Today, there are well over 1.1 billion websites globally. That’s around one website for every seven people out there, an astonishing number. However, many of these websites aren’t particularly good. In fact, if you go around and ask people about their experiences online, most of them will tell you that they encounter bad websites regularly.
What makes a good website is not one factor but many, all of which combine to create a positive user experience for anyone who ends up there.
In this article, we will go over some tips that you should pay close attention to if you want users of your website to have a genuinely good experience while surfing it. Let’s get started.
The importance of having a good website
Before we touch upon what makes a good website, let’s briefly discuss the many benefits of having one. It’s widely accepted that, as a business, having a good and functional website is far more important than having an active Facebook or Twitter page. After all, the competition on those social platforms is fierce, and you’re basically just renting a small space from a landlord. On your website, however, you control the experience and own the leads you generate.
Anyway, here are some benefits of having a good website:
Advertising and branding
A website is, at its core, a form of advertisement and branding. It allows you to present your products and services in a clear and detailed way without making any pitch. Users can read at their own pace about what you have to offer. That allows them to make a well-informed decision to become your customers. That takes us to our next point.
Reaching new customers
A good website acts as a means of reaching new customers. This is because it provides prospects with a clear path to find about your company. Moreover, having a good website usually shows a sense of professionalism on your side. That trait is very much appreciated by most users online.
Viable source of data
Having a good website can turn it into a trustworthy data source about your buyers. You can learn so much about their behaviour in ways that allow you to make reasonable decisions in the future. Decisions about content, marketing and more.
Learning about what people do when they are looking for something on your website is priceless information. It’s the sort of information that many companies out there pay for. You, however, through careful tracking and analysis, can get it all for free.
Websites can act as a two-way communication channel. Visitors to your website can give feedback about your products, services, and even the website itself. Most of these people expect you to communicate back, regardless of whether their feedback is positive or negative. This establishes a sense of trust and respect between you and your customers. That not only turns them into loyal ones but can also act as an incentive for them to talk about you to their friends.
So, what makes a good website?
Now that we have touched upon some of the benefits of having a good website in place, here are things that you should keep an eye on to ensure that you have one [a good website] under your belt:
Your website reflects your business, products, services and, most importantly, brand. And what better way to reflect all of those things than a well-designed, visually appealing website.
When designing your website, you have to keep in mind that every design element counts. That includes anything from the fonts you use to the colours. This is perhaps why many people are super appreciative of small businesses with aesthetically pleasing and functional websites.
Speaking of colour, a 2006 study titled “Impact of colour on marketing” found that 90% of first impressions made by online users about products can be based on colour alone. But the psychology doesn’t just stop there, and there are even studies done about the effects of font choice as well.
Another important aspect of web design is imagery, and we are sure that you have encountered so many brands in the past that do it so wrong. For instance, some eCommerce websites have low-quality images of their products, which is nothing short of detrimental to their business. In other words, if your website features products of yours, make sure that the photos:
- Are of high-quality
- Come from different angles
Additionally, any creative (image, video, GIF) on your website should have a purpose. You don’t want to overwhelm your users with unnecessary media that will end up badly affecting your page load speed, an important aspect that we will discuss later on.
Ease of use
No one likes to waste their time and energy to find the information they need on a website. And that is why user experience, also known as UX, is a key factor in keeping people around once they make it to your website. One way of ensuring that it all goes smoothly is by using clear, obvious, and logical navigation.
Users should be able to complete their tasks, whether that is to read a piece of content or to buy a product quickly. However, you don’t want to go too simple because people won’t bother to stick around or come back. Find a middle ground where people would be satisfied with their experience on your website but also intrigued enough to come back.
Fast load speeds
Almost everyone on the internet prefers to have a website that loads quickly. Especially on your mobile phone (see below). The faster it loads, the better off you are as a business. There has been a clear-cut connection between load speeds and bounce rates.
A 2018 study published on Pingdom found that the average bounce rate of pages that load in 2 seconds is a mere 9%. However, the moment the page load time rises, a drastically higher bounce rate comes along. For example, a 6 seconds page load time has a whopping bounce rate average of 46%. That’s five out of every ten people leaving the website without even bothering to see what it has to offer.
So, how can you ensure a fast loading site? Well, we recommend that you give Pingdom a try. They can perform a page speed test on your website and provide you with a report about everything that is wrong with your website with clear suggestions on how to improve it.
In the fourth quarter of 2021, 54.4% of global website traffic came from mobile devices (excluding tablets), that’s more than half of all web traffic. If that number doesn’t convince you of the importance of a responsive mobile experience, we don’t know what will.
At the end of the day, it’s the user who rules. After all, the money from their wallets is what keeps your business afloat. There is also Google, which happens to care a lot about mobile-friendliness to the point where they release a whole update that prioritises determining which sites are mobile-friendly and which aren’t.
Most visitors to your website will have short attention spans. That’s why you will need to do your best to be interesting, relevant and also to the point.
A good website should have a blog section that would act as your medium to share new and interesting content with your visitors, regardless of whether they are customers or not.
Furthermore, relevant and interesting content does help significantly with search engine optimisation (SEO). It’s true that this requires a lot of time and energy but believe us, it’s totally worth it.
Search engine optimisation
Yes, you can have the prettiest and fastest website out there, but it will all be useless if you are not getting enough traffic. For that reason alone, you should pay close attention to the SEO state of your website. Here are a few important things to get out of the way:
- Include appropriate titles and meta tags on every page, as well as alt tags on every image you upload
- Use the appropriate keywords in your content
- Keep the HTML code of your site clutter-free
- Use functional links
- Optimise your content in a way that aligns with what people search for
We’ve saved these for last because although they’re not necessary to have for your website to be considered good, they do have a lot of added value.
If you have a lot of business and transactions taking place on your website, we highly recommend that you use a Live Chat feature. Its most straightforward use is providing users with quality customer service in case they have an enquiry about your company or product.
Some of the most popular Live Chat software will even notify you of a user’s arrival on your website well before they start a conversation. That gives you the upper hand in some way.
Social media stream
Present your brand this complete persona by integrating your most recent social media activity directly on your website. This encourages users to interact with you more on other platforms for one and is just an easy way of adding more rich content for two.
You should also include social sharing buttons that allow users to quickly share pages of your website to other social media platforms.
Having a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section on your website is very important. That’s because it allows you to answer all the open questions about your brand. That, in turn, helps to solidify your presence and reliability in the market. It is also great to have for SEO.
Let us make your website good
If you’re a business owner, chances are you don’t have the time to take care of website design management yourself. If that’s the case, contact us today, and we’ll help you get the most out of your web property.