In 2023, there is over 2 billion websites on the internet. As a result, it is critical to distinguish yourself from the herd. To make you talk. To be noticed.
The article is a translation of the Optimizely blog.
The question is: How do you develop a website so valuable that people will use it every month? Every week? Or better yet, every day?
During these last years, I designed 13 websites. 4 entered the Top 10 on the search engines.
I have also worked on websites in industries such as e-commerce, technology, transportation, travel, retail, and more.
Throughout this time, I've taken a lot of notes on what makes websites stand out from the crowd and secure the coveted top spots.
I've summed it all up in a list of tips to help developers, project managers, and marketers in the web development industry who want to launch their websites into the stratosphere.
The tips are organized by the development phases of a website.
- Discover the website
- website performance
- Analyze user behavior
- Optimize the UI design of the web
- Home of the web and testing of ideas
- User Retention
User acquisition strategy
Tips on acquiring new website users.
1. Create a solution to a problem.
A truly amazing website can fix a glaring problem. Don't like waiting in the cold trying to catch a taxi? Use Ola.
Do you want to learn a language, without moving from home? Use Duolingo. You have to solve a problem and do it impressively. Thus, you should stimulate word of mouth.
2. Build a referral program.
Encourage your first users to recommend your website to their friends.
3. Build a waiting list.
People want what they can't have.
A waitlist allows you to capture demand and build an email database before your website even launches.
When you announce that your website is coming soon, you'll have a long list of people ready to visit it. You can easily create a landing page through platforms like Wix.com, Unbounce, and Squarespace, or with a web designer and use it to collect emails.
Built a waiting list to gather a list of potential customers and upcoming users before your website launches
4. Opt for a freemium strategy.
Make your web available for free with a freemium template.
You may get more visitors in a free version but then you can offer the option to purchase additional features with a premium.
They allow people to use the basic functions (viewing one person's profile per day) for free. But, they also offer additional features (like viewing mutual friends) that users can purchase.
5. A free web for a limited time.
Not a fan of the freemium model? Carefree!
Go for a free web for a while and promote it to industry players like LifeHacker, Gizmodo, Forbes Tech, and The Guardian. You can talk about your operation by tweeting their accounts or submitting it directly to them on their website.
6. Write and promote content about the problem your website solves.
Create material that is valuable to your consumers.
Be it blog posts, eBooks, videos, or webinars. Think of targeted topics and keywords that are related to your website to reach the right audience.
If your content marketing
helps people overcome challenges, you will be seen as a leader and an expert.
Do not hesitate to promote the content on your blog and social networks to take advantage of the effects of communities. This video of a new web, Knock Knock, is a great example of showcasing the problem that the website can solve.
7. Answer questions on Quora (questions and answers).
Look for questions that revolve around your website and offer an answer. If you offer a really helpful answer, the Quora team might recommend your article to mainstream media. I wrote an article on Quora that was picked up by Forbes, Inc., The Huffington Post, and Business Insider. In the end, it generated more than 7,800 shares, and 34,000 views, and cost nothing.
8. Attend and organize marketing events.
Meeting real people can help you get the word out about your web. Hosting an event could help you build a community of people who could become the foundation of your website's success. Use Meetup to find an event or promote yours.
9. Consider paid traffic.
If your organic marketing and other actions do not increase the number of users, try investing in paid traffic for example on Twitter, Facebook, Apple search ads, and Google Ads.
There are three questions to keep in mind when deciding on the paid acquisition:
Can the cost of acquiring this user be justified by the lifetime of this user?
Have you ranked acquisition sites by ROI?
Do you know which paid acquisition leads to the visiting your website?
10. Reach the press.
The press is a great way to raise awareness in the short term and often leads to a spike in downloads.
Don't worry, you don't have to be a PR professional. Identify the people behind these posts on LinkedIn, craft a message to sell your website well, and give them access to your website as well as screenshots so they can get an idea of how your website works.
11. Create strategic partnerships.
Look for mutually beneficial partnerships that can extend the reach of your website.
For example, if you're developing a training website for mountain biking, you can hire bike shops and offer an exclusive in-web feature to their customers in exchange for their help promoting your website.
12. Promote your other websites.
If you have more than one website and they are in similar categories, you can add a call to action to promote your other websites to the latest one.
13. Experiment with how you ask users to give feedback.
Ratings and comments are the most visible elements on a website's listing.
They will influence a person on his choice to visit or not. Comments are social proof. If many people like the website then the chances of a new user coming are higher.
So what do to get more reviews on your website? Experiment with how you ask users for feedback.
Discover the website
These are tips for optimizing your website on search engines and ways you can put in place to make your website more discoverable.
14. Understand the effectiveness of SEO.
According to a study, over 75% of websites are discovered through a search on search engines. Since there are more than 2 billion websites on the internet, it is necessary to adopt the right strategy to have the most visibility possible.
This optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a website in a search engine. The idea is to drive more people to your page to visit your website.
Here are some great tips to help you get started with the principle of optimization.
