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What makes a Website Popular

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You’ve finally made your own website. It’s up live on the web. Days pass by & you check your dashboard with disappointingly low traffic on your site. You wonder whether all of the time & money invested on web development was worth it or not. Don’t worry. There might be no shortcomings in your business idea or in the design of the website.

 Most of the websites often fail to grab traffic due to the various reason

A solid website opens the door to a great deal of huge opportunities & it is very crucial to invest smartly in digital marketing for your site to be successful.

If you want some good tips on how to make your website popular then you’ve come to the right place. Here we will talk about in detail about 5 very important points for starters (at least what I think will make the most impact) that will aid your website in getting more visitors.

  1. DESIGN & USER EXPERIENCE

Website Design plays a very significant role here. It is basically what you & other visitors will see when they take a first glance at your website. It is the overall visuals & aesthetics of your website. “First Impression is the best impression”; you hear this everywhere & it is applicable even here for your site! Make sure you don’t miss the design point of view.

A GOOD DESIGN & PSYCHOLOGY BEHIND IT.

Hiring an experienced UI/UX (User Interface/User Experience) designer or an agency would be advisable for handling the overall design aesthetics. But many wonder “what is a good design?” & how can I make my website look good subjectively. It isn’t rocket science nor does it need a lot of design skills. It is actually connected with the psychology of our brain & how we see & perceive colors, patterns & spaces. Humans find some symmetry & proportions visually appealing. Brain’s capability to interpret them faster & subconsciously recognizing these mathematical patterns is considered as an expression of perfection in terms of design & will help a lot in your website to look visually organized. Golden Ratio & Fibonacci Sequence are the top known mathematical patterns among designers.

FIBONACCI SEQUENCE

We get Fibonacci Sequence when the next number in the series is the sum of the previous two. For Example

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 etc…

  • 0+1 = 1
  • 1+1 = 2
  • 1+2 = 3
  • 2+3 = 5
  • 5+3= 8

You can also take this idea and create a golden rectangle. Take a square and multiple one side by 1.618 to get a new shape: a rectangle with harmonious proportions. If you arrange the square over the rectangle, the relationship between the two shapes will give you the Golden Ratio. If you keep applying the Golden Ratio formula to the new rectangle, you will end up with an image made up of increasingly smaller squares. If you draw a spiral over each square, starting in one corner and ending in the opposite one, you’ll create the Golden Spiral (or the First Curve of Fibonacci Sequence). You can add depth to your designs by using Fibonacci Spirals & if used properly, some neat designs can be discovered.

THE RULES OF THIRDS

Rules of Thirds is widely used among photographers to compose their shots better. Basically, what you do is imagine 2 lines running across your canvas horizontally & vertically. These lines divide the screen in 9 squares each & the intersection of these lines will give you 4 points. If you keep your subject on or close around to any of these 4 points, it will make your previously aligned design look more visually balanced.

IMPACT OF COLORS & FONTS

Color impacts our emotions & affects our actions. Using this effect in advantage can make your website design look neat & visually balanced. So, Basic color theory and psychology is significant for Web Designers & marketers to understand & implement as Colors influence consumer behavior and decision making. Every color brings out a certain emotion & for this reason, choice of colors in visual content matters as your color palette will define your Brand personality. One important point to keep in mind is to not use too many colors. Stay consistent with colors and use shades of the same color. Set your color palette which compliments each other. Try not to use very strong colors.

FOLLOWING RULES OF UI DESIGN

User interface design is the process of creating all the visual elements that a user sees and experiences when they interact with a digital product. UI designers share the same goal as UX designers—to create consistent, accessible, and functional products that are intuitive and user-friendly—but with a greater focus on aesthetics and graphic design. According to Adobe’s official blog, these are some pivotal points to keep in mind while designing a perfect User Friendly UI.

