We’re often asked for what makes a “good” website. We always say the same thing: If it is meeting or exceeding your objectives it’s successful, if it’s not, it’s time to redesign.

Easy for us to say, but what does that really entail? To get the answers we turned to our resident Skydancer Gabriel McCay who also happens to be soulpepper’s lead developer for his best tips. “A successful website is all about great storytelling combined with high quality, functional graphic design” advises Gabriel. Read on for more of his tips for creating your killer website.

1. Define your story

What makes your company interesting? What’s your mission statement? What are your values? What do you stand for? Tell your story in an original and interesting way that will resonate powerfully with your desired audience.

2. Be clear on your site goals

Determine how they relate to your business goals. Are you a lead based website? Or do you sell products online? Knowing the difference is crucial to be successful.

3. Goals for a lead based website

The path should be progressive. Entice your visitors to sign up for a newsletter or email updates first. Then move them along to fill in your contact form with their data. If you’ve done your job the end goal will be to get them to call the phone number they found on your site.

4. Goals for an ecommerce site

Again, the strategy is to be progressive. Have visitors sign up for a newsletter or email updates first. Then move them to create an account. A successful conversion path will then see them complete a purchase online.

5. Understand your target audience

Who are they? What would they be looking for and how would they find it? Go deep. Create an archetype detailing their likes, dislikes, values and habits. How do they spend their day? What other brands do they buy? And why?

6. Employ an effective SEO strategy

If people can’t find you, they can’t take a desired action. So make sure you have a proper SEO strategy in place before you launch. This is often overlooked at the beginning and is typically employed only after experiencing disappointing results.

7. Make the journey easy

A successful website is all about great storytelling combined with high quality, functional graphic design.

Use your site goals and demographics to envision the potential paths users might take while on your site. Your goal is to optimize the path to make their journey that much more fruitful and exciting, while also telling your story. If you can get visitors to follow the site down one of the conversion paths you had defined through clever, engaging storytelling, combined with stellar graphic design that makes it easy and clear where to click, you have done a wonderful job.

8. Optimize for speed

Make sure your website is optimized to load as fast as possible to reduce the potential of visitors dropping off. Don’t underestimate how important this is.

9. Have accurate reporting

Be sure you can measure your conversion rate on your website’s conversion paths. Measure your traffic. If it’s growing, good job. If it’s not, time to call the professionals.

10. Focus on driving traffic

Use targeted advertisements, social media and press to drive more visitors to your site. Have a specific emphasis engaging 3rd party press. This will ensure that your site builds up links from reputable sites, which increases your visibility online and SEO. This will also allow your site to get to more eyes by reaching the audience of press that has done the article/feature.

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Written by Gabriel McCay

About the author

Gabriel McCay is a soulpepper who is passionate about creating positive social and environmental impact. A sought after web designer with over a decade of marketing, and development experience, he also the founder of his own full-fledged digital agency.

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