There are several important things to remember when it comes to building and promoting a website. The first and most valuable lesson you should learn is that it’s not about what you want, if you want to be successful, you have to give your visitors what they want. You also need to dress up and present that content in the most easy to use, user-friendly experience the Internet has ever known. Maybe that’s a bit of a stretch but you can certainly take the necessary steps to give your visitor the best experience possible that’s for sure. Throughout this article we’ll list 10 things that your visitor wants from you when they land on your website!
1) A fast site, this goes without saying but too many people think any old host will do. Where your website is hosted also makes a huge difference in speed. Get a reliable host and find one in the country your bulk of your visitors are from. This will help on the speed front no end. If you’re in the UK, my preference would be HostPresto.com – if you’re in the US, perhaps Web.com!
2) A good design, this is what a lot of blogs lack these days which is amazing given the amount of free high end templates available. You can even go ultra-premium for less than £20! Having a unique custom made design is not all it’s cracked up to be if it’s of a lower quality than what you could get if you simply used an existing theme which has been made already.
3) Good content! By good content I don’t just mean lots of content, think quality over quantity. People want to hear your unique voice, they don’t just want the same old content regurgitated into a semi-unique form.
4) Step by step articles. People consume content differently these days, provide your content in bite sized chunks not one big long article that is tedious to read. Take not of this very article if need be, a nice top 10 that will give your readers endless pleasure.
5) Build a list! Once you have your visitor you want to keep them coming back. A good way to do this is to have them sign up for your newsletter or mailing list. Don’t be too intrusive with this though via pop ups etc, people don’t want to be hassled. Make it prominent, but not too prominent!
6) Maintain a good structure. Not everyone who lands on your website will be immediately presented with the information they desire, this is inevitable. Make your content and blog sections well structured and easy to follow. Consider adding a search functions o your visitors can quickly and easily find other information as well as the information they’re viewing currently.
7) Use the latest software. WordPress for example is updated frequently with no features along with security and bug fixes. For all its warts, WordPress still stands out amongst its competitors in the blogging platform sector. Use WordPress, keep it up to date and your visitors will thank you for it.
8) Easy on the ads! I can appreciate you want to make money from your blog but it should not be at the expense of your visitor! Keep your ads well positioned but don’t go overboard. Think content first, ads second. Not vice versa!
9) Good imagery. They say a picture says a thousand words and this is predominantly true when it comes to weblogs! Convey your topic in imagery as well as text. It’s not all about the search engines, your visitors experience should be the paramount priority.
10) Keep it updated. Once you receive a visitor, you want them to be hooked. You want them visiting daily to see what you’ve written on the next subject at hand. Do not make the mistake of leaving your blog unattended as regardless of how good your content is, if a visitor lands on it and sees your last post was 3 months ago they’re not going to give you any real credibility and the chance of them visiting your blog again in the future is near zero.
So there you have it, not a complete list by any means but 10 simple rules that will enable you to provide a good user experience with at least some chance of hooking them in to the ever important second visit. Use the content above as a base for your blog endeavours and you won’t go far wrong.