MAKE CONSISTENT INTERFACES:  Consistency in UI design is making sure elements in a user interface are uniform so that they look and behave the same way. This induces a sense of familiarity & control. Users should never question the integrity of a product. The same colors, fonts, and icons should be present throughout the product.

Image source: uxdesign.cc

NEGATIVE SPACE:  Give your website’s elements some breathing room – don’t cram all the objects and elements together on the screen. Negative space makes important elements pop and stand out. Designs with ample amounts of negative spaces are also cleaner & easier to read.

Image source: UXplanet.com

VISUAL CLARITY:  Good visual organization improves usability and legibility, allowing users to quickly find the information they are looking for. Form & Function should be complimenting each other. Make things look like they work

REDUCE NO. OF SCREEN TAPS FOR NAVIGATION:  When designing a user interface, try to reduce the total number of actions required from a user to achieve the goal. It’s worth remembering the three-click rule, which suggests the user of a product should be able to find any information with no more than three mouse clicks.

KEEP USER’S WORK SAVED: Make sure that users never lose their work. Users should not lose their work as a result of an error on their side, a system error, problems with an internet connection, or any other reason.

BE FORGIVING:  This rule means that the user should always be able to quickly backtrack whatever they are doing. This allows users to explore the product without the constant fear of failure

MAKE IT UNIQUE

Interactive websites with Three.js

In present times, many online services offer pre-built websites; website templates that are modular & can be tweaked according to the user’s needs & taste. They offer a wide variety of designs to choose from. Website building has never been so easy because of these services. But for your site to thrive, you have to do something much more than easy.

The point is so many websites are being built on pre-built templates that the bar of a generic website design has risen up. While browsing through the internet, you will notice that a lot of websites have almost the same structure & design. This will make your own site more difficult to stand from the rest of the crowd & your work/business can most probably go unnoticed.

You can take advantage of this monotony & invest more on the design aspect of your website to gain an upper edge. You can build interactive designs with the help of React.js. React.js is an open source Javascript library for building UI & its components & is maintained by Facebook with a very active & helpful forum of developers. Three.js can take your website to a whole new level by its powerful & scalable render engine that can display static & animated 3d objects & scenes.

By doing something different, something innovative, something unique can alone get you a lot of new visitors.

YOUR WEBSITE’S RESPONSIVENESS MATTERS

Image source: bluecorona.com

We use devices having different platforms, architectures & screen sizes. A responsive design of a website means the ability of the site to automatically adjust itself to the device it’s been displayed on. It subtracts the extra work by your visitor to view your website & read it’s content. If your website is not responsive then it can increase the bounce rate (explained later in this blog) of your website. The motive of having a responsive design is to avoid the unnecessary resizing, zooming & scrolling that occurs with sites that have not been optimized for different devices.

Maintaining a responsive website is cost effective as you can save money by eliminating the cost of making your site mobile friendly. A responsive website would most likely be recommended higher by search engines & can boost your SEO’s (Search Engine Optimization). On top of that, it’s also easier to manage one responsive website instead of two, one for laptops & one for mobiles. Responsiveness takes much of the stress out of managing a business website.

  • VIRAL CONTENT

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We often see blog posts, Instagram posts & YouTube videos with a stellar number of views & likes. Same with a lot of websites that grab a colossal number of visitors. Makes us wonder what different things these creators do to make their content blow up worldwide, so easily. In today’s world, with so many communication means available, it should be easy enough for anyone to create a viral piece and unleash it into the world. Unfortunately, not everything online goes viral. Some pieces attract millions of eyeballs while some go unnoticed. Let’s look at what makes a piece of content go viral. If you’re interested in turning a message about your company into a viral hit, it’s useful to get a better understanding of the psychology behind sharing.

UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE

The word “viral” means “relating to a piece of content that is circulated rapidly and widely from one web user to another.” In other words, you want to create great content that’s intended to be shared across social networks and spread – like a virus. You need to consider strategies that can draw the attention of your target audience and enhance your brand presence. Understanding your audience is the key. Create content which connects with the right people. Content which can elicit an emotional response among your users. The intensity of the emotional response a content evokes is directly proportional to the virality of it. Not understanding what your visitors want can make all of your hard work go almost ineffective. Over the years, the concept of viral marketing has become a prominent element for the success of digital marketing.

A study says when individuals have a good emotional connection, they are more likely to buy from that specific brand. This content is something that sparks a feeling in your audience; ranging from humour and love to fear and hatred. “People share things they have strong emotional reactions to, especially strong positive reactions,” Rosanna Guadagno, a social psychologist at the University of Texas at Dallas, told the Times.

Image source: findicons.com

Some of the top emotions that trigger our behaviour are:

  • Joy
  • Surprise
  • Sadness
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Disgust
  • Anticipation
  • Trust

Announcement of your favourite movie will trigger a joyous emotional response. You’ll feel surprised & anticipated when you get to know about a release of radical tech news. Never underestimate the power of negative emotions as well. Research shows that content that played in the negative emotions team also went viral for all the right reasons. Content that warns and increases awareness has more chances to spread to more. People empathize with sad content & share it willingly to show admiration & spread awareness. Your duty, when creating content, is to focus on positivity, to evoke emotions of awe, anxiety, etc. and to offer immense value to your readers. Make your points easily digestible and people will be more inclined to share your content.

For your website, start with an attractive Landing page so that visitors stay & navigate further and let the magic of psychology do its work.

CREATE DIVERSE CONTENT

Back in the times, Blogging was the primary source for marketing. But in the changing times, you need a more diverse content marketing strategy if you hope to increase brand awareness and boost your sales. It’s a well known fact now that it’s tough to sustain your marketing strategy just by blogging but don’t….don’t abandon blogging completely. First of all, try to provide quality content in your blogs. Blogs should not be too formal & should be written in a casual way & are supposed to make one feel relaxed & refreshed while reading it.

Adding Images to your content is one way to make your blogs & websites more readable. People learn in different ways. Some can read a few paragraphs of text and keep a clear memory of the words. Others need to hear someone else speak on an issue, while still more prefer to see visual representations of data or information. Imagery targets visual learners. For instance,you can add images & infographics related to the content in the blogs or you could give a list of statistics in paragraph form, which would satisfy reading and writing learners. However, a simple graph that displays those statistics in a visual format will target visual learners and increase your content’s effectiveness.

Everyday people watch one billion hours of video on YouTube. 62 percent of businesses use YouTube as a channel to post video content. More than 70 percent of YouTube watch time comes from mobile devices. People consume audio & video mediums of content at immense rates. They get absorbed by the movement, colors, sounds, and voices that these mediums offer.

You can share video and audio content via multiple channels. Post a video on YouTube or post a podcast. You can also post the content on your blog or in an email marketing message to give it even more visibility. Keep experimenting with new content formats and try to introduce them on your website. Stand out from the crowd.

TIMING

Timing of when you’re putting out your well researched potential viral content is very crucial. All of your hard work would go in waste if you’re publishing your well researched content at the wrong time. Timing has a big impact on how successful your posts are. Everyone has a schedule & a specific time when they’re browsing the internet. Use these demographics data to know when & at what time your website is handling maximum traffic & update or post content at that time. The success of your digital marketing efforts for viral content depends on the timing. To ensure your content goes viral, you should stay tuned with the latest events and trending topics. Keep searching for current Viral content & try to reinvent them in your own ways. It takes a lot more to make something completely new blow up & to be viral so hop on with current trends & I’m sure you can get some new followers & visitors while going with the mainstream.

  • ANALYSE

Data may disappoint, but it never lies! We’ve talked about how understanding your audience is so essential for your website or the blogs to get popular. Strategically targeting your customers & audience by researching this data can also help you get to know how you can refine your business & the content you’re putting out. In this way, your team can work in the right direction keeping the data in consideration & help your business & content get more popular. Get it wrong and your entire analysis is distorted. Let’s talk in detail about what major aspects you should analyse before proceeding to put out anything for your audience.

