Having a website has almost become the basic price of doing business today.
Whether you’re selling directly to consumers or from business to business, the chances are that your customers are going to start their “buyer journey” by doing the same thing.
Going to Google.
If you’ve done your SEO work, you’ll be in those all important top spots on search, which means you’ll get people to the site. But the next question becomes - what makes a good website.
In this blog, Six & Flow visual designer Jordan O’Brien, runs through what features you should have to make a good website.
Clear and Intuitive
Your website pages need to have a clear layout and be easy for your user to navigate.
Your content and style should be designed around your brand, but you should consider that people are used to seeing certain things on websites in certain places - like the main navigation across the top for instance.
Don’t try and be too “out there” and remember that your website is built for customers’ ease of use.
As well as making your pages easy to scan, your website’s menu should be simple and clear so people can move around your website easily.
Make it easy for people to get back to your home page, as well as making it easy to navigate to key pages like Contact Us or your blog section. Also, don’t have too many sub-levels in the navigation.
There’s nothing worse as a user getting to a website and not being able to find the thing you want. Or getting lost trying to find useful information because you can’t figure out how to get back to it.
Your content is the most important part of your website.
If nothing else, your page content is what Google uses to judge where you should sit within search. If your content is rubbish, you won’t get to those all important top spots and search and no-one will get to your website in the first place.
Your messaging should be clear and concise (and jargon free) and also make sure to consider your keywords and SEO.
When managing your website’s content, you should definitely consider the CMS you’re using.
We’ve recently done this blog comparing HubSpot CMS and Wordpress.
Strong Optimised imagery
How many websites have you been on that have generic, bland stock imagery?
They don’t look good and reflect badly on the brand.
Try using images of your actual team - show people that there are people behind your website and your company.
Images should be optimised for online so they don’t slow down page load speeds - which can impact usability and search visibility of your site.
An easy way to contact someone
No-one wants to talk to sales anymore - except sometimes they actually do.
For people who are ready to talk to your sales team, you should make it as easy as possible for them to do so.
For those who aren’t quite sales ready yet, consider putting chatbots and forms on your site.
Be clear about what you want your website visitors to do. If you want them to sign up to an event, or download a guide, or subscribe to your blog - tell them.
Strong CTAs will help users understand what you want them to do, and make it easy for them to do it.
You should have multiple CTAs across your site.
Too many sites use CTAs only at the bottom of blogs.
I can’t understate how important it is that you make your website work across every platform your customer might use - desktop, mobile, tablet.
Many people now browse websites on their mobile, and sites which aren’t optimised for it won’t put your business in a good light - and you’ll end up being punished for it.
Make sure you are constantly testing your site across all these platforms as well so you understand any changes you might need to make to improve usability across platforms.
Links from your website to your social pages aren’t compulsory, but they do make it easier for people to view your social media channels if they’ve come to your website first.
Just make sure you also make it easy for people to get back to your website from your social channels as well.
This is the hard bit.
Your website should be easy to navigate, and your pages should have a natural flow to make them easy to use, but after that your website experience needs to stand out from your competitors.
Remember, they all have websites too, so what makes yours better than theirs?
Using multimedia content like videos, animation, illustrations and a good design can make you stand out. Video in particular is still a bit of a novelty on most websites so adding this to your site will help you stand out.
Download our free guide to Growth Driven Design to find out more about how to create an effective, lead generating website - and do it quicker and within budget using the Growth Driven Design model.