If you aren’t getting as much attention from your website as you expected, you may need to work on making it more competitive. While a professional design goes a long way, there are many factors that go into a competitive website. Whether you’re building one from scratch right now or trying to revamp an existing under-performing website, you can use these basic principles of competitiveness to design your site.
Various factors are more or less important for certain niches. For example, if you are in a highly competitive niche, small factors like colour psychology and effective web design suddenly become far more important. If you’re the only person in a niche, you have much more leeway. Here are some factors that go into a competitive website.
Research your competitors.
Before you start operating in a niche, you should know what you’re up against. For example, health product niches may be competing against stores that sell health products online, personal blogs, and review sites that are in it for the money. If you can take an angle that is both personal and professional, including your own experience and then recommending products, you may be able to set yourself apart. You will need to decide what angle you take, but you need to know who else is in this niche.
A great brand or URL.
Some websites do fine with poor URLs, but when you’re buying a domain name, it pays to get one that is “brandable” and easy to speak or remember. People won’t visit website addresses that are too long if they can’t remember it. The reason many brands like Facebook and Twitter have succeeded is that they chose a brand and promoted it. Branding your URL is tricky but crucial.
Colour and design factors.
A professional design is usually best for your website. Some “build it yourself” site generators will allow you to do a decent job and WordPress has made this far easier, but a professional design still sets you apart. No matter whether you go to the expert or not, make sure you use the right colours in order to effectively sell or brand yourself. Colours will make or break a site by making you seem amateurish if overused or incorrectly used and an expert if used properly.
Keywords and search engine rankings.
A competitive site targets a certain set of keywords but has room to grow. If you have a website on one specific product model, for example, it will be tricky to grow as you get better traffic. A website on a particular brand may do better, as you can include news and reviews, new launches, redesigns, and so on. It should be easy to rank for certain long-tail keywords at first, giving you the clout to rank better for more competitive keywords later on.
Making a competitive website isn’t a matter of sitting back and letting the money roll in. You need to actively engage with the process every step of the way to make sure your website will be competitive both now and later. If your website isn’t competitive enough, a redesign might be in order.
Kieran Fowler is a business website development consultant. She enjoys passing on her knowledge through blogging. Visit Webeden for more information.