How to manage a website effectively?
Managing a website takes time, effort and commitment. Quite simply, if you don’t have these three, you won’t go very far on the web. Follow these tips below for the path to successful website management.
K.I.S.S – Keep It Simple Stupid. This should be seen as the golden rule when managing your website. Website visitors come to your site because they want to find out information about your product or service – is that flashing, spinning image really necessary? Avoid anything that distracts the user from the reason they first visited your site.
Jargon – Sure, you may know what XHTML means, but does your visitor? Be aware to define such jargon or abbreviations to visitors and potential customers/clients. You want to attract them, not scare them!
Usability – Usability is a key factor to a successful website. If the visitor can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll simply find another site which provides a similar service, at a click of the mouse. Don’t make browsing harder than it should be – make sure everything is obvious and easy to find.
Update Update Update – Nothing puts a user off more than visiting a page which was last updated 2 years ago. Keep your website up to date with latest services, news, articles etc. Your visitors will return, and this will also benefit you in the search engines, too.
Copywriting – The W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) accessibility guidelines state “Use the clearest and simplest language appropriate for a site’s content” and rightfully so – after all, your visitor wants to find out about you, and not become agitated that he cannot understand the text written on your website.
Writing for Search Engines – When writing for the web, you have to consider key words and key terms, so that you can be found for those terms in search engines. However, too many key words and terms within main content is an annoyance for the user. Try to balance key words in your content so that it is still easily read by the user, though not apparent that certain features are for search engine purposes.
Links – Back in the days when the web was young, link directories (commonly known as “farms”) were popular among webmasters for website promotion. There are now alternative means to optimising your website, other than submitting to these directories. Links to your website are important, though many website owners believe that a long list of links on their site to other websites benefits them – wrong! Links only benefit you, as a website owner, if they are linking to your website, not from.
User Interaction – Browsing the web is exactly that – browsing. Nowadays though, new technologies allow developers to build interactive applications, which let the visitor play their part on the website. An example perhaps, is to allow users to give their feedback on an article you’ve written, by way of a form which allows them to send you their comments and discuss the topic with other visitors.
Consistency – Inconsistent websites are a pain to browse. Keep your navigation structure, page layout and web design consistent throughout the site and avoid causing the user having to shift their eye to other positions between pages. This keeps the visitor focused and allows easier browsing.
Marketing – The web provides a great marketplace to sell your product or service. However, don’t think because it’s online, you have to stick to internet marketing. Feature your website address where possible offline, such as on business cards or brochures, company cars and signs etc.