How to make a successful website

A lot of internet users have built websites, spent time on development and devoted a lot of effort to increase their popularity. However, a relatively small percentage of those webmasters have really succeeded in creating highly ranking "megasites" like Google, Yahoo, Facebook and so on. A good website is not only about text and images, it is a creative project that requires a lot of attention and numerous skills from a wide variety of specialists who work towards a common goal...

Here are some of the steps to makes a successful website:

1. Work hard and devote a lot of time. 
If you really want to make a successful website then be prepared to sacrifice a lot of time and effort towards your goal. We cannot stress enough the importance of dedicating yourself to the website. Most people who earn their living from their sites spend more than 8 hours every day writing articles, adding new content and improving their visitor experience. This is why you should always take website management seriously if you're aiming for the top.
successful website content

2. Focus on the content. 
A successful website is determined by the content it offers to the public. Content is essentially the reason why someone would want to visit your site in the first place. This is why it should always be unique, original and useful. There is no use in writing a lot of text about things that are boring or have been discussed over and over lots of times before and then hoping that people will appreciate it. What you should be aiming for is to create something that has not been mentioned anywhere before or pick up on past topics from a different (original) point of view. You should likewise make your content useful and interesting for the reader. Use pictures, graphs and videos to illustrate your ideas and or visions. People are generally more prone to react positively to visual stimuli then to plain text. Hence the reason why you can see several illustrative pictures in this article ;)

3. Create a smart design. 
Web design usually the second most influential factor in user web experience straight after content. A successful website will most definitely be very nicely designed, easily accessible and simple to navigate. Spend ample time in picking a template or working with a professional web designer to create the best possible design for your site. Choose the correct colors and layout that would fit your topic and and theme.

Also make sure that your visitors will be able to find what they need quickly and efficiently. A successful website does not necessarily need to have a very complex structure and/or navigation menu (look at Google for example) but it definitely needs to be easily accessible and comprehendible. Ask your friends to find something particular on your site and then note their feedback. Later use that feedback to improve the website's structure.

4. Optimize for both people and search engines. 
Once you have created sufficient content and drawn up the best possible web design, it is time to think about the "virtual visitors" of your site, i.e. the search engines. If you want to be successful in the online world then you should definitely consider making the website pleasing to the eyes of SE's. Make sure to fill out all those META tags as well as optimize your site's titles and description with the keywords that best fit your content on any specific page. There is obviously a lot more that you need to take care of in terms of search engine optimization (SEO) however it is beyond the scope of this article to explain all those details. What you must consider though is that a lot of work must be put into getting your website to rank in the most popular search directories. We would recommend you to read about SEO and apply the lessons learned imediately to your site. Alternatively, it might be wise to hire a professional to do the job for you. There are lots of optimizers out there, make sure you choose the best one because a poor SEO campaign can sometimes do a website more harm than good.

Equally important is to improve the website for your visitors and make it pleasing to their eyes and senses. Think how your visitor would think and make adjustments accordingly. Try to fit the most important content in the middle of a page and all the extra stuff in the sidebars. The average visitor will mostly concentrate in the middle and be influenced by the choice of colors, where bright colors for example will drive the most attention.

5. Interact with your visitors. 
A successful website will feel and act like a social person would. Encourage your audience to contribute towards your content with such things as comments, opinion polls and debates. For example, if you display pictures and other artwrork then why not ask your visitors for their opinion and criticism. Be it positive or negative, if the public feels like their input is valued on a website then it will most definitely drive them to return over and over again. Some examples of social interaction on websites are forums and commenting on blog post articles.
successful website news

6. Make frequent updates and follow the news. 
Never stop updating your website! This is a very important point to take note of. The reason why a lot of great projects online never had the chance to blossom is because their creators lost interest or simply got too lazy to make consistent updates. Building a successful website is very much like exercising. If you want to become fit then you need to work out on a periodic basis. The same applies for websites. A site can only grow and become big if their webmaster adds updated content and keeps track of the latest trends. If you want to write about technology and advances in the field then you should monitor the tech news and as soon as a new gadget comes out, be one of the first to write about it on your website. The general online audience will most likely be interested in the new stuff rather than ages old technology such as the first iPod for example :) The more interesting and useful content you add to the website the higher the probability for driving in more traffic.