Having a competitive website is a critical part of your marketing plan in today’s digital world.
Web users should be able to easily locate your website, be captivated by the visuals and content, and smoothly navigate to obtain the desired information.
So, how can you achieve all of that? Here are some ways to ensure that your website stands out from the rest.
Search Engine Optimization
No matter how beautiful or knowledgeable a website is, if it isn’t optimized, it won’t be found.
Search engine optimization (SEO) helps your website show up on the first page of results on search engines to help gain visibility for your brand. Think about it, when was the last time you went to the second page of Google?
Some simple ways of improving your SEO are producing strategic content, using relevant keywords, and labeling your images with alt text.
It is important to follow major changes in what search engine algorithms look for so you can keep your website up to date. In 2021, Google doubled down on the importance of User Experience (UX) in determining its Search Engine Results Page (SERP) ranking, and last year it implemented additional changes to how page experience impacts ranking. It’s changes like this that make SEO an ongoing challenge.
Visually Pleasing Design and Branding
Websites that have a visually pleasing design and cohesive branding with the rest of your digital and physical presence give viewers a professional and knowledgeable impression. You want to draw your visitors in with clear, unique imagery, complementing colors, and easy-to-read fonts that convey your brand.
Keeping your website up to date with new trends for design, without changing your brand, is key. If you compare good websites from just a few years ago to now for the same company, it is most likely going to look different. With upgrades in technology and changes in what users want to see, your website should be ever-evolving.
Use your buyer personas to help you identify what your customers look for in a company’s branding.
Compelling Content and Quality Pages
Now that your customer is on your page, thanks to SEO, and they are impressed with your beautiful homepage, it’s time to captivate them with your content. You want to feature informative, well-designed pages about your company and your products or services, making sure to include photos and videos as well.
Having a blog that highlights your expertise and paints your company as a thought leader is great for increasing website traffic and boosting SEO. Blogs are a chance for you to show off your brand’s personality along with providing information to your viewers. Include links for internal pages and external pages (make sure they open in a new tab, never redirect off your site!), utilize headings, and create pillar pages to help make your blog successful.
Navigation and User Experience
It’s critical to have good navigation and user experience so that your viewers can find your extraordinary content.
Your navigation menu should be simple and straightforward with a clear path that viewers can take. If you have a lot of pages that you want to direct people to, utilize drop-down menus. These should be streamlined as well so that it isn’t overwhelming to viewers.
This ties into user experience (UX). Your website visitors should be able to move around easily and find the information that they’re looking for.
Having a mobile-responsive website can be the make-or-break difference for mobile users. If your website does not give the optimal experience to both desktop and mobile users, you are at risk of losing a large percentage of the internet’s users- with mobile devices making up for more than half of all internet traffic.
Loading time is also a critical component of UX. Web users want information quickly and are often unwilling to wait for a page to load. Use photos and videos strategically as they can increase load time.
Analytics and Data
Now that you’ve put all this work into your website, it is time to get something out of it. Look at the analytics and data to figure out what’s working and what needs improvement. We like using tools like Hotjar to determine what the most engaging content is on a website through heat maps.
By analyzing this data, you can see what content is performing best and create similar content to help increase your digital presence.
Designing a competitive website can be a time-consuming and overwhelming task. Many businesses partner with a web design agency for these types of projects, allowing them to stay focused on growing their business.
Thanks for reading,
Editor’s Note: Originally published in April 2019, this blog has been updated and edited for content in October 2023.