As more consumers embrace the digital sphere and online marketplaces become busier, the level of competition your business is up against will only increase. Maintaining a strong digital presence is an essential component of sustaining a competitive marketplace position but putting this knowledge into practice requires work, investment and patience.

With this in mind, let’s explore some important considerations every website designer and business owner should cover when building a strong website for a business.

1. Navigation

A user-friendly navigational system is a fundamental component of every successful website. If your visitors can’t find everything they are looking for quickly and easily, they will simply look elsewhere for the information they need. Your navigation must be highly intuitive to ensure that your visitors don’t end up wandering aimlessly around your site; a somewhat frustrating experience that won’t endear your brand to the people you most want to impress.

From simple navigation bars to seamless drop-down menus, there are myriad ways to organise and present your content in ways that suit both your business and the needs of your visitors.

2. Structure and Organisation

The best websites are structured and organised to ensure that information is easily accessible and presented in a way that is primed for audiences to digest. Good organisation ensures that a website is accessible and intuitive, and structuring for an intended target audience means that you will find it easier to attract, engage and convert the right people at the right times.

Another benefit that comes from taking the time to devise and implement a thoughtful structure is that the search engine crawlers will find it easier to index your site, which should result in more prominent ranking positions for relevant keywords and phrases.

3. Design

You only have one opportunity to make an excellent first impression, which is why your website needs to make an impact for the right reasons. The strongest websites reflect the ethos and personality of a brand, which means that everything from your chosen colour palette to the features you choose to integrate must be carefully considered and fully reflective of who you are and what you stand for.

In addition to aesthetics, good web design also encompasses user experience (UX). This means that your website should be fully responsive and deliver a seamless UX across all devices. Your customer journeys should be carefully mapped and ensure that information is easily accessible from every possible direction. The best websites have been designed with the needs of all audiences in mind, which means that they should work with technologies that make the digital landscape accessible to users living with disabilities.

4. Speed

Audiences don’t want to have to wait long to access the information they are searching for. It is to your advantage to deliver here because users understand that if the page they click on doesn’t load quickly enough, they can simply return to the search results page and click through to another site that will deliver quickly. There are a variety of steps you can take to improve your page loading time, including optimising all video, imagery and audio.

5. Content

The most powerful websites prioritise the needs of their audience ahead of directly promoting their products and/or services. The creation of fresh, high-quality content is an ideal way to reassure your audience that you are an authoritative and trustworthy voice within your niche whilst also ensuring your audience can find the information they are looking for on your website.

It is important to devise a content strategy that serves the needs of your audience and your business goals, as this information will inform the types of content you invest in and publish. From short-form blog posts and infographics to long-form articles, whitepapers and ebooks, there are myriad ways to engage an audience.

Everything from the devices your audience is using to engage with your site, to where and when they prefer to consume content, should drive the formats you choose to pursue. Make sure you have a keen understanding of precisely who you want to appeal to before pushing ahead with your content investment.

In addition to appealing directly to your ideal audience, search engines also value fresh content that is demonstrably interesting and engaging. Search engines look at a range of metrics when awarding ranking positions and ensuring that your website is consistently updated with fresh, informative and original content is an excellent way to boost your rankings.

The most successful websites immediately capture the attention of their target audience and ensure the information people are looking for is easily accessible. From a strong structure to fresh content, investing in a first-class design and a seamless UX will help you to set your business apart for the right reasons.