100 Tips to Build Better Websites

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100 Tips to Build Better Websites
A website is more than an online space that displays static information.

Websites are now considered the online homes of businesses – a place where customers can find the information they seek, connect with the business and take their relationship to the next level.

Brands that have websites get considerably more sales and revenue than those that don’t.

If you have a business, it’s essential to have a website developed for it.

And if your business already has a website, it needs to be optimized based on what potential clients are looking for.

When set up right, your website will serve as a place to garner new customers and services existing clients well.

In this article, we share 100 tips to build better websites. Take a look at the list below and look for ways to implement at least a few of the tips shared.

Purpose & Objectives

Purpose & Objectives
1. Identify what the purpose of your website is. Do you want to establish your authority in a particular niche? Do you want prospective clients to find you online and email you? Do you want to make money selling your products through your website?

2. Find out who your target audience is. Then make a rough sketch of a single person to depict them, including their age, family status, occupation, hobbies, income level, etc.

3. Identify issues your target audience faces, and map out how your website can help them with it.

4. Come up with a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) for your website that will help you stand out among your competitors.

5. Figure out ways you can add value to your site visitors when they land on your site. Note them down and look at how you can incorporate them within your website.

6. Create definite, measurable goals on what you want to accomplish through your website. For example: Get 10 new clients in 3 month, get 1000 subscribers in 1 month, etc. This will help you create action plans on how to accomplish these goals.

Website Design

Website Design
7. Figure out who will be designing your website. Will you be hiring someone to do it or will you be doing it yourself?

8. Pick a website theme based on what would appeal to your target audience. For example, a business website would have to appear classy and professional, while a mom blog would need to look homely and inviting.

9. Use high-definition, quality stock images on key pages that will add a professional air to your website.

10. Do not include flash components in your website. They take time to load and cannot be optimized for search engines.

11. Make sure your website theme is mobile responsive. This is becoming a necessity as more people browse websites on their smartphones and tablets, rather than traditional computers and laptops.

12. Pay attention to your website’s color theme. Pick a color palette with a maximum of 3 or 4 colors and stick to them.

13. Choose fonts that are legible and would appear the same across all browsers and operating systems. Make sure the font size is readable and easy on the eye.

14. Ensure that the site structure has the end user in mind. The website layout needs to be convenient to navigate, and people should be able to easily find whatever they are looking for.

15. Keep key design elements above the fold on all pages, especially featured products, sign up forms, etc.

16. Don’t clutter the site with flashy signs and too much information; it will overload new visitors and turn them away.

Content

Content
17. Add a blog to your website, where you can regularly publish related articles, in-depth tutorials, news and announcements.

18. Include relevant graphics wherever applicable that catch the visitor’s eyes. The images will complement the written content and appeal to a wider circle of visitors.

19. Break up huge chunks of text by using sub-headings, lists, and formatting options like bold, italics, etc.

20. Make sure your grammar and punctuation are intact, as that would be a major factor that helps users determine the quality of your website.

21. Be cautious not to publish duplicate content on your blog or website. This will devalue your content and pull down your search engine rankings.

22. Feature the best content of your website in the sidebar or top navigation, so it’s easy for people to find.

23. Let the site visitor be the focus of your website’s content, not yourself. Emphasize more on how your site can benefit them.

24. If you regularly publish in-depth articles, make sure you link to some of your older articles, so people stay on your site longer.

25. Provide a wide variety of content like articles, podcasts, infographics, videos, etc. This will attract a more diverse set of people to your site.

26. Add informative content in key pages that visitors may particularly visit – Example: About page, Contact page,  Services page, Products page, etc.

27. Provide ample content on the 404 error page that is displayed when a site visitor enters a broken URL. This page should contain links to the most popular content on your site, the homepage, contact page, etc.

SEO

SEO
28. Pick a few relevant keywords that depict what your site is about and include them in the homepage title, meta description and content.

29. During keyword research, look for keywords that are highly searched for but with low competition.

30. Create individual pages for specific key phrases people might be searching for online, with respect to your business niche.

