The impact of your website depends entirely on what you decide to put on the web page and what you opt out of putting on the web page. There’s no sure-shot formula for success with websites, but there are some things that are a must as far as design and content of your web page for the best chance of succeeding. Here’s a look at the ingredients that are a must for a quality web page.
Title Tags (Headlines)
Every web page should have a main headline that should describe what the user should expect from the page. The headline (H) Tags may only be four to five words long, but it’s probably the most important four to five words you will write for the web page. The title tags are not just a way of telling the readers what a topic is about for on the web page. (H) Tags are also one of the most important factors that a search engine user to rank the page. Your primary phrase should be placed in an (H1) Tag only one time on the page.
There are two things that you should think about when writing the headline. Firstly, is the headline appropriate for the content on the page? Secondly, is the headline ‘attractive’ enough to get people excited enough to find out what is on the page? By finding the right balance between relevance and click-worthiness, you should be able to script the perfect headline.
Once a user lands on your website, the user-friendliness of the website would make or break your chances of making a sale. And this depends on your website’s navigation. How easy your website makes it for a user to find what he/she is looking for would decide how many users are going to be converted into customers.
To make sure that your website provides quick access to users to whatever they need, you must think about a structure that would allow your website to determine what the customer wants at a very early stage. And all the research on this topic must be done while your website is being developed.
There’s no sure-shot formula for success here either though categorizing your web pages in a logical manner to enable users to get access to what they want quickly is necessary. How you categorize your web pages depends entirely on you, though. You can categorize the web pages according to:
- Type (Applications)
- Need (Entertainment)
- Contextual Setting (Smartphones)
The idea of a ‘killer’ copy in this day and age has evolved considerably. The inclusion of a lot of keywords was a must a few years ago, but the natural flow of content is what holds the key now. There is no need to think about search-engine robots anymore when you write content for your web page. What’s necessary is that you think about your audience and write what they would be interested in reading. If you do that, you will naturally include words and phrases that your audience would be searching, and this will get you to the top of SERPs.
The keys to success with content are originality, clarity and, information. There’s no need to be lavish and use jargon that your audience won’t be able to understand or relate to. Keep it simple and your copy will become memorable and have the desired effect on the audience.
Your copy will only hit the mark if people read it. Users are always in a hurry online and scan through a web page’s content to the parts which relate to them. How you structure your content would decide whether they would be able to do that or not.
To improve your content’s readability, a legible font size and type is a must. You should also make sure never to write a large block of content without any space in between and breaking it into paragraphs and dividing it into different portions through sub-headings is, therefore, a great idea. Subtle bolding or italicizing of text works well in making your copy ‘scan able’ while the use of bullet points for points that you want the user to read at all costs works wonders too.
There are only a restricted number of fonts available for websites if you want your website to crawls able. Robots and search engine spiders can’t crawl most creative fonts and so, using them has not been an option up till very recently.
However, with the emergence of web fonts, the use of innovative fonts that can help in capturing the user’s attention is now possible without compromising on the text’s ability to be crawled by search engines.
Fonts.com, Type kit, and My Fonts are premier web font providers, but you will have to pay to use their fonts. If you want to get your hands on some free web fonts, though, you can always try Google Fonts.
Research has shown that the impact of images is a lot more than that of text, especially in the case when a user wants to ‘buy’ something. So, the use of clear, attractive and crisp images is a must on a sales page as it’s the image that will make it or break it for you. Introducing a ‘zoom’ function would help.
It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t use any image that you don’t own out rightly unless you get the permission from the person who owns the image. Otherwise, you should only use pictures that are allowed to be used for commercial purposes (Creative Commons can help you find such images).
The thing that matters the most for online buyers is trustworthiness. If your website feels trustworthy, people would be more open to buying from your website. And how can you make people trust you? User-friendliness, good content and, a beautiful design all help but, you would need to do a lot more to make people feel that the website is run by humans and has the trust of other online shoppers.
So, features that can help your website become trustworthy are:
- Testimonials and user reviews- gives people the idea that other individuals have bought from the website
- Live Chat Support –assures the users that real humans run the website
- Social Media Accounts-the more active they are, the more trustworthy you would appear
- List of clients along with their logos
- A very creditable and descriptive T&C page
- List of accreditations
An important term in website design is ‘breadcrumbs’. Just like breadcrumb trails are popular in storytelling to help people find their way home, breadcrumbs in website design help users know where they are and how they can go back home. Breadcrumbs are great for website usability and support you in engaging both the user and the search engines. For the users, breadcrumbs tell them where they are on the website and how they can go to a higher level if needed. For search engines, breadcrumbs offer a simple way of understanding your site’s structure.
A good way of incorporating breadcrumbs within your site’s result on SERPs is via micro data markup. With this, rather than showing a very large URL, a simple breadcrumb link would appear below your title tag on SERPs. Research shows that it can help with CTRs.
While text and images have a significant role to play on web pages, the importance of videos can’t be disregarded especially on product pages. You can write a long list of the product’s features and benefits and add captivating photos but it will never have the same effect as ‘showing’ the product’s features and benefits in a video.
If you can get the customers to make video reviews, that’s all the better. A customer’s video review can’t be faked and therefore, adds credibility to your website as it would give other people assurance that online shoppers do buy from your website.
When you will include videos in your web page, do remember to set up video hosting correctly otherwise your website’s usability would suffer.
It’s necessary that you design your footer in such a manner that users of both kinds find what they want. So, it’s obvious that you should put links that provide information about you (Contact Us, About Us) as well as links that helps you remain in touch with them (Blog, Social Media Account links). Moreover, you should add a small signup form for your weekly newsletter too.