The 7 levels of a successful website: all the tricks of web gurus
Do you have a website or are about to get one, and you find yourself asking the classic question: "How do I create a successful website presence in 2018?". And this may be followed by an infinite loop of other questions, like": "What are the characteristics of a good website?" "What makes a website successful?"
Stay calm, breathe and think of Super Mario Bros.
Yes, imagine you are Super Mario and your mission is to design a website that is out of this world. There are 7 levels and an equal number of challenges. But you have nothing to fear; you are not alone. You have the support of some of the best experts around in user experience design and information architecture, in copywriting and SEO, in social media marketing and Facebook, and in AdWords and web strategies. Get in the game, and in this article you'll discover all the tricks you need to go all the way and come out a winner.
Are you ready? Let's begin. In this guide we will talk about:
- Level 1: Architecture. How to build a foolproof website even a drunk can use.
- Level 2: Design and usability. If you have to explain it, it's not that good.
- Level 3: Content. Writing for the web vs writing on the web.
- Level 4: SEO. On-page SEO and things to know.
- Level 5: Publishing. Questions to ask yourself before clicking the Publish button.
- Level 6: Social media and networking. Evergreen advice and news.
- Level 7: Marketing. Now comes the hard part.
Level 1: Architecture. How to build a foolproof website even a drunk can use
An effective website is so simple that even a drunk person can use it - and in fact, in The User is Drunk the web specialist Richard Littauer was paid to get drunk and navigate websites.
So, how do you organize a drunk-proof website?
This is level 1, Super Mario. If you pass it, it's all downhill after that.
- Take some post-it notes and write down what you would like to include in the site.
- Note the sites that you like, observe how their navigation menus are designed and start from there.
- Organize the post-it notes by page. Starting from this, design the sitemap.
Visual design plays an important role in this technique.
Tips for passing level 2:
If you feel you're ready for the challenge, use this Pro tool:
Use Dr. Pete's list. Here you'll find a checklist with the 25 things to consider to ensure the usability of your site.
Level 3: Content. Writing for the web is different from writing on the web
New levels, new challenges: in this level, Super Mario, you'll need the Cape Feather. To write on the web, you just have to open Facebook. However, writing for the web is a completely different story.
Web content writing is made for the online reader who, as we have learned from research by the Nielsen Group, reads in an F-pattern, skims quickly over text and often does not continue beyond the 4th paragraph.
Yes, but how do you write web content that users will want to read and discover, enjoy and remember? There are two answers: formatting and the use of links.
Hierarchy: titles, subtitles, abstracts. The title is like the ambassador for the page: it makes you click on it from the SERP, incites you to read it, and to share it on your social network. The subtitle if required; the abstract is for mobile search.
Paragraphs, lists... Avoid walls of compact text with no breaks. Opt instead to divide the texts into small bite-sized chunks that are easily digested.
Links and bold text. Add bold text and do the "velum paper test": imagine that a velum paper is placed over the text and shows only the bolded segments; do they make sense on their own? If not, redo it. The links are routes between pages or shortcuts in a long text; the words are the road signs: choose them well because they help with SEO.
The algorithm changes over time but some factors remain constant. Among these, is the content.
The secret weapon in this case is a good on-page SEO using the DRO - Define, Refine, Optimize - method.
- Define the topic of the page and navigate online to find the keywords.
- Refine the keyword list using tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner, Keywordtool.io, SEMRush or SEOzoom.
- Optimize the page: URL, tag title (the HTML tag of the page title), meta description tag (important to for drawing the reader from the search engine results page [SERP] to the website), alt tags of images: these are all important elements when designing a website.
Level 5. Questions to ask yourself before clicking the "Publish" button
Super Mario, you're about to click the "Publish Website" button, but... is something missing? Yes! The domain name.
What is the domain of a site? It's your website address, which, needless to say, is of crucial importance.
What questions should you ask yourself when choosing a domain name?
- Is it easy to remember?
- Is it short?
- Does it explain what you do?
- Does it contain the key words for SEO?
And what about the purchase of the web hosting service - the "virtual parking" of the website? Calculate how much space you need - on average 1 image "weighs" 80 KB and 500 pages of text weighs approximately 1 MB (that is 1000 KB) - and choose the hosting solution which best suits your needs.
Tips for passing level 5:
Use the tools suggested by Riccardo Esposito. For example, domai.nr, to check the domain extension, BustAName, to find interesting combinations, Whois to contact the owner of the domain you wanted if it is already registered.According to copwriter Valentina Falcinelli a good domain name must be: short, or not too long... easy to remember... original, in other words, different from that of your competitors, by being unique and creative. Appealing....positive, fun, evoke pleasant emotions. Catchy. Valentina Falcinelli also advises against choosing names that are difficult to pronounce.
Level 6. Social media and networking. Evergreen advice and news
Come on Super Mario! You're at the sixth level, you have published your website!
Now comes the fun part: promotion! Actually, first there must be a conversation. Before promoting yourself you must build an online community. What is the tool to use? Social media marketing, which is like Professor Snape when teaching Harry Potter: difficult, ambiguous and elusive. But, if you learn the concepts, this knowledge will be your salvation.
The best social media tool to start with is Facebook, so concentrate your efforts on how to promote a Facebook page. We have explained to you that the "golden ratio" consists of determining the right mix of content.
Level 7. Marketing. Now comes the hard part
Super Mario, we're almost there. One final level and you will become a networking superhero.
In this level you will learn how to advertise on the internet, and, in particular, how to advertise on Google. This advice is for initiates, so pay attention.
Here we go...how to promote your business online? There are two ways.
Are you a small business?
- Open a Google My Business account and request reviews. Experiment with Google Posts, a new, not very well-known feature.
- Enter the NAP information (Name, Address, Phone) in the Yellow Pages, local directories or on review sites like TripAdvisor or Yelp.
- Try advanced advertising strategies on Google with AdWords campaigns or on other sites with affiliate marketing.
Are you are a handmade brand, an artisan, or not yet set up as a business?
- Try out Facebook Ads to become better acquainted with your target or drive traffic to the site.
- Join the online communities that are most active in your sector: say yes to opinions and advice, and say no to spam. The result? An effective promotion strategy at little cost.
Congratulations Super Mario. You did it! Now you have all the tools you need. Learning how to plan a successful website is just like playing a game. What are you waiting for? Download the guide and conquer the web!
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The 7 levels of a successful website. All the tricks of web gurus