There is no denying the awesome power of the internet. As of now, we are using it to not just find information but also share it everywhere. It also proves to be a wonderful way of creating and building connections.
If you use the internet wisely you will be able to expand the influence of your brand, launch new products, and ultimately learn and grow. Furthermore, you can leverage its potential to not only generate new business but enhance your operations as well.
However, it’s not easy to make a name for yourself when there are literally millions of other sites trying to do the same. The following key points can help you to make your website stand out from the others in its category:
1. Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Good Domain Name
Your domain name is very important because it is the point of first contact for your visitors. After all, this is how your customers will be able to access your website. Here, choosing an overly complex domain name or something unrelated to your products or services might lead to a loss of interest amongst your target audience.
Your name should be easy to remember and easy to associate with the topic you are interested in promoting on your site. The simpler the name, the easier it will be for your audience to connect to your website.
2. Ditch Your Stock Photo Collection
Get rid of all those clichéd stock photos and imagery and try to capture the core essence of the topic of your website. If you are making a business website, it is imperative that you refrain from using the usual plain vanilla images to introduce your company.
For example, if you are promoting a travelogue you should publish original pictures of your trips to motivate and guide other people into following your footsteps. If you are an ad agency, you can post a running collage of your work on our home page. This way people will be able to catch a glimpse of your creativity and the professionalism that you bring to your work.
It does not have to be completely professional though. You can add an inspiring human touch by allowing your employees to show up for the photoshoot with their families and their pets. This will give an air of authenticity to your work that no commercial images can ever replicate.
3. Invest in a Sound SEO Strategy
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is still the very best way to get your message across via organic searches. The concept is very simple. People use certain words, phrases, and terms to search for their desired information on their favorite search engine. If you seed your website with those terms, you will be able to get plenty of hits from your target audience. And If you include locations in your meta keywords, you would be able to attract your audience based on your particular geographical location.
Let us suppose you are a nutritionist in New York. You can use the term ‘best way to lose weight in New York, or ‘top nutritionist in NY’ in your content. If you do this multiple times, anyone looking for safe and effective weight loss techniques in the NY area will end up at your website. However, this will only work if you already know that your readers are interested in a particular topic and they are actively searching for it. It is pertinent to note here that single word keywords rarely ever work anymore due to their inherently generic nature.
You should use multiple keywords in the same article and avoid overstuffing. Gone are the days when the sheer number of keywords was enough to get the job done. Today’s cutting edge search engines are now smart enough to determine if the article has actual value added content or it is just used for the purpose of bunching keywords together.
If it is the latter, Google’s algorithms will recognize the keyword stuffing attempt and they will punish your website by dropping it way down in the engine’s listings. You should make sure that your blog and other content contains high-value information that the readers want to consume. This is the best way to optimize your site for just about any search engine.
4. Create Your Google Business Profile
As far as search engines go, Google is the most powerful and popular of them all. There are over 40,000 searches taking place every second on this search engine. Apart from that, it has plenty of other resources as well. In fact, once you learn to leverage Google for your website, you will be able to get your message across to a much larger audience. This is why creating a Google ‘My Business’ page is such a good idea. In fact, we consider it IMPERATIVE to your local SEO efforts.
You should also include your location and contact information on your website, in addition to listing what you do. This way, anyone looking for you or your products and services, will be able to find you easily and conveniently.
5. The Extreme Importance of Great Content at All Times
The very nature of the internet has been designed around content. You will have to rely on persuasive, and highly effective copywriting strategies to communicate a visibly clear message to your target audience. One that converts visitors and also calls them to action without any ambiguity. Long meandering blogs and articles serve no one’s interest and are neither read nor appreciated.
In this case, you are just wasting your time and that of your visitors. Badly written content can also lead to a visible increase in the bounce rate on your site. In other words, the visitor will log on, see that it is a waste of time and simply wander off in search of sites with better substance.
The search engines will notice that and degrade your rankings accordingly. On the other hand, short and simple words can go a long way towards creating valuable content. If the content is crisp and to the point, you will be able to convince the search engines that you are an expert in your field. This will mean that it is only a matter of time before you make it to the coveted top ten on Google’s home page in your respective product or information category. Your content has to be backed up by excellent web design to create perfect synergy, between the two. Great content on a web site that looks terrible is rarely going to get noticed.
