A website needs to be responsive on all devices, which means it has to look good and be easy to navigate on mobile phones, iPads, tablets and monitors of all screen dimensions. The website has to function and look appealing on the different browsers, such as Google, Bing and Safari.
We all have shorter attention spans and high levels of impatience with technology. A good website is logical to navigate and users should be able to find the information they need quickly and easily. If a website is confusing and doesn’t give relevant information according to the search term used immediately, the bounce rate is going to be high.
A minimalist approach improves usability with simple dropdown menus and identifiable call to action buttons.
Search Engine Optimised
There is no point in having a fancy website if it disappears to the back pages of a browser. To help customers see a website containing information on the services and products they are looking for, it needs to appear near the top of page one on a search engine. For this to work, a site needs to be search engine optimised known as SEO.
To do this, keyword research needs to be conducted to identify the search terms people use particular to your niche industry. The content should be enriched with the keywords throughout the site. This will help a search engine like Google identify what the website is about and index it properly.
Adding Yoast SEO to your website adds an on-page SEO plugin that lists what needs to be done to optimise the page to the keyword.
Backlinking is another way to give a site some authority with search engines. If another well-regarded site is linking to the content of your website, search engines pay attention and rank your site higher up the search page.
We trust a business who has a well-designed website over a business whose site looks like a dog’s breakfast. A nicely designed and maintained site reflects the business must be better, well organised and trustworthy.
Apart from being aesthetically pleasing, the design needs to be appropriate for the service. The branding, colours, fonts, imagery and other design elements must be applicable to the business or organisation. These elements need to reflect the ethos and tone of the organisation while appealing to the end-user, catering for their experience to make it as pleasant as possible.
We are all used to expensive advertising in glossy magazines and well-shot advertising on TV and the internet. So, it makes sense to make a website visually appealing. If a website is selling a product, it is more likely to clock up sales if there is professional product photography. It is the same if a website is selling a holiday or an event such as a wedding, the photography has to be professional and atmospheric.
A design that keeps users on a site for longer is key. The longer a user is engaged with a site the more likely it is that they will convert into a paying customer or a future client. It is the same for a service provider.
It is important that the content of a site is applicable and authentic and solves problems for your audience.
The content strategy, which should be well planned and researched, is the organisation of information and the tone of the wording. It must convey your message clearly and without jargon. Avoid a content-heavy home page and landing pages and opt for high-quality images with less text to convey the message more clearly. Images are great explainers and help the user visualise your message.
The back pages can contain more comprehensive content in the form of blog posts, product pages, white papers, case studies and downloadable PDFs. If you don’t have the time or inclination to write your own content you can hire a professional who knows how to write for business and for the internet.
As the website represents you and your company, or your organisation, when you can’t be there in person; it must be well maintained, presentable and up to date. A well functioning website has a maintenance package that updates all the back end features regularly so it remains virus protected and fast loading.
Making sure a site is fast loading is very important as around 80% of online shoppers will abandon a website if it is too slow.
Your website is essentially your calling card. Keeping it up to date and looking modern engenders trust in you and your business.
There are many elements that make up a good website and each one needs careful consideration for success online. Building traffic to your site will increase results and build authority with Google and other search engines.