31. Make sure each page is SEO optimized with the keyword present in the title, URL, meta description and as a heading within the written content.

32. Ensure that all the images on different pages on your site are optimized as well. Include the corresponding keywords in the image file names, titles and alt tags.

33. While optimizing your website for search engines, ensure you do not stuff keywords wherever possible. This is unnatural and will affect your search rankings.

34. Include a few links within your content – external links to other high quality website, and internal links to other posts/pages on your website.

35. Get other authoritative websites to link to your site. This can be done by submitting guest posts or featured content.

36. Look for content ideas you can expound upon that revolve around keywords you’ve identified for your business. This will enable you to naturally insert keywords within your content.

37. Create a sitemap for your website. This will help search engines rank the individual web pages, rather than the site as a whole.

Technical

Technical
38. Identify who will take care of the day to day running of the website – especially the technical aspects.

39. Get processes in place to ensure that the website is running smoothly and there are specific troubleshooting steps to follow if there are any hiccups.

40. Test out how long it takes for your website to load. If the page loading time is more, visitors might be turned away.

41. If your site is taking time to load, see if you can disable some plugins, compress images, or opt for a lighter theme.

42. Ensure that your site is displayed as expected on all browsers. Some elements of your website might look different on different browsers.

43. Keep an eye on your web hosting plan. Should your site traffic increase, make sure you upgrade to a better plan to keep your site always online.

44. Make sure your themes and plugins are up to date, so the site works as expected.

45. Take appropriate preventive security measures to ensure that your website is safe from malicious hacks.

46. Take regular backups of your website, so it can be restored even if your site crashes unexpectedly.

47. When a scheduled maintenance of the site is underway, provide adequate information on when the site will be back up and how visitors can reach you in the meantime.

Conversion

Conversion
48. Identify something valuable you can offer visitors to your site. It could be a free eBook, printable, webinar, or any other form of content that can be easily delivered to site visitors via email.

49. Create a landing page for your freebie with simple, but compelling copy that outlines how the freebie will benefit the end user, and why they should sign up for it.

50. Set up an email sign up process where people can download your freebie by submitting their email ID.

51. Include calls to action (CTA) in every major page and on the sidebar, to get users to sign up for your freebie.

52. The CTA needs to include strong verbs that urge the users to take action.

53. CTAs also need to be added at the end of your articles, or as pop ups, so site visitors know what else your site has to offer.

54. If possible, run a giveaway of your products/services, where people have to enter their email IDs to enter the giveaway.

55. Website conversion is effective only when more people visit your site. Look for ways to increase your website traffic by getting others to link to it, or through paid channels.

56. Once someone has signed up for your email list, make sure you set up an email sequence where they are periodically delivered helpful emails.

57. Keep in touch with your email subscribers and eventually get them to trust your business enough to start buying your products, or using your services.

Social Media

Social Media
58. Identify a few social media channels that your audience is active on.

59. Create accounts for your business on these networks and make sure you link your site in the description or about section.

60. Include the social media buttons for these channels on your website, so users can easily click through and check out your social profiles.

61. If you have a good social following, include the number of followers beside the social media buttons to encourage more people to follow you.

62. You could also embed the corresponding social media widgets in the sidebar or footer, so its easy for visitors to follow you on social media without leaving your site.

63. If space permits, you could also include a stream of your social media activity, so visitors can see a sampling of what you share on various social media channels.

64. Include social sharing buttons in convenient locations – on top, at the bottom, or on the side, so readers can easily share your content on their own social networks.

65. Use a social media sharing plugin that also provides a count of how many times your web page or article has been shared on social media. This would urge others to share it too, and get your site more visibility.

66. Ensure that the images within your content give some context on what the article is about. This way, when a particular post is shared on social media, it gives people a visual idea of what kind of information you share.

67. If you have the budget, run ad campaigns on various social networks, to get people to visit your website or sign up for a freebie.

Building Trust & Credibility

Building Trust & Credibility
68. Consistency is key in getting people to trust your business. Be consistent as you try to establish your brand name across your website and social media channels.

