If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, here is a good place to start.
There are several elements that all successful websites have in common. If you implement these elements into your website, you will be successful too.
Create an Engaging User Experience
The Internet has too much information, in many different formats. Give users a website that is well designed, easy to navigate, easy to read and interesting. Focus and engage.
Offer Uncluttered Design
The best websites have less going on. Keep the design simple with plenty of white space. Avoid hard-to-read fonts and colors, as well as disturbing background colors and images. Use 2 to 3 fonts in 3 to 5 sizes and 3 to 4 colors. Avoid multiple changes in alignment.
Make the Content King
Use proper grammar and easy-to-understand language with short paragraphs and catchy headlines. Arrange content in a visible and scannable way, so people can find what they need quickly. Provide an easy-to-understand sitemap, so users can navigate with minimal clicks.
Facilitate Organic Website Traffic
Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical. Use relevant keywords on every page. Meanwhile, good quality incoming links (i.e., backlinks) should be a top priority. This will result in improved search engine page rankings, which in turn can generate more targeted website traffic. Once on-page optimization has been established, along with other best practices, conversion rates generally increase as well.
Design for Conversion
Meet the needs of the visitor as well as the business. Take visitors down a clear path to success and then give them a clear next step for them to take.
Design for Mobile Use
About half of your visitors are or will be using mobile. You need to know how the needs of the user change when they are on their mobile device and accommodate that through design, layout and information architecture. We recommend having your website be mobile responsive. Account for a shorter attention span when people are using mobile devices.
Enable Fast Load Time
Visitors want instant gratification on a website. When a website takes too long to load, visitors will go elsewhere. Google includes website load time as part of its search rankings.
Create Strong Brand Identity
First impressions can cement the relationship between you and your clients or customers. Be a strong advocate for your business, represent yourself well and maintain good branding.
Keep Them Coming Back
Use tools to retain customers by gathering data for future marketing efforts. You can employ online giveaways, free email newsletter subscriptions, free e-books or access to special areas of the site in exchange for their contact information.
Expand Your Reach
By using these basics, you can attract people to your website, get them to read and explore it and engage in what you want them to do. Then you can expand your reach to a larger target audience that keeps coming back for more.