site your site should work in all major browsers and operating platforms this seems trivial but you would be surprised at how many websites don’t operate on a Mac as well as you do on a PC or vice versa or they don’t operate in this browser a browsers like Google Chrome this is google chrome here everything should look very identical here’s firefox man it they’re going to be some differences but the six different combinations will that we’ve shown just here between these three browsers and PC and Macs they’re going to they’re going to yield a little bit different rendering but they’re going to be relatively the same there should be no errors in displaying the content or the graphics in and no errors in interactive media or the underlying code the other thing to take note when you’re optimizing your website is multimedia high volume multi media such as video clips should be compressed and offer to the viewers from a streaming server with a connection speed detection so that visitors with high-speed connections such as dsl or broadband and visitors with dial-up connections will both get pleasing results as soon as you drive as you can see this is a pretty large video and it requires a lot of bandwidth to play this video this video has been compressed in a manner that is very pleasing to both dial-up and dsl users and the server that this video is is being served from knows how to detect the broadband or the dial-up connection and we’ll deliver the appropriate compressed file it’s just that simple everything’s got to be fast if visitors are waiting for stuff to download they’re only going to wait a couple of seconds in there out of here

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