PEAK TRAFFIC TIME

Image source: seoclarity.net

Timing matters. You can’t hit a ball with the bat if it has already hit the stumps. You can’t save a goal if the football has already crossed the goal line. Similarly, there’s no point in putting out your new updates & content on your website if you’re doing it when most of your visitors are asleep. Peak Traffic time is the time when your website has the most number of visitors. Imagine like, you get off from work around 6-7pm, commute to home, spend time with their families & then they log in to the internet to relax. This would be the perfect time to get fresh new content in your feeds right? Now this will be the same case for Millions of people living in the timezone you’re planning to target. Now if you somehow sync your timing with the schedule of your target audience, it can skyrocket the views of your site.  Peak hours of your website depends on various factors like time zones, how large your business is spread (ranging from your locality to all around the world).

RESEARCH YOUR COMPETITION

Image source: freepik.com

Your competition might be just across the street or on the other side of the world. It’s important to know what your competitors are doing. Don’t dwell too much in the competition though, As it will make you waste your time & could also bog your morale down. We often talk about how we should focus on our work and don’t let anyone else’s work affect you but a little constructive research on your competitors’ growth would not be wrong to do. You can get ideas for new things to try, for new content to write, and new opportunities to steal some traffic. Study their brand identity. Find out how they are trying to convey a certain emotion or personality by their way of presenting their content. This is a great way of learning new ways of improving your own brand & learning from other people’s mistakes.

One very clever trick you can do is…become your competitor’s customer. Buy & use their services. Analyse the process, observe all the shortcomings in the process. Maybe their customer services are lacking or there are some loopholes. You can take advantage of all of these shortcomings & implement better versions of the content your other competitors are providing.

IMPORTANCE OF DEMOGRAPHICS

Image source: monsterinsights.com

 According to RYTE wikia, A Digital Marketing Encyclopaedia, Demographic data is information about groups of people according to certain attributes such as age, gender, place of residence, and can include socio-economic factors such as occupation, family status, or income. Demographic data and interests belong to some of the most important statistics in web analysis, consumer analysis and targeting. Demographic data and interests are key metrics in web analytics, consumer analytics, advertising planning and targeting. Google analytics is one widely used solution for the collection of demographic data. Nowadays most of the hosted websites have abilities to collect more personalized & elaborated demographic data from the dashboard. Here are some of the important demographic topics that you need to know to know what direction to work on.

GENDER: One of the deciding factors is gender. Understanding this will impact language, images, and media on your website and the location where you advertise. Try not to make your content too gender focused. Include LGBTQA+ too.

AGE: Every age group has different preferences. Knowing which age group from which you get the majority of views can help you adapt your content better for them.

PREFERENCES: Get to learn about the hobbies & interests of your audience. Identify the type of media the majority enjoys.

PURCHASING BEHAVIOUR:  Are your visitors spontaneous at buying your services? Or are they a little hesitant? Does your website attract high profile buyers? How loyal are they to your brand? Getting demographics on this information can help you price your services & paid content accordingly & how much information should you reveal before someone buys your services.

Other Important aspects to consider includes Education, Media of communication, Type of device they mostly use ( Desktop/Laptops or Mobile/Tablets), Regions and many other micro conditions.

GOOD REVIEWS

According to reviewtrackers.com, 94% of online shoppers reported that a negative review has convinced them to avoid visiting a business. Online reviews from your visitors & customers will either make your brand or break it.

Reviews also help you get honest feedback from anyone who has previously used your services and an opportunity to optimize & work on the shortcomings to provide better user experience.

Have you ever considered buying products rated below 4 While browsing through e-commerce websites? No right? People also hesitate buying brand new unheard products with no ratings even if it’s not a deceit. Sellers with products with a steady stream of positive reviews will look more trustworthy in the eyes of the customers & would have a better view to sales & traffic ratio.

