A good website is all about centering your customer’s experience. Do they find it easy to navigate and can they find what they need? How are you delivering that type of valuable experience to them? The 11 elements of a good website described below can help ensure your site offers visitors what they need — which, in turn, can convert them into loyal customers.
Check your site against these 11 benchmarks to evaluate its effectiveness.
For site visitors, the menu serves as an anchor, a “north star” they can head to when they need to find the right information. Prioritizing organized site navigation in your menu goes a long way to ensure that visitors can easily find what they need. Group your content in a way that feels intuitive to your visitors, and clearly label each page so visitors know what to expect when they click.
Get visitors to the content they need faster. A search bar on your site can instantly pull up any content containing the keyword or search phrase your visitors type in. This way, they can find the information they need in seconds and don’t need to go out of their way to find what they’re looking for.
The homepage of your site is the first impression of your company for many visitors. Put your best foot forward with a homepage that presents information section by section, with each area clearly labeled and described so visitors know what to expect. You can distinguish between topics with design, visuals, and content. Some of the core elements your homepage should feature include:
1. An “elevator pitch” about your company
2. Key information about your business
3. Testimonials called social proof (more on that later)
4. Trust logos, such as awards won and associations you belong to
Visitors come to your site in search of information — make sure you tell them what you want them to know! Include any details they need to make an informed decision about your business. It’s a good idea to stick to one idea on each page, so visitors aren’t overwhelmed with too much information about you at once.
That being said, there are some pages that visitors come to expect on any website. An About Page that talks about your company and a Services page that lists what you offer are standard and should appear on your site alongside other content you believe important to include.
It’s not just what you say, but how it’s displayed, that makes a huge difference on your website. Avoid large blocks of text in exchange for bite-sized, easily digestible information that encourages readers to keep scrolling down the page. You can make use of short paragraphs and bullet points to help improve readability. You may also want to consider accessibility tools that help those with disabilities better interact with your site by changing colors, text size, or reading what’s on the screen aloud.
Design makes a difference here, too. Make sure you choose a legible font and colors which make the text easy to read. Avoid colors that are too close together or colors that clash, which can make it difficult for visitors to digest.
Social proof comes in the form of testimonials, recommendations, or reviews left on social media and other platforms, like Google Business Profile. More than 9 out of 10 shoppers read reviews before making a purchase, and 84% of customers read online reviews before buying anything.
An absence of social proof could be a red flag to customers who are used to reading reviews before making a decision. Encourage current clients and customers to leave some feedback for you, and use this as part of your website content to signal trust between your company and potential new customers.
A call to action instructs your visitors to do something before they leave your website. This could be “add to cart” if you sell products, “contact us” to collect leads, or “register now” if you’re promoting a webinar or event. Calls to action should be prominent and ultra-clear — leave no ambiguity here.
Showcase your company’s address, email address, and phone number in an intuitive place on your website, such as the footer, your contact page, or both. Include accurate social media handles as well so visitors can interact with you online.
A mobile-friendly design is a must: Around 3.7 billion people primarily access the internet from their smartphones. Build your site to cater to these customers first. A mobile-friendly design ensures that all the elements on your site fit the smaller smartphone screen, so that nothing gets cut off and links and buttons are still clickable.
The content management system (CMS) you use is essential for making important site updates, adding new content, and tweaking the design. The easier it is to make changes, the faster you’ll be able to introduce new content to your audience. Look for a smooth and streamlined CMS that takes the guesswork out of changing photos or adding new services.
Keeping an eye on your site performance metrics can help you understand if your website serves your audience well. Metrics like bounce rate and session duration shed light onto the areas of your site that need a little more love. There are many free tools available to track these data points, including the Google suite website traffic monitoring tools.
While putting together a good website, remember these four elements that can anchor a great customer experience.
Do you want to provide information, deliver the latest news, or convince visitors to become paying customers? Knowing your goals shapes how your site is designed, how the content is written, and which calls to action you place throughout.
Your brand touches every aspect of your business, including your website. Be sure to use your brand’s logo, colors, font, and voice throughout your site. This helps present a united front and makes your company more memorable.
Good website content is accurate and engaging. It tells a story while delivering key information your visitors need to know about you. Ensure what you write is understandable, free of industry jargon, and easy for others to digest.
Try out some marketing strategies that align with your goals. Your website plays a significant role in collecting emails for email marketing, as a landing page for digital ads and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, and more. Make sure you implement tools that help you achieve those marketing strategies and get you closer to your goals.
An underperforming website is one that doesn’t deliver on your visitor’s needs. This can take a few forms related to site performance, design, and creative elements. Some factors that contribute to an underperforming website include:
1. Little to no content
2. Content written for search engines and not for people
4. A website that doesn’t work on mobile devices
5. Broken links or malfunctioning elements
6. No calls to action
7. An old design
While your website is filled with lots of good information, your homepage is your showcase. That’s because the homepage is a digital welcome mat, introducing your company to curious searchers looking for a product or service you offer. Include essential details about who you are and what makes you different, and organize this information in a way that’s easy to scroll through, enticing visitors to click through and keep reading.
Your homepage is far from the only important page on your site, however. Your About Page, Contact Page, and Blog are vital for converting visitors into customers. Landing pages are necessary as well, as each one is built to convert a certain customer type.
There are multiple elements of a good website to keep top of mind while creating your digital home. While each covers a distinctly different part of your site, they all come together for a customer experience that’s seamless, fluid, and enjoyable. And with Namecheap Site Maker, you can put a good website together yourself with intuitive tools for page creation and an easy-to-use CMS for adding new content. Get started today with a 14-day trial!