Have you ever landed on a website and become immediately immersed in the content? It was easy to find what you were looking for, and it felt like all the information you needed was conveniently and attractively displayed for your viewing.
There’s no denying the power that good website design has on a business. In this digital age, it can be the deciding factor of a person choosing your products or services over another. In just the same way that a professional-looking logo speaks volumes about the brand behind it, a professional-looking website gives potential customers a peek into what their experiences with your company will be like.
Sleek design and great flow? These convey smooth and efficient service. On the reverse, a website that was just thrown together for the sake of having one may come off as rushed, disorganized, and chaotic. That’s not the kind of impression any business wants to give.
So what exactly makes a good website? Well, for starters, it needs to be both informative and engaging, while being functional and easy to navigate. In other words, it requires more effort than you may have originally thought.
If the entire process seems a little overwhelming, don’t worry, you’re not alone. There’s a reason job opportunities in web development are growing at a faster than average rate — projected as 13% in the next 10 years in the US.
To help you understand the most important elements of web design, in this post, we’ll walk you through the top 7 defining factors that distinguish a good website from one that visitors click away from in a matter of seconds.
Things a Good Website Needs to Have
1. Attractive Aesthetics
As soon as a visitor lands on your site, they immediately start making assumptions. It’s just a part of human nature and can be compared to the same process each of us goes through when meeting someone face-to-face. Think of a poorly designed website the same way you would wrinkled clothing and a disheveled appearance. It just doesn’t look professional.
Now, there are a few things that go into the positive first impression people get from how your website looks. Those include colour, font, media, and layout. Go ahead and visit any business’ homepage. What’s the initial feeling it gives you? Do its fonts work well with each other? Are the colours complementary? Does it have video clips that are cohesive with its overarching theme?
Now scroll down the page. Can you easily understand what this company does based on the information it provides? These are all things that draw visitors to a website. The more attractive your information is displayed, the more likely people are to take the time to read it.
Considered a non-negotiable in marketing, having an engaging website is key to attracting and landing new customers. A successfully engaging web page combines a mix of looks, flow, and quality content, and achieving this perfect balance is critical in the process of building your brand.
The purpose of creating a website for your company is to create more business, and the easier you make it for visitors to understand who you are, what you offer, and how to access your products or services, the greater your chance is of doing that.
3. Simple Layout
If you’re thinking that a good-looking and engaging website means it needs to have a million different bells and whistles, it’s actually quite the opposite. You want to have all of the must-haves (call-to-action buttons, great content, reviews, services, etc.), but you don’t want to overwhelm your visitors.
For example, having 10 video customer testimonials may be overkill, especially if they’re placed one after the other with contact buttons placed in between. It’s one thing to appear hungry for business and another to come off as desperate.
Knowing how and where to place your information on your website is key to having a great flow and giving your visitors everything they’re looking for without going overboard.
4. Clear Purpose
One of the best reasons to get a website is to help potential customers understand who you are, what you do, and why you’re the best at doing it. While you’re getting busy creating a simple layout and making your website engaging, it’s important to establish the purpose of your website and what customers should do while there.
If the purpose of your website is to tell visitors about your expertise and inform them about your services, then it’s important that you show them your credentials, showcase previous work, and provide customer testimonials.
If your website is there to help you sell handmade goods, then you may want to include an “About Me” section, include your background and training, show examples of your past works, and list locations where people can find your items.
5. Quality Content
The content on your website needs to be easy to understand and contain important information. If it’s on your homepage, it also needs to be concise but not too concise. Creating quality content is a subtle art form and when you include it on your website, you want to make sure it’s found in all the right places.
When visitors land on your site, right away, it needs to tell them what you do and how you do it. A simple, informative summary included within a single scroll is ideal. It isn’t hard to look for, it’s easy to read, and if someone needs more information, it’s very close by — i.e., in the form of a short video that goes into more depth about the services you offer.
6. Convenient CTAs
CTAs, or Call To Actions, are the buttons your visitors will click to engage with your business. These can be phone contact buttons, contact forms, prompts to subscribe to your mailing list, or an option to get a quote.
There is an art to placing CTAs around your web page, but the key is to always make them accessible. You want to make it easy for your visitors to get in touch, request more information, or view additional content. Placing your contact information in one area only isn’t detrimental to getting business, but making it readily accessible (ie. in a static header) is more convenient for your visitors who may at any time make the decision they want to use your services.
Considering that 46% of Americans spend between 5-6 hours on their mobile phones each day, making your site mobile-friendly is critical.
Though laptops and desktop computers are heavily used within the workplace, people tend to do personal tasks more so on their phones — for example, looking up the name of a business to use for their next project while they eat a burrito in the lunchroom.
Having a webpage that looks just as great and is as easy to read on a mobile device as it does on a computer screen goes a long way for those looking into services on the fly. Clicking onto a website that doesn’t translate well to mobile often means clicking off of it very quickly and finding one that does.
Whatever kind of business you have, a good website is key to attracting customers. By creating a site that’s engaging, informative, and easy to navigate, you are encouraging visitors to get to know you and what you do, while making it easy for them to contact you when they’re ready. Don’t know where to start? Contact us today!