Did you know that there are more websites being hosted than those that are found and crawled by search engines? The reasons for this are many and complex, and may take some time to explain. To make it easier to understand, let’s break it down into simple and manageable parts.
First things first, The Project!
If you want your website to be effective, it’s important to have it designed, built, launched, and monitored. While monitoring and adapting your website may be the most time-consuming part of the process, it is also the most crucial in order to stay ahead of the competition.
Websites that ultimately are not effective are ones that have not been designed properly. So to make an website effective then the design should be easy to read and understand, the navigation should be clear and access all areas of the website, unless there are restricted areas for registered users but even they should be able to see where to go from the home page. The content should be clean and easy to read, sometimes the design requires a side bar or quick-links panel, this is to show clearly to your end user that there is something that may be of interest to them. There could be another challenge to overcome, like wanting your end user to be directed to one of four different areas of your website, maybe you want to attract suppliers and you don’t want your buyers to see what your suppliers need to know… I could go on but you would just get bored and I have a lot to get through! Anyway, that’s why design plays an important roll in making a website effective. And why its probably not best to use your “dad” or “uncle” who may have just completed a six week, one night a week course down at the local college!
Ok this can be where we need to get off on the right foot. There is a thing call “Web Standards” and it’s a term used for technical specifications that apply to the internet. These specifications are given to make things standard and are associated with best practices for designing and building websites. There are a lot of specifications that would just be pointless writing about but put in a nutshell it goes like this – if your website does not validate to these specifications then a few things could go wrong. For example, your website will not render in older web browsers, people with disabilities cannot access your website, google or other search engines will not read all of your website’s content, which is really important because if they can’t see it then they won’t let your end user know, thus your end user won’t find your website! Clear as mud? I hope so!
Launch and monitor
Once your website is launched, the project is far from over. Simply making your website live doesn’t automatically ensure that your target audience will find it. For example, just because you can now Google your website with a unique domain name like “www.myuniquebrainsurgeonwebsite.co.uk” doesn’t mean that a potential customer searching for a brain surgeon will easily find it. More likely, they will search for “brain surgeon” rather than “myuniquebrainsurgeonwebsite”. Therefore, it’s important to inform search engines about your website, as well as monitor and fine-tune it regularly to ensure it’s easily discoverable by your target audience. While this may be time-consuming, it’s also the most critical aspect of making your website effective. Remember, proper planning and execution of these steps takes time, but it will certainly lead to positive results in the long run and make your website effective.