How to succeed in today's web industry
There are probably hundreds or thousands of important steps, and factors that someone should consider if he/she wants their website to be succesful. Succesful means incoming traffic and results. Period.
Through my experience i have came up with some final conclusions as to the most important factors for almost any kind of business or cause:
1. Search Engine Optimization
S.E.O. is hands down the most important factor and probably the hardest to achieve in order to get ahead. Google, Yahoo, Bing, Aol and many other secondary search engines are looking at your site many times a day. To be at the top of the results lists is critical for your traffic and your brand. We have to deal here with so many different elements and tricks that our experts use, that this article will never end if I analyze all of them.
A quick reference has to do with the Page title - it's the url that you are see next to a website's address. The url included words must be consistent with your article, and the information inside.
Next is the title of your subject. Search engines are looking at this title for use on their listings, the content, and how well it's written. We are using math calculations and formulas to determine exact amount of words, and keywords that should be used inside any subject. Finally there is the typography , headings, alts, links that you may use, and of course the ranking to these links.
In general a SEO expert can bring any page to be at the first 10 results on any search engine. It's always a matter of time, and of course cost. For example lawyers or attorney in NYC gives us about 48,000,000 listings. To be on the top 10 of them - for one page of course - you'll need to pay around $50,000 - $70,000 . Do you get this money back though from the incoming traffic? Absolutely. That's why the competition is so high, and why the cost has gone sky high the last two years. On the other hand to come on the top 10 for a less competitive business field like i.e. "Chinese Restaurant Brooklyn" the cost is less than $15,000. The less competition, the lower the fees. It's simple.
2. Website Speed
The speed of your website is the second most important factor you should analyze. Speed doesn't only mean your hosting provider bandwith and servers, but in general the way your website is built. The coding your programmers use, how well the code is written and compressed, and a lot more technical issues that come along with this. Our website i.e. has a Page Speed Result from Google 98/100, which is extremely high. The optimization of Website Speed is also difficult, but easier than SEO.
Nowadays, all the experts in our industry know how to take care of these things. Usually Website speed is offered as an extra service, which varies from $300 up to $20,000 and brings great ROI to the website owner. For educational purposes a website with Page Speed Results less than 75/100 has 40% less traffic than a similar with 90/100. A website with less than 50/100 gets only the 10% of this traffic. So, keep in mind that Speed is really important for your users and your results. Never pick the cheapest hosting or the cheapest designers. You need to research their speed results, it's important.
3. Front Page Layout
Your home page is what your first time visitor sees and decides what they like or not. Keep in your mind that an average of 5 seconds is enough for someone to decide if he/she will continue to read or search for something, or just leave and search for a competitor's site. Your Layout must be clean, not too heavy but not empty either. You have to impress your visitor and at the same time be serious about your business. What's you field? What exactly are you doing, and in general how he can use your business. At the end of the day what counts is how many clients you got from the web and if your investment was worth it.
A succesful Front Page Layout has to do with the nature of your business. You can't have the same layout if you are a gym or a lawyer. Same goes if you have a mass-website or a foundation. Every single business has different demands and different ways to be presented. Photography, Logo, Taglines, Graphics, Colors, Dimensions, Compatibility with browsers, Fonts, Typography, are just few of the many factors that creates the final result for a good or bad home page. Sound complicated, but it's not. Just find the right expert or team that will utilize all these techniques and tips for your own good.
Even if you succeed to be on the top of Google search, your site is getting more than 90/100 on a Page Speed test, and your Home Page is really awesome, the next step that a visitor will take is to start reading about your business. What's your company target is, what your products are, what's your history and how professional you are to what you are doing as well as testimonials, results, awards maybe, and in general should have a transparent view of your business (transparency-keep this always in your mind).
The content inside any subject of your website is really important. Of course it must copyrighted. Copy-pasting from another website by today's web standards is not an option. You have to sit down and write about your business and what you are doing. You have to combine this with beautiful pictures around your subject, and explain things to your visitor. Act as a client. Content has to do with simplicity and level of education. It also has to do with how well someone can express in written words what it is their business does and offers visitors, and this is hard.
99% of those who try to do this on their own fail because they believed they can do it, when they can't. A strong suggestion is to hire someone that really offers copyrighting services. Not only will you have an error proof website, but your visitors will get the right idea about you and your business. After all you don't want your clients to start thinking that you can't write a simple article correctly, or -worse- give a wrong or stretched idea of what your business is doing.
5. Social Media
Here we are. This is the funniest factor, in my opinion. Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes. What's wrong with those people? Seriously. Everyone knows how important social media is. Suddenly everyone has a facebook like button and a twitter account. Invitations comes by the hundreds everyday. About what? To read in a business page "Good morning"? Or to watch shared videos from YouTube or lovely personal images?Who cares?
Come on, this is not the right way to promote your business. The last 5 years i've seen unbelievable mistakes from serious business owners concerning social media. No mr Founder, Owner, CEO and super Director, you can't put you employee to start posting on your facebook page. This is your marketing idiot! Wake up! Business examples that ruined their whole strategy due to mistakes at Social Media are coming to public everyday. If you don't know how to do it, give it to someone else who does. Or - better - DON'T DO IT. I've seen business that utilized the power of Social Media and grew up multiple times in less than a year. I've also seen business owners that thought they knew about everything and started posting themselves -or put their kids to do it because "they know facebook" - which resulted in dramatically negative results to their reputation and branding. Just think that Social Media was considered a #10 factor 2 years ago, and right now is the most important after content. Don't get ruined from your high ego, your competitor is looking for this.
...To be continued