Below is a list of elements a website should have in order to engage visitors, have them come back to revisit and eventually turn them into customers. They are listed in no particular order, and here they go:
The site needs to be compatible for viewing across a wide range of user platforms and browser software. The achieve this goal the site needs to be tested with many different browsers during the development stage to ensure that the vast majority of visitors can see the site quickly and easily. Your web developing company should be able to guarantee that the website will render correctly on all major browsers, unless you hired a high-school student or a niece or nephew that is looking to make some money. At Shero Designs we make sure that all the websites we build render correctly on all modern browsers. We actually go even a step further and make sure every website built renders properly on iPad and iPhone devices.
An Internet site today represents the first contact point for many prospective clients. A website shows how professional a company is, and what kind of attitude they have in selling themselves. Therefore, make sure the interface and layout of the site is attractive, appealing, and reflects the appropriate image.
A clear, crisp view of the information on the site is paramount in relation to finding specific information on it. To provide major benefit to the business, the site should have significant amounts of information available to the user. This information must be easily found and presented in such a way as to encourage use and return rate.
It is vital to have people return to the site again and again. Research indicates that people will feel more comfortable with your company and purchase products or services only after having visited the site seven times previously. Without interactivity, a web site is merely an online book. Interactive sites capture user details online and monitor what users do inside the system. The more visitors can interact with the site, the more likely they are to revisit.
To have people return to the site we have to reward them by continuously posting interesting information such as industry related articles, tips, links that appeal to the target market—once visitors know it is available they can return to the site to access the links easily, etc.
Recently we were contacted by a client who needed some work done. On his first email correspondence with us he said: “The site must load quickly (I hate waiting for sites to load)”. Well, we hate waiting for sites to load too. The biggest single reason visitors do not stay at a web site is that it takes too long to load; that is, the time it takes for the page to appear on the computer screen. The site needs to be designed, developed and optimized around the premise of loading as quickly as possible. By the way check out this website that we recently did for a fellow designer, www.poulakisdesign.com. Even though this website has a ton of images, it loads really really fast, in .57 seconds.
You think I forget something? Feel free to add your thoughts by commenting below.