A lot of different factors go into creating a successful website. The design and user experience are important — you want people to enjoy using it. The technical specifications matter, too, as they determine how well your website loads and displays. The actual content of the site, though, may be the most crucial. If there’s nothing useful on the site, people won’t bother visiting.
That’s where resources come in. These resources can come in many forms. You could upload do-it-yourself guides that show someone how to complete various projects on their own. You could conduct research and post the results of your studies and surveys online to provide people with new information and unique insights.
You could also provide templates so people can make their own assorted creations based on your outlines. You’re not limited to just those few ideas, either. Your resources could be practically anything that provides something of value to the people that access them.
Whichever kinds of resources you put on your website, they’ll make it much more useful to those who visit it and can benefit your website in other ways, too.
The resources on your site could help people find you on search engines, especially if they’re designed with search engine optimization, or SEO, in mind. If you include popular keywords on your resource webpages, when people Google those keywords, your site may come up in the results.
For example, the magazine Popular Mechanics’ website includes a DIY section with instructions on various woodworking and car projects. If somebody searches ‘how to build a treehouse,’ they may come across the Popular Mechanics. They’ll then become familiar with the brand and may eventually subscribe to the magazine.
The more useful your webpage is, the more likely other sites will be to link to it. When reputable sites link to your website, your search engine ranking improves. People may come to your site directly through a link on another site.
Microsoft posts research about various topics, mostly involving technology, on their website. Someone writing a blog post about artificial intelligence, for instance, might link to one of their studies, which will help bring more visitors to Microsoft’s site.
The resources on your site help make it more valuable to visitors. The more useful someone finds your website, the more likely they are to visit it. As your site gains a reputation for being useful, more and more people will visit it.
As this article already mentioned, your site’s resources can help people find your site through search engines and links on other webpages. People may also share your resources on social media, which could drive traffic to your site.
Not only will your resources drive more visitors to your website, they also make those visitors more likely to return. If you provide them with something of value, they may want to return to reference it again.
If you update your resources or add more frequently, this can increase the likelihood of visitors returning as well since they might want to come back and check for new guides, studies or whatever else you provide. Updating your webpages frequently also improves your search engine rankings.
Traffic is great, but if you’re a business trying to increase your client base, you want those visitors to convert in some way. Luckily, resources can increase conversion rates, too, which is the percentage of visitors who take an action that completes a marketing goal such as making a purchase or signing up for an email list.
The resources you post may help educate your visitors about why they should make a purchase from your company or make it easier for them to become a customer. For example, Playworld has reports on their site about the benefits of play for children.
Reading those studies may help convince someone to build a playground. They also have tools to help you create models of your ideas for playgrounds and present them to others.
The resources on your site can help your website and business in less direct ways. Resources can improve your reputation, establish you as an expert in your field and help you develop relationships with customers.
When you consistently provide people with valuable resources, they’ll begin to see your site, as well as the company or person running it, as a valuable resource. If you share insights and information about your industry, you’ll gain a reputation as an expert in your field.
This will improve people’s perception of you. They’ll see you as competent, so, if they want to get information about your industry or purchase a product or service related to your industry, they’re likely to come to your website instead of a competitor’s.
The resources you post on your website are not only useful to the people who access them. They can also benefit your website and you and your company. Having useful resources on your site will encourage more people to visit it, become regular visitors and become customers, members, subscribers or whatever your goal is. The resources may be the most important part of your website, for both obvious and less apparent reasons.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.