Some Things To Consider When Evaluating Your Website

You have either put a lot of effort into your website or you have paid
someone else a lot of money to put the effort in for you. Either way, whatever
the purpose of the website, you want to get the most out of it. The question now
becomes, how you can tell if your website is likely to succeed.

Why?

The first thing to do is to ask yourself why you have set up the website. Are
you trying to sell a product or provide information or something else? What do
you want to happen when a visitor lands on your pages? "For a man without a
destination no wind is favourable" (An old saying attributed to many). If you do
not know exactly what you want to happen, how can you expect the visitors to
your website to know and do it? You are the one who ought to have the site set
up to direct people to their destination. If you don’t know what that is, then
all is lost.

Your visitors probably know why they visited your site. You too must know why
they came and help them do what they came to do. If your website does not
provide what they need they will move on to another one. Just because you are
getting all the traffic you could hope for does not mean that your site will
succeed.

Your Website’s Conversion Rate

You will need to measure your success rate. There are a number of ways to do
this. One is the Conversion rate. Simply put, the conversion rate is the rate at
which you convert visitors into buyers. Or if you are not selling it is the rate
at which you convince people to do whatever it is you need them to do. It could
be to sign up for your newsletter of subscribe to something else, etc. If you
have one hundred visitors to your website per day and you convert two, your
conversion rate is two percent.

It is a reasonably good measure of the quality of your website. If your site is
not converting, you will know that you need to make changes to the site.
However, it could also mean that you marketing or advertising campaign is
sending untargeted traffic to your site. In other words sending visitors who are
not in the least bit interested in what you have to offer.

SEO and Traffic Generation

The whole point of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is traffic generation. The
idea is that you optimise or fine tune your website so that it gets to the top
of the search results when people enter a search term that is contained in your
website. You do this to get traffic. If your site is not properly optimised
people are unlikely to find it. Unless of course you have found some narrow
niche that nobody else has heard of, which will not bring a lot of visitors. SEO
involves using the correct keywords in the correct way and arranging the
contents and menus in the right way and most important of all is link building.

To rank highly, at the time of writing, the single most important thing to do to
rank highly in the search engines is to increase the number of links to your
site from quality websites which have content related to the subject of your
site.

Content

It may sound obvious to most people but, the content of your website should be
based on the subject of your product. For example if your website is set up to
sell computers then it should contain articles about computers and computing
etc. not gardening articles. If you have articles on unrelated subjects they
will only serve to confuse your visitors and undermine your website’s and your
own credibility as a sourct of products and information about computers or
whatever your website is promoting.

The content should be keyword rich but not saturated or you may show up on spam
radar. The content should be broken up into manageable paragraphs and properly
laid out with headers for each section, making it easier to read and navigate.

Navigation

Getting the visitors to your website is only half og th battle. You then must
give them what they want. What do they want? Well, the first thing they want is
to find their way around your website without pulling their hair out in
frustration. These days there is far too much competition on the internet for
that to happen. They will move to another website at the first sign of
difficulty.

Arrange all the links and buttons in a way that is easy to read and understand.
Do not over fill each page. If there is too much choice people do not make a
choice they just get confused and… you guessed it. They move to another
website.

The first page they land on, usually the index page should be interesting. It
should be obvious to them that they have landed on a page with the content they
came for and the way to navigate to that content should be very clear. Do not
try to give them everything on the front page.

Ease of Use

How easy is it for your visitors to accomplish what they came to do? Do they
need to fill out pages of information or can the do their business in a few
clicks? If people have to figure out the puzzle that your website is they will
move on unless you have something so attractive and necessary that they will
stay at all costs. If you have a product like that then you can not charge
enough for it.

It is always a good idea to have a professional web designer look over the site
and point out any obvious flaws. I say obvious flaws because not all corrections
are obvious and are often discovered through trial and error. You should keep
tweaking the website in a continuous attempt to improve it. There is always room
for improvement. Though it is also said that you should not fix something that
works. I think that the best thing is to make gradual changes and if they are
not a major improvement, at least they will not be a major disaster.

If you are not confident enough to do the coding and graphics etc. for your own
site, there are many professional web designers out there who live for it. So
don’t let it stop you from getting you name, product or information out there.

Steven Collins is a web designer at
Desktop Web Design