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4 Key Ingredients of a Successful Business Website

Most businesses operating today have a website, but sometimes these websites represent a huge missed opportunity. Here are four key ingredients to a successful business website - reviewing an existing website with these in mind will help you to transform your website into a successful one.

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Easy Navigation

This is perhaps the most important consideration when you are designing your website, but it is also the aspect that is most commonly overlooked by those who are new to web development. Think about the types of people who will visit your website. Some of these people will be customers who already know your business well, some visitors will have heard about you from their friends, and some will have stumbled across your website from a search engine.

No matter what brings people to your website initially, you can be certain that the viewer will have plenty of other options for whatever they need. No matter what industry you operate in, you don't operate in it alone and there will be other businesses competing with you. Similarly, if someone has come to your website for information, even information about your business specifically, there are now a plethora of websites that exist to provide information about existing businesses.

If your website is hard to navigate, visitors won't stick around trying to work out how to get around, they will just move onto the next website instead. Good navigation should both make it easy to move between different points on your website and to gain a quick overview of exactly what your website contains.

Efficient Use of Space

Those of us who still remember the earliest days of the internet will remember how it used to be infested with clunky websites that incorporated sounds, animation, and other heavy elements that served no purpose. The space that is available on your website should be put to good use. Before you add any new elements, ask yourself if they are truly needed and whether there might be a more efficient way of achieving your objectives. Don't add anything to your website that doesn't need to be there.

Using space efficiently also means knowing how to utilize empty space. There is no sense in having all the elements of your website scrunched up together. It is important that your design gives visitors enough room to breathe and to take in everything on the page. Following these principles will also help with your navigability.

A Dynamic and Responsive Design

The majority of web browsing is now done on mobile devices, most commonly smartphones. Now that we are all carrying fully-featured web browsers in our pockets, there is an expectation among internet users that the websites they visit are mobile friendly. This used to mean designing two versions of the website, a tactic still used by some, but most websites today instead have taken an adaptive, or dynamic, approach.

This means that when the website detects that it is being browsed on a mobile device, it will rearrange itself so that it can be viewed and used on a relatively small touchscreen. This is one of those website features that are now so commonplace, it is expected. As a consequence, if your website isn't able to rearrange itself for mobile devices, it will stand out as a poor design choice.

The responsiveness of a website can be affected by a number of factors, but this is another area where you should remain mindful of mobile users. Modern smartphones are very powerful, they are on-par with laptops in fact, but not everyone has a top of the range device. Those with even mid-range devices will be very frustrated if your website is difficult to use or even scroll through because of an inefficient design.

A Presence Elsewhere

The final ingredient of a successful website isn't even found on the website itself. Most modern businesses already understand concepts like SEO, and how to market themselves online, but many web designers incorrectly think it is outdated to seek a presence on another website. Whether you do this by forming an affiliate partnership, whereby you and another website both agree to mutually promote one another or by adding your website to an online directory, having a presence elsewhere will provide you a steady stream of traffic.

If you're thinking that online directories aren't really used anymore, it's time to get your facts straight! Jasmine Directory was founded in 2009, at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. The founders, Robert Gombos and Pecsi Andras, have since built the site into a successful one. They have plans in the future to add several metrics, including Alexa rankings, and the website is a Google Compliant Directory. All of which goes to prove that these sites are still useful in the age of search engines.

And there you have it! Well, almost… The above four ingredients are important to a website's success, but these alone won't make your website a success. You also need to be able to generate excellent content and decide how to most effectively tie your business and website together.

By: James Colborn

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