- Define "success" for your site. Web sites are diverse and can serve any number of purposes - from on-line brochures to dynamic sales portals. Take time to decide what the function of your site is and then determine what is success for that function. Would success for your site be a specific number of visitors? Or would it be an increased percentage of sales? Or possibly success would be an increased number of visitors that register on your site. Regardless, once you know what success is in your eyes, you can tailor the site to meet your goals.
- Concentrate on good design principals. There are basic design principals and concepts that all web sites should employ. Sites should be user-focused and easy to navigate. Keeping things simple helps users find what they need quickly and almost effortlessly. There are many cool, cute & clever functions that can be created on a site but if it does not serve the visitor, leave them off the site and stick with good, basic designs.
- Make sure your site is usable. This may sound odd but it is important to consider. Once visitors make it to your site, they need to be able to use the site and understand the content. This is closely related to the good design principals noted above. The navigation should be clear and in a prominent place. Again, cute & clever won't get you very far if the site visitor can't decide how to get around your site. Make sure content is well organized and tailored to help users find what they need.
- Promote, promote, promote. Make sure everyone knows you have a web site. Put your URL on business cards, letterhead, e-mails...anything that leaves your office. Market your site like you would a new product or service. The more people that know about your site, the more potential visitors you can get. And as your web site traffic increases, you can begin measuring the effectiveness of your efforts.
So having an effective web site isn't rocket science but it does take some time, thought and persistence. It helps to have assistance from a professional developer but the tips noted above are practical and can be used by any web site owner. As with most marketing tools, a web site only increases its success with your commitment and effort.