There was a time when the Internet was young, and you had only a handful of web pages. But people saw the potential in the world wide web and started creating thousands of websites. In the meantime, the Internet went on its own and became an entity independent of its creators – human beings.
The place we are calling the Internet now has its own set of rules you must comply with if you want to have a successful website and be recognized online. To be able to drive traffic to your website in this new online ecosystem, you will need to obey Internet law. It is written as a new-age ten commandments about website development.
So, if you want to build a quality and engaging website, you should do the following.
I. “I am Google, thine Internet God, thou shalt not have other search engines before Me”
Google has been the number 1 search engine on the market for more than 25 years. Its current market share is around 85%, according to the data collected by Statista. That is almost six times more than all other search engines combined!
That is the clear signal that your site must be optimized for Google, and you constantly need to follow its guidelines and updates if you want to stay on the course. When building your website, always have in mind Google algorithms that will give an idea what is the best way to increase visibility of it.
There isn’t website development these days without Google, so if you want to appear in prominent places in SERP, you must adhere to Google. Some of the most important factors you must be aware of when creating your website are:
- Quality and useful content – this is the “conditio sine qua non” of your website
- User experience
- On-page and off-page optimization of the content (with the acquisition of backlinks)
- Mobile responsiveness and fast loading speed of the site
If you fulfill those requirements, you will be at the mercy of Google.
II. “Thou shalt love thine users as thy would love thyself”
When you build your website from scratch, you have to think about the users. What problem will your website solve for users, and what will attract them? What will you offer that other websites don’t have?
Besides the high-quality and relevant content that engages and informs the audience, you will need to have a visually appealing design. Many people are visual types and like to read on websites that look nice.
It is also important to create a perfect user experience for your audience. The organization of the website must be logical and easy to navigate with a minimum of distractive elements.
III. “Remember to prioritize thy website’s responsiveness”
Fifteen years ago, you could ignore traffic from sources other than desktop computers. But that changed a lot lately. Mobile users now surpass the number of users you get from other devices meaning your website must be fully optimized for mobile.
Of course, other devices and platforms count as well, so you have a lot of work to do when testing. You have to tweak your website’s mobile functionality to guarantee that it works well with all types of smartphones, tablets, and any other device that can access your website.
Your website needs to be optimized for various web browsers, so keep an eye on the traffic you get and what browsers your users usually use to reach your site.
IV. “Thou shalt submit to thy golden rule to ‘Keep it Simple”
There is a rule you need to follow if you are into website development. It is called “keep it simple” and refers to using easy-to-understand language when creating content and making navigation through the site uncomplicated.
If you are building your website from zero, you have all the freedom of implementing this rule because you are setting up all the key elements. When designing a website, focus on the features that are most important to your users and avoid adding unnecessary ones that can only be a distraction.
V. “Thou shalt create only good content for thy website”
The heart and soul of your website are well-written, thoroughly researched, and unique content. Google values high-quality and relevant content that engages and informs the audience. Content should be well-structured, easy to read, and provide value to the user.
Even if you have fully optimized content (according to SEO guidelines), if it is bland and boring, people won’t read it or stay on the page long enough. Google can see that as a bad signal, mark your content as unhelpful, and push it down on SERPs.
Well-written content is a powerful motivator for people to check your brand and eventually make a purchase. So, grammatically, factually correct, and updated information on products, service details, and other content is imperative.
VI. “Thou shalt honour and follow the covenants of SEO”
We already told you that your content must be optimized per search engine optimization (SEO) rules. But SEO isn’t only the website’s written content. You will need to optimize many more elements, such as pictures, metadata, internal and external linking, etc.
When you are in website development planning, you need to include both SEO and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) into consideration. Only if you position and implement all the needed elements, you can hope for success.
VII. “Thou shalt not pilfer content from other websites”
We can’t stress enough how important is to have unique content on your website. Sure, you can scrape things from various websites and even gather a lot of traffic in the short term if people find you through marketing channels, but that is just a delusion.
Sooner or later, Google will figure out that you are not producing original content and will ban your website. And that will be the death penalty for your website and make all your website development effort futile. Only a small portion of marketers can build anything from there, and that requires a lot of effort and resources.
Never forget that plagiarism means that you are breaking actual laws when you steal content, images, or design elements from other websites and can be charged with a lawsuit.
VIII. “Thou shalt compel thy visitors to covet thy products”
Many behavioral researches showed that people are highly visual creatures, and that especially plays a big role if you are an internet marketer. Creating an eye-candy website can help you generate more sales.
To do so, you will need relevant high-quality pictures (bought from stock sites, like Shutterstock, or you can use ones with a CC license), an impressive layout, informational videos and infographics, and well-placed call-to-action (CTA). Remember that all your content needs to be copyrighted free, or you can get into trouble.
Use a clean, modern design with a consistent color scheme and typography that reflects your brand identity. Avoid clutter and motley backgrounds that can distract from the content.
IX. “Thou shalt share real-time information”
Ok, you built a website and filled it up with high-quality content (both written and visual), it is well-optimized and eye-catching, while site speed and responsiveness are superb. What next?
Your site needs to stay fresh, meaning you update outdated info and regularly publish new content. This will ultimately result in offers and sales as your brand awareness increases.
X. “Thou shalt not violate thine users’ trust with forced ads”
We all know that too many ads ruin the user experience. Especially if they are showing up in the wrong places and auto-play. It’s one of the top complaints of internet users. The popularity of pop-up blockers speaks a lot about that.
Users are aware that you need to place ads on your website to monetize content, but you need to implement them in a way that won’t reduce the quality of user experience.
There are several places you can put ads on your website, such as in the header, sidebar, or within your content. Choose a location that will get the most visibility without being too intrusive. You can do tests to determine the best position for ads.
Website Development: End Notes
As you can see, building a website from the scratch is very challenging, and you need to obey many rules to be successful in the end. Website development is slow and precise work, but it can bring many benefits to your business.
Stick to the tips we gave in this article, and fear not!