There is an unbelievable amount of content produced on the Internet every single day. And in the midst of the sheer volume, it is a challenging task to attract potential users, build a solid audience and perhaps even convert potential customers. Part of the challenge is to produce quality content on a regular basis. But an equally important part of this equation is to optimize the design and infrastructure of your website, such that it can scale even beyond your intended volume of traffic.
Look at it this way: if you have a website with excellent content and your marketing campaign has really taken off well, you can expect a steady stream of traffic coming to your website. But if your website is not ready to handle such a traffic load, it will crash, or slow down, or possibly suffer a host of other problems. At the same time, even if you have great content but the site is not designed well enough to capture the interest and eye of the prospective audience, users will arrive at your site and bounce off almost instantly.
This means that you will need to take good stock your website’s design and infrastructure, so you are ready to scale. Here are some tips:
- Improve User Experience With Responsive Design
Mobile devices generate 40% of all online traffic today. This number is higher for top websites, where mobile devices bring 56% of all traffic. When it comes to searching and finding content online, mobile traffic has already surpassed desktop traffic. Thus, the basic rule-of-thumb for any website today is this: if you are not optimized for mobile users, you are doing it wrong.
You have to make sure that your website is designed with mobile usersind mind, particularly their screen sizes and their browsing trends. For instance, a responsive site design will adjust to various screen sizes without reducing the quality of the displayed text or images.
Similarly, you should optimize your website’s images for reduced file size—these should not take up too much bandwidth, but should still offer decent quality on mobile screens. Finally, mobile users consume smart, comprehensive and visually-rich contentthat comes in bite-sized blocks. Curating your content along these lines will help you win bonus points with the mobile audience.
- Expand Your Network’s Reach with CDN
When receiving a huge volume of user traffic, a website typically has to deal with issues like security, stability, front-end optimization and a plethora of other concerns. If you are doing it on your own, optimizing your website’s infrastructure can take a significant amount of time, moneyand energy.
A good solution is to deploy a content delivery network (CDN), which caches content across a distributed network of servers around the world, thus improving site loading speeds for users regardless of their geographic location. A CDN can improve page loading speeds by 50percent, reduce bandwidth consumption by 70 percent, and can alsoenhance website security and DDoS protection.
- Curate Your Content
Are you running an e-commerce website? Then you probably intend not only to attract users, but also convert these visitors into sales as well. Are you running a news agency? Then you probably want regular subscribers, and you want your users to share stories extensively on social media, as well. If you run a consultancy service, then you want active leads who will convert down the road.
The power of a successful content curation strategyis that it optimizes the conversion path for your customer once he or she reachesyour website. Effective curation involves sharing the right stories, personalizing the content that you feature, and then ensuring that it will convert.
For instance, if you are aiming for sales, your content should come with smartly placed Calls-To-Action (CTAs). These can be stand-out links that ask users to sign up, subscribe, buy now, or ask for a quote, or something to that effect. The key aim here is to capitalize on the user who has actually arrived on your website and not let him or her turn back without hearing you out. Naturally, it entirely depends on how well you present your content and how persuasive your style is.
- Leverage User-Generated Content Through Feedback, Comments, Testimonials
When it comes to finding resources online, users tend to rely more on peer reviews, comments and testimonials than anything else. You can do your website a great favor by leveraging the power of user-generated content, such as comments, testimonials and reviews.
On one hand, this will bring more transparency to your brand: users will know that a site that can take feedback is confident enough of its standing. Secondly, word-of-mouth can bolster your sales, especially if you can convert users into fans and brand advocates. Finally, it will simply be a great way for you to connect with your audience and determine the impact of your content strategy. Consequently, this allows you to become more agile in designing and executing your marketing efforts.
- Ensure Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
High amounts of load and other potential traffic-related issues can crash a website. These include traffic spikes in the event your website trends on social media. Sometimes, it can be due to a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. This calls for a Plan B or backup plan. Such business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) efforts will include having backup infrastructure in place, in case your main web host goes offline. It also involves having regular backups of your data, so you can revert in the event of an outage or data loss.
What’s important here is to establish a short time-to-live, so that there is no lost opportunity from the downtime. In most cases, deploying your website or application on a distributed infrastructure such as a capable cloud services provider backed up with a CDN will ensure that there is no single point of failure.
With the focus on content strategy, social networking and search optimization, website owners today frequently neglect the fact that without good website design and infrastructure, seeking a large audience is not exactly the smartest strategy. You should optimize your site for reliability and user experience before you attempt to scale your audience. It is only then that your traffic can effectively translate into actual customers. The question you should ask yourself is this: What strategies are you employing to improve your website’s or application’s UX and infrastructure?