A little bit of creativity and professionals can go a long way in catching and retaining the interest of your target audience.
6. Always Keep Your Reader in Mind
Whenever you create or update your website, you will have to keep this basic fact in mind: It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with your audience. The reader has only one question in mind “What’s in it for me?”
You can answer this question very effectively, by using catchy headlines and opening phases. You can use pictures and short five second gifs to capture and retain the interest of the visitors. This way, not only will they visit your site but also recommend it to their friends and other people interested in the same topic. For example, you can offer solutions to various common problems and make good on your promise by creating value through helpful tips. You can also answer specific and focused questions that might be of interest to your audience.
The best thing about such reader-focused content is that it will get you noticed while simultaneously ensuring that it is memorable. Once that happens, your readers will only turn to you whenever they need your services or require specific information.
7. Create a Sense of Purpose
Websites can stand out from the crowd by having a sense of purpose. If your site is about World War II battles, your focus should be on imparting historical information to enthusiasts. Yes, you can sell war-related memorabilia, but that should not be your core mission, otherwise, they will just see you as yet another online retail store.
On the other hand, sharing excellent articles replete with historical facts and pictures can help you create a highly focused call to action (CTA). One based on the content you have shared so that people who have read your interesting blog, would be sufficiently tempted to purchase the stuff you have mentioned.
You should properly evaluate the goals of your website and try to determine the relative value and purpose of each page. Is it about a particular product? Does it explain how a service works? Is it supposed to enhance your brand image? Once you determine all of your goals, you will be in a much better position to address these questions with purpose-driven and meaningful content.
8. Try to Use Eye-Catching and Effective Headlines
This is one of the most effective methods of standing out from a sea of similar content. You should use bold and attention-grabbing headlines that will look interesting to your target audience. It will be even better if they promise some benefit to the reader so that they would want to delve deep into the topic.
A catchy tag line or headline will be the first thing that your readers will see when they visit your site. The age-old adage ‘first impression is the last impression’ stands true here. If a person likes a headline he will want to read the content underneath. But if the headline itself is not appealing, the very best content in the world won’t be able to capture and hold the attention of your audience.
However, this is not the only reason you should have eye-catching headlines since effective ones can also appeal to search engines too. In fact, the most advanced and cutting edge algorithms used by search engines today, concentrate more on the headlines in comparison to the body text. Here, writing headlines that are optimized for search engines can increase the ranking of your website, while enhancing its visibility quite significantly.
9. Make Sure That Your Site Is Highly Credible
There is a glut of online information and a lot of it is fake. This makes readers very skeptical whenever they see something that is even slightly different from the rest of the material out there. Unfortunately, many online sources are inherently untrustworthy and make outrageous claims without any evidence.
You can increase the credibility of your site by incorporating plenty of statistics, documented studies expert opinions, and well-defined and clear reasons for all of your assertions. The more references you place from top-level research resources, the greater will be your credibility. This holds particularly true if you have very high levels of third party support such as citations, references, and other source material.
It will make your arguments stronger and your audience will see your site as the top authority on the subject matter concerned.
10. Encourage Plenty of Comments and Feedback
Social proof is now one of the defining characteristics of a site that enables it to stand head and shoulders above the competition. Just consider your last major purchase and recollect the research you conducted online before you made the decision to buy a specific brand. Customer reviews and feedback are almost always far more valuable than any advert, blurb or product description. This is because genuine reviews come from real customers. They prove that people have bought something and have enjoyed using it so much, they are willing to leave their feedback to guide others.
Of course, there will be a few negative reviews and comments from unsatisfied visitors, but you must not delete them. On the contrary, you should try to win them over and switch their negative perception into a positive experience. Once you are able to accomplish that, your target audience will see that you are genuinely willing to stand behind your product or service and go out of your way resolve all issues.
This is a great way to ensure that your audience will refer you to others who might be impressed enough to try out your product for themselves.
Ultimately you can make your website stand out by being different from the rest of the world. You don’t have to be completely offbeat to make a point. A little bit of creativity and professionals can go a long way in catching and retaining the interest of your target audience.