15. Choose relevant keywords.
The first thing to consider when optimizing your website's visibility is choosing keywords. You should choose keywords that are relevant and truly representative of your website.
For example, if your website offers people to walk dogs, the keyword “dog” used alone does not work since it does not describe your website. The phrase “dog walker” might be a more effective solution.
If someone finds your website, you want them to visit it. If someone finds your website with irrelevant keywords, they won't enter your target and probably won't visit.
16. Consider a keyword's competition and traffic.
You need to look at the competition around a keyword and over the total of all your keywords. If there is too much competition, position yourself on another keyword. Here's a look at the traffic around keywords. Using this tool, you can enter any website and see which keywords are driving traffic.
17. Consider keyword placement.
As analysis, “there is a clear correlation between having a keyword in a website's name and ranking for that keyword. 75% of websites that rank #1 for high-traffic keywords have that keyword in their website name.” But be careful because your website might get rejected if you use the keyword too often.
18. Determine keyword density.
Keywords that are in website titles have more weight in the website appearance algorithm on search engines. If you want to improve your rank on a specific keyword, putting it in the title is your best weapon. For websites, keyword density is also important in the description part.
19. Target multiple words without forgetting the long tail.
The mistake website makers often make is to target only one word for keywords. The keywords composed of several words are certainly searched less often but are less competitive. You will therefore have a better chance of standing out on these specific keywords.
You will automatically be ranked for combinations of your keywords but also phrases. This will help you get a better ranking. Targeting the long tail is ideal to start when you are a developer or to launch a new website.
20. Have an eye-catching logo.
The logo makes a huge impression. Have you tested different logos? You can do this by testing different models on mobile ad networks, like Google Adwords, and Facebook. Then measure how potential users of your website react to different logos before selecting a final logo.
Make this first user experience an unforgettable moment.
Studies show that if your users have a bad first experience, 70% of them will not visit your website. Infrastructure and performance are key players in the success of your website. Here are some tips to make sure your website runs fast and smoothly.
21. Always monitor your website.
Factors that are outside of your control affect your website. Cloud services, devices, or even other websites can influence how your website behaves.
An algorithm update can significantly fluctuate the performance of your website. Track your website's performance to be responsive when issues arise. Developers and OnPage SEO services
can fix issues as soon as they are detected. It also allows you to take a look at any issues your website might be having.
22. Choose a solid server.
Network performance may affect user experience. Everyone hates network slowness, but it's hard to simulate those conditions during development and testing. According to data from Crittercism, 70% of websites use 5 or more servers – and 20% use 20 or more! Even if only one server is slow, it will impact your website. So choose a solid server!
23. Pay attention to real-world performance.
Your work is not done when you launch your website. It's only just begun. It is not enough to monitor your website. Sales websites, for example, often have conversion rates high, so you need to make sure users are well-supported. If you don't monitor your website, its status will deteriorate quickly.
Analyze user behavior
Do you have an idea of the behavior of your users? To truly drive user growth, improve retention, and increase monetization, you need to have a clear understanding of user behavior. The analysis will help you achieve this goal.
24. Understand the 3 levels of complexity for website analysis.
There are 3 levels of settings that website managers should look at. When you're first starting out, you should make sure to look at Tier 1 goals. But as your project grows and evolves, you'll move on to the other tiers to get a big-picture view of your website's performance.
Level 1: Counters (number of active users per day, per month, revenue)
Level 2: Where are my problems (funnels, curation, segmentation, events)
Level 3: What are the growth drivers: companies (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix), behavioral data?
25. Measure your level 1 analysis.
This data is typically measured with MAUs (Monthly Active Users), DAUs (Daily Active Users), page views, and revenue. These metrics are absolutely important and give you a foundation for your web's success in terms of engagement, retention, and monetization.
These metrics are a good start, but how do you measure your user engagement?
26. Measure your level 2 analysis.
Analytics done at Level 2 will help you track events to give you an accurate picture of user behavior (number of actions per day, most common actions, actions users don't do).
This will allow you to locate problems on your website. You can then create different user segments based on behavior (active VS inactive), and demographic criteria (location, age). This will help you understand how these different types of users interact with your website.
27. Measure your level 3 analysis.
Level 3 is where you discover the secret ingredient for your growth. What behaviors are related to lifespan?
For example, Facebook was at 50 million users and was trying to figure out what user behaviors led to long-term retention.
Was it the percentage of completed profiles? Was it the number of photos added? Was it the number of pages visited? Nothing of that.
Facebook found that adding 7 friends in 10 days was an indicator of an engaged user.
They did not arrive at this idea by chance. The teams studied the different user actions. They looked for actions that were most strongly associated with engagement. This a fantastic example of how applying predictive analytics to your data can help you discover areas for improvement to scale your website.
Optimize the UI design of the website
These are tips for understanding qualitative feedback about how people interact with your website. The ultimate goal is to improve the user experience.
28. Action cards on screen to identify areas.
How do users physically interact with your website? Where do they tap or swipe? A gesture heatmap is essential in analyzing the user experience. It lists all the gestures of the users and indicates them on the screen. This is a good way to see if users are going to the most important areas.