69. Communicate well with your audience. Whether you are responding to business emails or comments on your website, be helpful and provide the information they seek.

70. Add testimonials of clients who have purchased your products or used your service. Include their images or video testimonials (if possible) to make it more appealing.

71. Publish well researched reports on topics related to your niche. This will position you as an expert in your industry.

72. Include case studies of projects you have worked on. Provide clear statistics and well-defined accomplishments that prove you’re good at what you do.

73. Get influencers in your niche to write endorsements that you can publish in a prominent place on your cite.

74. If your business is accredited with any major organizations, make sure that is mentioned on the site as well.

75. Devote a page to highlight your skills, certifications, awards and recognition you might have received.

76. If you run an eCommerce site, ensure that your site has a stamp of approval stating that it is under vigilance. A security monitoring message will assure visitors that their transactions are in fact secure.

77. If you collect any user information of people who interact with your site, be sure to assure them that their information will be kept private and confidential.

Sales & Delivery

Sales & Delivery
78. If you sell any products or services on your website, don’t make the sales pitch very obvious. Your pitch should only highlight how your product/service will benefit the end user.

79. Offer an additional bonus or free shipping to make the product/service more enticing.

80. Ensure that the sales process is laid out pretty clearly. Make it simple and straightforward so buyers aren’t confused by the process.

81. Be very clear of the price of items, refund policies, and terms of payment. The fine print is important.

82. Make sure whatever you’re selling is spotlighted on your website home page and the sidebar.

83. If you’re selling a product that needs to be delivered digitally, ensure that the process is seamless and customers get their products instantaneously.

84. If you’re selling a physical product, ensure that the delivery process is streamlined and your customers know when they can expect their product.

85. If possible, include a tracking mechanism for the delivery of physical products so buyers know where their package currently is.

Customer Service & Product Support

Customer Service & Product Support
86. Your website is a great way to keep in touch with your customers and provide them continuous service and support. Make sure your contact details are easily visible on all pages of the website.

87. When customers contact you, make sure you reply to them as high priority.

88. Include an FAQs section on your website, that customers can refer to, if they have any common doubts or queries.

89. Provide detailed instructions or a manual for physical products. You can also include the same on your website, so buyers can check it out online.

90. If you run a brick and mortar business, make sure you add your timings on the site, so customers can contact you in person.

91. If you provide service and support primarily online or via email, give clients an idea of when they can expect a reply from you.

92. Give users a way to leave their feedback on your site. This will give you adequate information on how to improve your site in the future.

93. If possible, include a live chat feature, so visitors can directly interact with someone in your company and get whatever information they are looking for.

94. If you’re selling a physical product, include a personal note to make the buyer feel special. Give them a link to the feedback page on your website where they can leave a review.

95. The same applies to online products as well. Email buyers a few days after their purchase and request for their feedback.

Analytics

Analytics
96. Get a web analytics service set up for your website. This will help you know where your site visitors come from, where they are from, how long they spend on your site, and what activities they perform there.

97. Define your goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help you gauge how your website is performing.

98. Check your site statistics using the web analytics service, and measure the metrics that matter to you.

99. Use the collected metrics to optimize your website, by providing more content similar to what attracts your site visitors.

100. Pay attention to pages with high bounce rates and optimize those pages to make site visitors linger longer.

We hope the tips we shared above help you build a better, more useful website for your business. Pick a couple of areas your site needs work on, and get started from there.

About the Author:

School teacher turned internet marketing consultant, Sunu Philip is a Certified SEO Specialist. She founded “Clothed in Scarlet” to help women discover their unique God-given strengths and turn their talents into profits online. She offers subscribers a Free Online Business Startup Kit to help them start their online business from scratch.

One Comment

  1. Nathan Ambrose December 5, 2016 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    Hi Sunu.

    That was very thorough and useful. I’m sure to refer to this article again for myself and my clients.

    Thanks for sharing. Tweeting soon to my followers.

    Nathan.

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