So I've been giving this a little thought, and I've come up with some common themes between the uber-successful websites that abound in this digital age. Additions are welcome:
- User-Driven Content: Time proclaimed "You" as the person of the year, and they had a good reason for doing it. Not only the social networking sites, but even giants like Google and Yahoo! allow you to customize your place in the internet. A must.
- Functionality: If anyone could do it, they would. Instead, you have to have something going for your site that others do not (currently) have. This could be easy-to-create profiles, search capacities, freebies, information, or anything else useful to the user.
- Style: If your website looks like 1995, you'll probably have about as many users as you did in 1995. Sleek designs which work on all browsers are needed to attract a modern eye, as well as to tell your audience that you are serious about what you do.
- Speech Appeal: What I mean by "speech appeal" is that your site has to be good enough that people will physically talk about it to others, thus spreading the word offline as well as online.
- Freshness: I'm as guilty of this as the next blogger, but if content is stale, then so is your traffic meter. Get something new in there and bring in new traffic because of it.