29. Watch a user's recorded session.
You can use tools like HotJar to watch recordings of real people using your website and understand exactly how people are interacting with it. For example, the users in the recordings below show that they cannot create an account with Facebook due to a technical problem. You can then try to solve the problem and provide a solution.
30. Develop an A/B testing strategy.
A/B testing helps improve key performance indicators by trying out new designs for different parts of the website.
Website developers and website product managers are increasingly using A/B testing software to make their websites more responsive to engagement.
To get started with testing, here's a tip you “map out all the micro-interactions a user needs to complete to flow through your website. Then use this to identify what to test first.”
31. Test all updates to reduce risk.
Any website developer will tell you that putting new features into a website or changing aspects of the architecture can be risky business. That means the stakes for website updates are high. If something is not taken care of, a website update could have bugs or interaction issues that hurt the user experience.
These tests allow us to try things out on our website without hurting our conversion funnel. Nothing comes out without being tested first.
The reception of the website and tests of ideas
We will now see the process of transforming a new user into a regular user during their first interaction with your website. Here are some tips to improve the attraction of your website, make new users feel good, and continue to use your website.
32. Test different login/registration options.
How do people want to log in or register to use your website? Is registration necessary? Maybe your users prefer to log in by email and password. Experiment to find the right solution.
Here are some other test ideas for registering or logging in as a new user.
33. Testing the experience preview inside your website.
Google Analytics and HotJar Post show users snippets of the in-website experience mentioning specific features and their values. This is a smart hypothesis to test and measure if this action leads to more engagement or activation.
34. Testing your user's home order.
Experiment with the order of your home tutorial. Which part should come first? How many steps?
More test ideas for visitor reception.
35. Test the call-to-action button.
What is the right size, color, and location for your call to action button? Would changing the size influence the reaction of users? Here are more test ideas for your call-to-action buttons.
36. Test message change and help text.
I spoke to a company that changed the message on their website. They changed from “We won't spam you” to “We respect your privacy”. They saw a 55% increase in conversions!
37. Test different layouts for navigation.
Try experimenting with different navigation configurations. We will explore Facebook together for test ideas.
Facebook may test moving the navigation bar to the top of the page. They could also remove the navigation bar at the bottom and opt for a drop-down navigation menu from the top left corner.
38. Test distraction suppression for your call-to-action button.
If you have other elements on your screen near your call-to-action button, try removing them to make the user experience easier.
39. Test the progress bar on the home part.
Good landing pages should quickly teach people how to use the website. Progress bars can be an effective way to encourage people to complete a round as they give people a sense of accomplishment as they progress through using the website!
Duolingo does an amazing job with this strategy. Each time you answer a question correctly, an indicator marks your progress.
41. Test discovery features.
Do experiments to find out how users discover new products or new experiences on your website. For example, Instagram allows users to go to a banner to discover new people. Maybe he could test account suggestions? A good way to stimulate user discovery?
42. Test images on different audiences.
First, identify your primary audience with tools like Google analytics. Let's say you discover that your audience is mostly 21-30-year-olds. Do a test with images of people in the same age category to see if they lead to more engagement.
43. Test discounts.
If you opt for a special promotion, would it be to generate additional conversions? Verify that the revenue from these additional conversions covers the cost of the reductions.
44. Test the video on your website.
Most websites today use images to welcome users or for the website introduction tutorial. What happens if you opt for video? Will this increase the activation rate?
These are tips to retain users and prevent churn.
45. Create a habit of experience in the first 3-7 days.
A great first-time user experience is key to retention. “The website loses its entire user base on average within a few months, which is why of Internet's 2 billion websites, only a few thousand get significant traffic”. You will be able to retain your users depending on how your website is described, user onboarding, and the triggers you put in place.
Whether it's a notification at the same time every day or every week, think about habits you can develop to keep your users coming back to your website.
46. Include social elements to create network effects.
MapMyRun has created a newsfeed where you can see your friends' latest runs and cheer them on with likes and comments. It helps make racing more fun, engaging, and competitive!
47. Think about your push notifications.
Data shows that by using web push notifications, businesses can expect a 50% retention rate for 30 days, a 130% increase on users who did not receive one or choose not to. not receive notifications. A great way to create urgency with a push notification is to create an ephemeral, time-limited campaign.
48. Think about timing, especially for a global audience.
Sending a push notification to all your users at a specific time cannot be done if you have a global target. Think about your different users around the world and time zones.
49. Segment your users for effective campaigns.
For example, an inactive user that you want to reactivate will not receive the same push notification as an active user. For example, you can make an offer to encourage him to become active again!
I hope these 49 tips will help you make an amazing website!
About the Author: Rakesh Donga is a Certified Magento Developer and CEO at MagentoBrain with 8+ years of experience in eCommerce development. MagentoBrain is the leading eCommerce web development company that also offers Magento 2 Migration Service, Magento Upgrade Service, eCommerce Solutions, and other IT solutions.