Are You Fitting In? Or Standing Out?
With over 180 million websites live on the internet today, how can you build an informational website that really stands out?
How do you build a website that people will remember, come back to and pass on to their friends?
Many website owners mistakenly set out to only compete with other beginning sites and as a result set their sights low and miss out on many chances to get off to a fast start.
Creating a stand-out informational website requires creating something that’s top notch in several different respects:
==> Information Quality
Naturally, the most important part of an informational site is the information itself. If you have good information, you can get a lot of other things wrong and still be successful.
The quality of your information needs to be top notch. You need to have well researched, high quality info that isn’t anywhere else on the web.
Try to provide information that’s truly original, not just different ways of phrasing the same things that are already said on other sites.
Design plays a big role in the overall user experience. In fact, not only does it impact the user experience, but it now also impacts SEO. Cookie-cutter sites just won’t cut it today.
If you’re not a professional designer, consider hiring one to do your site. It’s much more expensive than doing it yourself, but it really makes a difference.
At the bare minimum start with a unique, somewhat original theme or child theme for your site. The goal is to have lots of functionality without your site looking like your neighbors.
Try to create a design that’ll really engender a brand. Make sure your logo and your color scheme match the overall feel you want for the site.
Every site has a personality. Groupon has a very hip, almost wisecrack kind of personality. AskMen has a very classy men’s help kind of vibe. WebMD has a very hospital-like personality.
The best websites on the net all have some sort of personality. People perceive these personalities subconsciously and either like them or dislike them.
Think of your brand and/or site as a person. What kind of person is your brand? What is their personality? Are they hip? edgy? trustworthy? dependable? smart aleck? sassy? sexy? timely? or casual?
If you’re not deliberately managing your website’s personality, people will just form their own opinions. It’s much better to put some conscious effort into designing this personality.
There’s something to be said about websites that have been around for a long time.
People tend to trust established brands. Sites like About.com, Mayo Clinic, TechCrunch, etc. have a lot going for them. However, one of the biggest things that sets them apart is that they’ve been around for a while.
Almost every website owner can tell you how different the community and experience feels at 2 years compared to the end of their first year. The same goes for years three, four, and five. You really do have to put in your dues with this one.
How can you apply this principle to a new site? Think in terms of years rather than months when you start your site. Webmasters who start websites trying to make money in a couple of months are often disappointed.
If you want to create an informational website that stands out, aim to make something that’ll stand the test of time.
==> Business Execution
Finally, a website needs sound business execution if it’s going to succeed. You need good SEO, you need a good CMS, you need a good support desk, you need to be able to co-ordinate outsourcers, you need a good sales funnel, you need strong advertising deals, etc.
Pay attention not to gloss over this one just because it’s fifth on the list. Without THIS one you won’t make any money!
These are all important things that help a website stand out. Don’t aim to create mediocre websites – instead, aim to create informational websites that will truly stand out.
Have a look at what the true top sites in your niche are doing and displaying. Study how they present professionalism while serving the needs of their readers. Note how trust worthy they feel (“Would you trust them with your credit card” is a important SEO question today!) These will give you ideas to bring back and apply to your own site in your own unique way!
Aim to Stand Out!