For different types of websites, there are different measures of what makes a website successful. It isn’t as simple as saying my site gets a lot of traffic. Traffic alone doesn’t mean much. Here are some examples of different types of sites and what I feel makes them successful.
This is a good example of a site with definite measures of success. If you are a landlord, what is the one thing that makes you successful?
Simple: No Vacant Apartments. Ok, but what does the website have to do with ensuring 100% occupancy? To maintain a full complex, you need people to be constantly looking to tour and ultimately lease an apartment. For the complexes I manage, we do this by people inquiring via contact forms and calls. As we get multiple form responses each and every day, the company is able to maintain an incredible occupancy rate. That, my friends, is a success!
This is a bit different to measure. If you are a lawyer, you want to always be bringing in new clients. While some people will fill out a form, many times people will call as issues can be personal. I recently checked in with an attorney to see how the site was doing. He said he is getting new clients every week from the site, and he was thrilled with the performance. You can’t beat that.
This one is a bit easier, to measure if you are selling online, then you want sales, pure and simple. From my standpoint, this means you need a site that is easy to order from. We do this by having a great one-page checkout page. We know it works as we have very few abandoned carts. Now, unfortunately this is dependent on factors we can’t always control. Number one among this is shipping price. In an Amazon world, you require free or low cost shipping. Heavy products are hard to sell online as shipping can cost more than the product themselves. I wrote about this topic in a blog post: In an Amazon world charging high shipping prices is a no-no.
Not every website is meant to sell a product, some are just to let people know all about you and your business. To me, the thing that makes these types of sites successful is simplicity. Now, what do I mean by simplicity? When you go to a site to learn about a company, you want to find the information easily. To do this, a website should have all important information reachable with one or 2 clicks. If people have to delve too deeply layers down, they will never get to essential information. With over 50% of people viewing your site on mobile devices, they don’t want to click 4 or 5 times, they want the info in a hurry.
Non-profits are driven by donations, plain and simple. Make sure your site does a good job of discussing the cause. You want to have your donation button standout. So if you have your main menu links, using CSS, make the donate link look more like a button. It is also critical to have an events page, and a news/blog section. It is also vital to show your non-profit status designation. People want to donate, but knowing they can get a write-off their taxes is an additional incentive.
If are a service business, you want people to be able to use your company. One of the most critical factors is the Call To Action. Logically placed call to action to get someone to make an appointment is the way to go. Now, not everyone feels comfortable filling out forms. So it is a good idea to send them to a page which not only has a form, but your phone number, email and even a link to send a text. This way, whatever a visitor to your website is comfortable with, can find that contact method. Another significant thing for service business is your Google My Business listing. Because most service businesses are local, it is crucial your GMB listing is complete.
As we have shown above, what makes A website successful is different for different types of websites. Before you meet with a web development firm like RooSites, it is a good idea to have your goals worked out, so we can work to make your site successful. Search Engine Optimization is always important, so also know what keywords and phrases you want to be found for.
What works for me is taking some time away from writing, and letting topics come to me. As with writing in general, when you push too hard, you just come up blank. For me, I like to go for a walk, and not even think about writing. When I stop pushing, I tend to have ideas.
I was recently at RooSites’ Dunedin Florida location and was walking along this beautiful old street by the Gulf of Mexico. The street consists of all these gorgeous homes, many of which are over 100 years old. Almost every single one is meticulously maintained. Whenever you walk by, someone is either tending to the homes or to their outdoor space.
Then it hit me!
What is beautiful for one location, may not work for another. These houses are so beautiful as they really fit the neighborhood, they reside in. However, take one of these homes and try to stick it in Boston, New York or other Metropolitan areas, they will look out of place.
I was recently working on a new site for an attorney who specializes in helping families with special education. The attorney asked me for some examples that she could look at in order to put together her content. This is when it hit me. Showing her great sites that have nothing to do with her field of endeavor really aren’t helpful, and although some sites are beautiful to look at, they won’t work in her area of expertise.
So as with those gorgeous homes which fit so nicely along the Gulf of Mexico in Dunedin, Florida, they wouldn’t look too good in the Beacon Hill area of Boston or in my current hometown of Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Then as I mentioned, the properties were meticulously maintained. This of course made me think of website maintenance, which as you know is a specialty of RooSites. Although these homes are quite old, their care and maintenance have allowed them to remain standing through numerous storms and other factors which typically destroy homes of this age. Well, I am here to tell you that this is the same with websites. I manage and host many sites which are several years old. Because we never miss a beat in terms of updates, the sites remain viable and have saved their owners a lot of money that they would’ve needed to suspend to build a new website. As with those old homes, a newer replacement would NOT have been an improvement. In my blog post: Sometimes it is better NOT to build a new website we covered this very topic. Don’t get me wrong, there is a point where your site has outlived its usefulness and new technologies allow you to do things better, faster and more efficiently. But you should get years out of a new website, before needing to do a total redesign. Proper maintenance will allow you to have a long lifespan for your website.
When you are thinking about a new website, you tend to look at sites that you like for inspiration. This is fine, but make sure that design also fits your type of business. I typically recommend looking at your competitors, but also look at companies who are similar to yours throughout the county for inspiration. In terms of maintenance, make sure you work with a company who not only will build you a nice site but will also maintain your website, so you can be sure your site is up and running and secure. Unfortunately, a lot of companies like to design sites, but few want to do the maintenance. This is where RooSites can help. We specialize in website maintenance and have service plans for every company’s budget and needs.