successful site

Getting Started on the Web (Part 3): 6 Characteristics of a Successful Site

Back in early summer, I wrote a couple of introductory pieces discussing the process of getting a website up.

In part 1, we looked at some of the different types of ways that you could easily get something up. We also discussed that it’s going to take some time to get your website up and a little bit of ingenuity and technical prowess.

In part 2, we dug a bit deeper into the process. We looked at hosting types as well as a free way to get a professional website up once you had your domain paid for. We also dug a bit deeper into discovering what WordPress is and more of its in’s and out’s.

 

What’s Vital to Your Site’s Success:

In this third part of the series, we’ll be looking more into the vital functions that your site has to provide people who access it if you’re looking to do business through it. This information holds true whether your site reflects simply you as an expert or thought leader all the way up to a new tech startup.

One thing to note about this list: start with the top and work your way down. You don’t have to do it all at once, but it will pay off to eventually have all 6 components in your site.

Let’s get started.

 

Provides Valuable Content

In a world where there’s so much information on the web, you have to let people know what you’re about. Having free content through the form of a blog, through a podcast series, or through videos are the three main ways people deliver that content.

A huge benefit to you for providing free regular content is recognition by Google. It will rank you higher than a site that is static and isn’t adding material.

 

Blogging:

The blog is the easiest of the three to provide. For one, it’s built into your site if you’re using WordPress. Secondly, you really don’t have to do much to get it going other than knowing how to write. Preferably,  in a way that reaches your audience on a base level – much I do here with you.

If it’s the first time you’ve ever written in length on a regular basis and you’re simply not used to it, try and copy the writing style of your favorite blogs.

For example, if you have very detailed writing and want to use a lot of step by step instructions in your writing, then check out videofruit.com and emulate how Bryan Harris writes his posts.

If you’re more casual than that, then another one of favorites, of course, was and continues to be the SPI Blog.

 

Podcasting and Videos:

Getting a podcasting or video feed started on your site is similar to getting a blog started. However, unlike the blog, you’re going to have to create your content through other means than simply typing it up and posting it.

If you want to know how to get a podcast going, I’ve posted a basic tutorial of how to do that starting here.

Unfortunately, I haven’t started in the video world yet – so I can’t help you on the basis of that yet!

Looks Great on Mobile:

Half of all traffic on the web today is done through mobile devices – if not more. That means, if you’re site looks like junk on a phone or tablet, then those users aren’t going to be too thrilled about coming back.

Also, make your content easy to get to. If you’re using awkward dropdown navbars or other outdated means of getting to content quickly in just a couple of clicks or presses, then you’re not doing yourself any favors.

 

Simple for You to Manage:

Back in part one of this series I mentioned that you’ll need to have some sort of technical know how to have a website and post to it regularly. When using WordPress, especially, you’ll need to know when it’s time to update plugins, how to write a new post, and upload pictures and other media to those posts.

Learning how to do this takes a bit of time. But if you’re one of the types of people who forgets technical details as soon as you learn them, you might need another option. Perhaps using Squarespace or Kajabi would be more your style.

Remember you normally have to pay for simplicity though!

 

Allows for People to Subscribe to a Newsletter or other Notification System:

People like being reminded about things, because let’s face it, we all get busy. Newsletters are beneficial to all of us. It’s really how I keep track of what people are doing.

That said, you’ll be doing the same thing. You’re going to need some sort of freemium (or opt-in) that will allow people to submit their email (or phone number) to you. In return, you’ll get some sort of product or service that gives an example of how you can help them.

 

Easy for People to Share and Follow:

Social media is what people are focused on these days for their news around the world. Like you and me, they probably want to share what they find online in a given day.

Your site needs to make that process easy-peasy. Make sure that you have social media buttons scattered throughout your site. This will allow people to share content with a few clicks.

If you use a sidebar on your site, have one of your social media feeds in it. It can be a feed of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – you name it! Just have it over there for social proof.

 

Accept Online Payments:

If you have products for sale, you’ll want to be able to sell them through your site. Being able to accept online payments is important in having a successful site to most online entrepreneurs.

However, you might notice that some sites don’t have have options to pay online. More than likely they’re utilizing a process called affiliate marketing where the transaction happens behind the scenes.

Most podcast centric sites work through this process – unless there’s a membership involved with the site like Fizzle.

 

Action Steps:

If you’ve started a website using the previous two segments of this series, great job! You’ve taken important steps to get recognized as the creator you are.

Your next step, is to implement these 6 characteristics into your site. It’s a new year, so there’s really no better time! Get it done as soon as possible.

Again, don’t think you have to do it all at once. If you haven’t started adding content regularly to your site, start doing that first. Then work your way down to the bottom.

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