September 9, 2009 – It’s important to be able to look at your website and see more than just the proof of your labors. Successful websites manage to balance style, content, and usability in a way that entices viewers to return again and again. Since there aren’t any businesses out there that have zero competitors in the marketplace, business websites have the added burden of not only being a great website but also being a better website than what the other guys have.
Basically, your website needs to be able to stand on its own, and it needs to able to set itself apart from competing websites (in a positive way) that provide similar products and services. There are many ways to win this battle, but there are just as many ways to lose. To begin with, take a good hard look the 3 most basic needs of your website: Design, Content, and Usability.
Are you standing out? Blending in? Or getting lost?
After you think you are satisfied with your end result, start visiting your top competitors’ websites. What content do they have that you are missing? Is their website blowing yours out of the water from a design perspective? Can you easily search and discover what you are looking for on this website, or is it full of broken links and unclear navigation? Once again, compare these experiences to what users are experiencing on your website. Then go back to work.
Owning a website is like buying a house, it’s never done. Even after you get everything set up, you’ll always need to update content, adapt to changing widgets, trends, and technology, adjust your SEO from time to time, and so on. What’s important is to invest the time and attention your website needs to continue thriving…and provide a roof over your head.
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