8 key elements your website must have to succeed

April 2015 · Andis Cekuls

You can't forget about these features in 2015..

I'm serious. If you haven't thought about these 8 key elements, you're done.

8 key elements your website must have to succeed picture
Responsive web design

This year is considered to be the year of web responsiveness. Having a non-responsive web design in 2015 is like having no website in 2001! Responsive web design is a design that can be viewed beautifully on any device.. desktop, laptop, phone or tablet.. or even a watch. It utilizes the so-called media queries that allow your website to transform to fit the width and the height of your visitor’s Internet communications device. A successfully executed responsive website can be considered a good alternative to creating an app for every device in the world!

Furthermore, Google has announced that on April 21st they will alter their searching algorithm to prefer responsive websites to non-responsive ones. It means that your competitors that have their websites mobile-device-friendly may score higher on Google than yours if it isn’t!

Mobile friendly test

DON’T LOSE YOUR RANKING! Google has created a test called Mobile-Friendly Test that checks your website to see if it is ready for the update they are having on April 21st. Don’t lose time; make your website mobile friendly!

A lot of good content

You can have the best design in the world. You can have the best customer service in the world. You can have the best product in the world. But it is great content that drives traffic to you online.

CREATE A BLOG! You will not only be viewed as experts in your field, but you will also gain a loyal follower base that will visit your website frequently to see what new you have written. Even better, people will share your posts on social media! Your articles might as well become the go-to when looking for a solution in your field.

Think about it. Lots of content equals lots of traffic. Lots of traffic equals lots of potential leads. Lots of potential leads equal lots of clients.

Search engines will view your website as a site that has frequent updates; consequently they will rank you higher and for more keywords. And, again, that brings you even more traffic! 

At least 2 call-to-actions per page

Is your CONTACT US call noticeable easily? Some sites have their CONTACT US button hidden in the lower left corner. Literally. In a small font. With bright letters on a white background.

MAKE SURE YOU DON’T DO THAT! Check if you have AT LEAST two calls to either contact you or some other kind of call to action on every page of your website. Have you noticed the popups that some blogs have that require you to enter your email to sign up for their newsletter? That’s a really good example of a call-to-action. 

Sign up example

Another important thing to keep in mind is the frequency of your action calls. You don’t want to make them seem overwhelming and scare your visitor away. Find a good balance. Perhaps consult a designer.

A well-defined solution for your customer

Imagine you didn’t know anything about your company. How long does it take your visitor to understand what you do and what you offer when looking at your website? It is always good to have a great-looking website with huge images, large fonts and so on. But what is it you do? Is it obvious to your visitor? Make sure it is. It is worth spending time on that. Web designers exist to not only make things pretty but to make things easily understandable.

A good feedback on whether your website is understood by your visitors is on your analytics site (such us Google Analytics) under Bounce Rate. Bounce Rate is the percentage of visitors that leave after looking at only one page on your website. For example, if your Bounce Rate is 70%, 70 of every 100 people leave your website after reading just a single page. Most websites fall somewhere between 26% and 70%, average being about 48%. Warning: if you have a single-page website, your bounce rate may be high, and you have to look at the average time spent on your site.

Optimize your PPC (Pay Per Click)

Are you placing ads on other websites? Are you using Google Adwords to promote your offers? If you aren’t, you definitely should. Paid traffic is a great source of potential leads in today’s digital world. If you know your customer well you can target very specific groups of people.

For example:

  • 40-year-old women who have lost their jobs and want to find one abroad

  • 25-year-olds who are interested in basketball and live in Paris

  • Married couples who want to buy a house in Florida for retirement

Whichever your niche is, you can find leads on sites such as Facebook, Pinterest, Google or LinkedIn.

Be careful, though! Sometimes businesses target the wrong traffic, and consequently see no results from their advertising campaigns. It is useful to fill out a Business Model Canvas to understand your audience before placing ads anywhere.

Placed correctly, you should see a conversion rate of up to 70%! Make sure you utilize paid traffic to get new clients!

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Search engine optimization is tricky. The better your site is SEO’d, the higher it ranks on Google for your chosen keywords. However, SEO takes time. A lot of it. Nevertheless, it brings great results. For instance, if your site was optimized for the keyword “nutrition for kids”, you should see good results in your organic traffic (organic traffic is the traffic sent from search engines such as Google or Bing). It may get your site a good deal of parents who are looking out for their kids in the nutrition field. It is pretty much free traffic to your site that you can later use however you like.

When building a site or updating your current one, make sure you ask your programmer to check up on your level of search engine optimization. You really don’t want to miss the benefits SEO can bring you!

Understand your statistics & analytics

Understanding where your leads come from and what they do on your site is absolutely vital to building a successful business online.

You can try getting potential clients everywhere – on Facebook, on Google, in newspapers, in apps etc. It may bring you a lot of leads, but what if your ad campaign on, say, Twitter is failing and the ads on other sites are compensating that, so you don’t even notice? It is essential that you track your visitors, so you can either work on the parts of campaign that don’t convert as well or just get rid of them. It is unbelievable how often businesses make this mistake.

Pie chart visual

Nevertheless, it is generally important to have some type of tracking installed even if you don’t have any active marketing campaigns. What if you knew that 80% of your customers enjoy some particular topic? You could improve your marketing campaigns ten-fold! You can know that; you do know that! Ask your website administrator to track how visitors use your website, so you are aware if, for example, most of your clients like reading blog posts on sports cars.. so you can later run an advertisement campaign in collaboration with a sports car manufacturer. Don’t miss opportunities for no reason!

Maximize your results

There are different types of websites / pages for different types of goals. There are SPAs (single-page applications), forums, landing pages, squeeze pages, splash pages, capture pages and tons of more types of pages you can utilize to boost your business online. However, it is vitally important for your business to utilize the right one for your specific aim. Is it getting traffic? Is it getting leads? Is it converting the leads into clients? Is it all of these?

Every page on your website must have a reason for existing and having the layout the way it has. Consult your digital marketing specialist to make sure you’re not missing out on anything!

Besides, don’t forget you can combine the specific pages on your website to match your advertising campaign. Businesses more often than not make the mistake of pointing all their ad traffic to their homepage when, in fact, they should be pointing the right traffic to the right pages on your website. That’s exactly the reason for having different landing pages – to address the pains of the specific audience that landing page is meant for. Build multiple landing pages. Maximize your results!

Don’t waste time! Implement these changes today! Make sure you don’t miss any clients!