If you’re a website owner, this number should give you pause. That’s the number of websites worldwide (as of February 2012) that you’re up against. There are hundreds of millions of sites out there trying to attract eyeballs and competing with you for search rankings and viewership.
Before you give up and resign yourself to internet anonymity, take a second look! The internet is growing because demand is growing. The customer base is huge! This is your opportunity to become “the next big thing”, if you can execute successfully. Here’s a 5-step plan to make that happen:
- Plan for the Audience – Too many sites aren’t audience-centric. In other words, the site builder doesn’t consider who his or her target audience is and what those visitors really need. Take time to create a content strategy which outlines who you want your site to reach, what their interests and needs are, and how you can differ from your competitors in meeting those needs.
- A Logo is Your Calling Card – If you’re like me, as soon as a new site loads in my browser, it’s the logo and design that often determines whether I stay or go. A professional logo design presents a polished, “we’re for real” look that undergirds all the rest of your site. Not only that, but a logo helps brand your social media presence and product in a way nothing else can do.
- Better Design, Better Results – A good logo sets the stage; the site’s design convinces a reader to keep looking around. A well laid out site uses readable typography, plenty of white space and a color scheme that won’t induce headaches. The navigation should be simple and direct. The content should be laid out so that what’s most important is most easily found. Never overload your audience with too much information and never force them search for the essentials.
- Make ‘Em Wanna Come – Once you’ve got the framework built, it’s time to plug in the content. This step is extremely important. Everything (and I mean everything) on your site must directly benefit your audience. It’s got to be compelling, it’s got to fit your strategy and it’s got to be of real value. No fluff and no SEO junk. If you can successfully execute on this step, you’re likely to quickly move to an upper echelon of sites that make the “bookmarked” list.
- Keep Mobile in Mind – More and more users are accessing the web through their smartphones. That’s why you’ve got to design your site so that a mobile user can navigate easily. Yola Silver members can publish a mobile friendly version of their website using our mobile publishing feature.
Establishing an outstanding website is really no different than developing a game-changing product. It’s all about meeting a customer need, creating a thoughtful design and providing an excellent value. If you can make it happen on all of these levels, your website will automatically set itself apart from much of the competition. So get out there and get designing. And here’s to never settling for second best.
Dylan Mazeika is an online writer with a background in marketing and small business. He enjoys writing articles and guest posts on the latest business and design trends, and helping small business owners with Free Logo Services, the online logo maker.