If more people buy your services & products, more people will likely to leave a good review & would feed the content machine, keeping your brand favoured by the algorithm. Algorithms would keep recommending your site to more people with similar interests which would also lead to more exposure.

An effortless & quick way to improve your marketing efforts will always be by amassing positive reviews about your brand.

  • SEO & RANKING

Image source: freepik.com

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Basically, it’s a process of enhancing your website’s discoverability when people search for products or services related to your business in Google, Bing, and other search engines. Bots are used by search engines that collect information about the pages from different sites & putting them as an index. Then the algorithm analyzes the index and decides which websites get to be on the first page of search recommendations. SEO in simple words helps you climb up the rankings or  search recommendations. Rankings in SEO refers to a website’s position in the search engine results page. The point of good rankings in the search results is to gain as much traffic as possible from the organic search channel. The higher up a page ranks in the results for a search query, the higher the chance is that the searcher will click on this result.

According to searchmetrics.com, some of these important factors are directly connected to the effect on ranking:

  • NUMBER OF BACKLINKS

Image source: blog.alexa.com

Backlinks are created when one website links & refers to another website. For example “How to shave your beard” blog links to another blog post talking & comparing about best trimmers in the market or talking about best affordable trimmers in a specific price range. Then the first blog receives a backlink from the other one.

Backlinks are important for SEO because it will indicate to search engines that another source finds your content valuable enough to link it with their own content. One of the best ways to organically obtain natural links is by consistently creating high-quality content so that other bloggers recognize your work and automatically refer to your content in their own

  • TIME ON SITE & BOUNCE RATE

Image source: sitechecker.pro

Both of these metrics are self explanatory. The term “Time on site” is straightforward, meaning the time spent by a visitor on your website. On the other hand, Bounce rate is calculated by dividing the number of single-page sessions by the number of total sessions on the site. For example, if 100 users view your website (total sessions) and 15 of them exit without navigating, then your website’s bounce rate is 15%). These metrics are the key to compare & know the quality & effectiveness of your website. A website’s time on site & bounce rate is closely linked to the popularity of the website, so there are a lot of areas to consider working on if your website doesn’t have decent time on site & bounce rate.

  • CTR in SERP (Click through rate in Search Engine Result Page)

Image source: oncrawl.com

CTR is another ratio depicting often people who see your ad or free product listing end up clicking it. Clickthrough rate (CTR) can be used to gauge how well your keywords, ads and free listings are performing. (CTR is the number of clicks that your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown: clicks ÷ impressions = CTR. For example, if you had 15 clicks and 100 impressions, then your CTR would be 15%.). SERP or Search Engine Result Page is simply the list of website links that a search engine returns after a user submits a query.

If your website has a high CTR rate, then this means users who see your listings & ads find it relevant & useful. CTR also contributes to Ad Ranks in search engines which will ultimately affect the position of your ad.

  • PAGE LOAD TIMES

Image source: popupsmart.com

Page load time is the average time taken by your website to show up on a visitors screen. It is extremely crucial for your website to have a page load time around a blink of second. It should be snappy & fluid. Imagine visiting an interesting website & each navigation takes 10 seconds to load. Will anyone come back to that website again? This will cause your website to have a higher bounce rate & that my friend, is not good news!  Always keep in mind that you have to try to minimize the transition time between the pages as much as possible because, We humans, are impatient beings!

  • META TITLES & META DESCRIPTIONS

Image source: exposureninja.com

A meta title tag is an HTML element on a webpage that specifies the title of the page to search engines. The title tag is displayed by search engines on SERP ( Search Engine Result Page) as clickable headlines & it is the foremost thing to make sure that your Meta title tag accurately describes the content of the page under certain parameters. When it comes to titles that are longer than what Google can display, it will take just the relevant part and show it to the users instead of moving it to the beginning and truncating the title. Keep the meta title length under 600 pixels. Ensure that meta titles are written accurately and are attractive enough for visitors to click.

