TL:DR - First and foremost, test and optimise loading speeds. Conceptualise what will make you, your service, or your product memorable. Provide value to those who visit your website through content that is interesting, informative, or inspiring. Add in a "special sauce" that makes your website unique.
These days, every man and his dog has their own website. Whether it's to sell wallets, provide SEO help, or blog about the perfect gym routine, if you can think of it, it probably exists.
Because of this, most markets are completely saturated. Every niche you can think of has already been filled, and every idea already tried.
It's more important than ever to think about you can stand out amongst all the digital noise. Here's a couple of ideas to help give your website a head start at thriving online.
Most users are extremely impatient, spending sometimes only a couple of seconds on a website before giving up if it hasn't loaded yet.
For this reason, optimising for speed is the most important upgrade to your site, as if your customer has to wait a long time for your website to load, they might leave before they have seen anything else.
Here's what you can do to improve your website loading speed:
Remember to test your website through a loading tool such as Google Lighthouse. Just because it loads quickly on your devices, doesn't mean it will on your customers.
Try thinking of content options that you can host on your website to keep users on your website. If this content is truly valuable to your customer, they will more likely to remember your website.
Here are some content ideas:
Some websites are much too complex. Visitors who have to devote their time figuring out how to find specific information will give up and leave. Because of this, you want to make sure your website is simple and easy to navigate to find what your customer is looking for.
If visitors have to sort through blocks of text and unnecessary visuals to get to the real content and point of a page, you need to simplify. On the flip side, not making basic information accessible will also make a site look untrustworthy and confusing, two things a person reaching into their wallet will want to avoid.
Here's what you can do:
Nothing makes a user lose trust in a website faster than using stock photos or imagery that doesn't make sense. Seeing cheesy stock images plastered all over a site when a customer is thinking of purchasing from is going to be off-putting for them because it looks cheap and unprofessional.
When looking for images to add to your website, make sure they fit the rest of your brand and feel realistic. People will know that image of a group on people in suits smiling towards the camera isn't actually who your team is.
What to remember:
Avoid the natural inclination to make your website about you. If you're getting carried away talking about your expertise and what you do, you're forgetting to think from your customer's point of view and why they are visiting your website.
I go into more detail about why this is important in my blog post on switching your perspective, but here's a summary of what you need to think about:
Some of the most memorable website I have found make sure you remember them by adding in something a little extra that you've never seen before. When you have a feature that is completely outside the box, it's much more likely that someone who has found your website will remember it and want to share it with others.
Here are some design feature ideas:
Use these ideas with caution, as the more complex your website gets, the harder it is for a user to interact and find information. It also may take longer to load this kind of website, so make sure you've tested it and people aren't waiting too long.
Thinking from your point of view rather than the perspective your customers could be losing you sales.
Before you start your next big website project, it's always important to grasp what goals you intend to get out of it.