There’s an estimated 1.5 billion websites in the world today. Thanks to modern digital publishing technology, new websites go live at a stunning rate, too: Around 550,000 a day. Many of these websites will be abandoned in their earliest stages. Some hang on, but never attract any traffic. But there’s also a vast middle ground of so-so websites.
These mediocre websites may not be in your industry. They may not have any commercial purpose at all. But they are, in a very real sense, your competitors.
When you bring a business online, you’re not only competing against peers in your market. You’re also facing up against all of the internet’s distractions, diversions, rabbit holes, and misleading or useless content – the noise in the signal-to-noise ratio.
Launching and maintaining a cohesive digital marketing strategy will help. That’s especially true when savvy search engine optimization is used to draw targeted traffic to your website.
However, the experience leads have on your site is shaped by all of their other experiences and expectations. That includes their impression of every other site they’ve ever interacted with.
To stand out from the rest, your website’s design must be infused with the latest best practices based on the science of user experience. But keeping up with those trends is a formidable task.
So, exactly what DOES it take to create a winning website for your business in 2020?
Let’s take a closer look.
An Optimized, Responsive Layout
Optimized is a word that’s thrown around a lot in digital marketing, but it has a very specific meaning: Providing the best possible experience to a particular user at a certain time.
Your site might have sound fundamentals, but it falls short of its potential if it doesn’t put the best spin on your products, services, values, and expertise in every interaction.
Exactly what it means to be optimized varies by situation. Web design has a number of factors that must be optimized, dictated by what makes it easiest for site users to accomplish their goals.
One huge example is mobile-friendly optimization.
Over the last few years, the spotlight has shifted from traditional desktop browsing to mobile devices. More emails are open and sent on smartphones and tablets than on other devices. A substantial portion of your site’s traffic will also come from mobile.
With that in mind, a fully-optimized modern website must be responsive.
That is, the layout must shift seamlessly to be beautiful on any display and convenient with any input. Unless users can browse your site on their phones (and navigate with their thumbs!) it will underperform.
Secure Cloud-Based Web Hosting
The last few years have been riddled with high-profile data breaches – some from businesses that consumers trust; others, like Equifax, from companies no one ever asked to stockpile their data.
Web users are adapting to a world where data security threats are more prevalent, numerous, and sophisticated than ever before: For example, most browsers have begun issuing highly visible security warnings on sites that do not use SSL encryption, once an optional feature.
With this in mind, a big part of what makes a website trustworthy and useful goes on behind the scenes. Leaders must investigate the “nuts and bolts”, and that means scrutinizing the hardware and software that brings your website to the world.
Secure website hosting is absolutely critical in today’s environment.
That should include:
What’s in a name? More than you might think. Like your content, it’s your brand.
As e-commerce has proliferated, the sheer number of online businesses has created a huge glut of samey-sounding made up names. You don’t want your business to be just another Babazzle or Shmoozle, something out of Dr. Seuss or the medicine cabinet.
You want a name people that communicates the value you promise customers.
Here’s the problem: Unscrupulous characters called domain squatters have spent years buying up unused domain names that sound like anything worthwhile. Many of them are scammers who threaten, cajole, and extort legitimate business owners for exorbitant rates.
Under circumstances like these, it takes creativity and perseverance to choose the perfect domain name. And make no mistake: .com is still the gold standard for a reputable and memorable site, even though there are now dozens of niche options.
An Ongoing Plan for Data Analytics
Even when your site looks and works great, that’s not the end of the story.
To make the biggest impact on your bottom line, you need to know how users reach your website and what they do once they get there. That means collecting data on user interactions every day.
Getting the data you need starts with installing the right data analytics suite. Analytics software runs in the background of your site and lets you see how visitors arrive, which content they access, and how long they browse before moving on.
A digital marketing agency can help you uncover the actionable insights in that raw data.
From there, it becomes possible to make sure your site is always getting better:
To get started, contact our team today.