The meta description is an HTML element of a web page that summarizes the content of the page. The meta description appears in SERP along with the meta title. A proper meta description attracts more click-through rates. Writing accurate meta descriptions can help users understand the contents of the page. Include your target primary & secondary keywords to appear on the related searches & try to avoid duplicate meta description for your website pages.

SEO is a fundamental part of digital marketing as people all around the world carry trillions of online searches daily to find services & businesses that can help them. Greater visibility and ranking higher in search results than your competition can have a material impact on your bottom line. SEO is the foundation of a holistic marketing ecosystem. When you understand what your website users want, you can then apply that knowledge across your campaigns.

  • MARKETING

Image source: Disruptingadvertising.com

 Digital marketing refers to advertising delivered through digital channels. These digital channels can be search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile apps. Marketing has always been about connecting with your audience in the right place and at the right time. Digital marketing helps you reach a larger audience than you could through traditional methods.

With the help of Google Adsense & Facebook ads, you can give a major boost to your business if you have a website. Approximately, 4 Billion people actively use the internet for various tasks & there are so many chances of new users stumbling on your website ad & you getting a new visitor. This is 4 times more than the most populated country in the world ( i.e. China), for you to imagine. All of this potential marketing reach in just a fraction of the amount you would be paying if you decide to use billboards or any other physical mediums. Let’s look at some of the marketing areas & strategies that you can take advantage of:

PAID SEARCH

Image source: https://blog.getsocial.io/

Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising or Paid Search is a sponsored result that you see on the top of your Search Engine Result Page (SERP). You get charged by these ads with every click & can be customized to appear when certain keywords are entered. By delivering relevant ads to the right people at the right time, These ads have proved to be extremely consistent & effective in performance as it relies on the user’s behavioural data. It can significantly boost website’s traffic.

CONTENT MARKETING

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Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. Your marketing will be less likely to be vain when you offer content that is relevant to your audience making a reputable & trustworthy impression of your brand.

Content marketing is a long-term strategy that focuses on building a strong relationship with your target audience by giving them high-quality content which will give you a strong & loyal fanbase. Some of the most common goals marketers aim through their content marketing programs are

  • Getting discovered by the right audience
  • Capturing the interest of casual web surfers & converting them into daily subscribed users
  • Increasing sales & profitability
  • Upholding your existing users by amassing positive reviews & keeping up the quality of the service or content provided by you.
  • Targeting & expanding area of interests & improving public relations.

EMAIL MARKETING

Image source: sender.net

It has been decades since the first email was sent through. And most of us might be wondering why spamming email to people when the fate of these emails would be probably ending up in a junk/spam folder. It might be one of the oldest ways of marketing but it hasn’t lost its edge ever since it started. Email marketing is a very effective marketing medium & you can get a lot of interaction through it.

Define your audience. Have a clear idea of the type of audience & viewers you want to target. Divide this area of your interest to further segments and groups to send them personalized emails. Decide your sending frequency & schedule the mails for a specific period of time so that you don’t mass spam & get your mail blocked.

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

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The key to effective social media marketing goes far beyond simply having active social media accounts. You must also be weaving social elements into every aspect of your marketing efforts to create as many peer-to-peer sharing opportunities as possible. The more your audience is inspired to engage with your content, the more likely they are to share it, potentially inspiring their peers to become customers as well.

MOBILE MARKETING

Image source: digitalmarketinginstitute.com

Mobile marketing consists of ads that appear on mobile smartphones, tablets, or other mobile devices. Mobile marketing ad formats, customization, and styles can vary, as many social media platforms, websites, and mobile apps offer their own unique and tailored mobile ad options. According to recent reports by marketingland.com, 40% of users’ internet time is spent on mobile devices, which means simply ignoring the rise of mobile just isn’t an option.


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