In the digital age, your website is often the first encounter people have with your brand, and as a whole, a good representation of your online identity, therefore you need to ensure that your web design is reflecting your business in the right way.
We have complied 10 aspects we think are important when asking yourself what makes a good website, to help guide you on the right path towards effective web design.
1. Responsive Design
The concept of responsive web design comes from an interesting hypothesis proposed by Ethan Marcotte, who argued that a website should ‘replicate responsive architecture’. This is when a room or space automatically adjusts to the number and flow of people in it, such as lowering the temperature when there is a large group of people in the room.
Thinking about this in terms of web design, it proposes the question of why should we create a custom design for each group of users, as architects don’t redesign a building every time a new group of people enter it. The one web design we have should be able to adapt and adjust to the needs of every customer. Take Marcotte’s example:
So let’s put this into perspective, to ensure you have responsive web design:
- Ensure that your website is able to adapt to different devices, from desktop to mobile.
- Make sure your website can run easily and loads quickly across device capabilities, not just new ones.
- Create the layout to be flexible and able to easily adapt to fit the needs of different customers based on their settings
- Include accessible aspects across the site for those who require additional assistance, such as closed captions for videos and alt text on photos.
So, responsive design is not just about aesthetics; it’s about ensuring that your website functions effectively and provides a positive experience for all users, regardless of any limitations. It’s a critical component of modern web development that impacts every aspect of your website and ultimately contributes to the success of your online presence.
2. Easy Navigation
Your website should offer a seamless and enjoyable experience for visitors, and so one of the fundamental aspects of creating a user-friendly website is easy navigation. It should guide your audience through your website and ultimately help them long the buyer journey.
One of the main reasons for a website’s high bounce rate is if the pathway is unclear or aspects of navigation aren’t functional, which leaves customers confused and frustrated, and thus more likely to leave the site.
Also, having a well designed website and navigation is a major ‘make or break’ for many online customers. Imagine walking into a cluttered, disorganized shop where you can’t find what you’re looking for. It’s frustrating, right? The same applies to your website.
If visitors can’t quickly locate the information they need or the products they want, they’re likely to leave within seconds. Easy navigation ensures your website makes a positive first impression, drawing visitors in rather than driving them away.
Take a look at different examples of easy navigation taken from our website’s homepage:
3. User Centred Content
User-centered content, at its core, is about crafting digital experiences that revolve around the needs, preferences, and behaviors of your target audience. It’s is crucial to put yourself in your users’ shoes and listen to their concerns, so you can ultimately deliver content that addresses those concerns effectively.
Creating user-centred content ensures that you are putting your customers first, and tailoring your content towards their needs, wants and interests, which in turn builds trust and credibility around your brand and enhances the customer experience.
Here are 5 ways to ensure you are creating user-centred content:
1. Know your audience – Invest time in understanding your target audience’s demographics, preferences, pain points, and goals. Conduct user surveys, analyse data, and create buyer personas to guide your content strategy.
2. Address their problems – Identify the problems your audience faces and provide solutions through your content. Address common questions, concerns, or challenges in your industry.
3. Use empathetic language: Speak the language of your audience. Use relatable and empathetic language that connects with their emotions and needs.
4. Implement user-friendly design – Combine user-centered content with a user-friendly website design. Make sure the content on your website is easy to read, mobile-responsive, and visually appealing.
5. Take on Feedback – Encourage user feedback and actively listen to it. Use feedback to improve your content and user experience continuously.
4. Strong Call-to-actions (CTAs)
CTAs are essential for guiding user behavior, increasing conversions, and achieving specific business goals. Without clear and well-placed CTAs, visitors may navigate your website aimlessly, potentially missing out on valuable opportunities for engagement, lead generation, and sales.
CTAs invite your website visitors to explore, guiding them to the content or actions you want them to take. Whether it’s signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase, or contacting you for more information, CTAs provide clear directions, ensuring your visitors find what they’re looking for. In a similar vein, CTAs can guide customers towards purchasing, and therefore boost your conversion rates.
They can also serve as data collection tools. When users interact with your CTAs – be it by subscribing to your newsletter or signing up for an account – you gain valuable insights about your audience. This data can be used to personalize content, target your marketing efforts, and build stronger relationships with your customers.
CTAs come in a variety of different forms, all with different overall aims of user interaction. Check them out here:
The choice of CTA form depends on your website’s objectives, your target audience, and the specific context in which you want to prompt user actions. Effective CTAs are designed to be eye-catching and aligned with your overall business objectives, in order to direct visitors toward meaningful actions and helping you achieve your online goals.
5. High Quality Images
High-quality images are essential for creating a positive user experience, building trust, conveying information effectively, and enhancing your website’s overall performance and reputation. They play a significant role in influencing visitor behavior and can contribute to the success of your online presence.
A way to understand the quality of your images is by finding out their DPI. DPI is an acronym for Dots Per Inch, which is referring to the number of ink droplets a printer produces per inch when printing an image. The more dots per inch the picture has, the more detail you will see when its printed.
Photographers and graphic designers typically use 300 DPI as a benchmark for printing high-quality images.
PPI stands for Pixels per Inch, which refers to the number of pixsels that make up every inch of a digital image, and describes the image resolution on a screen instead of print.
You can find out how to find the PPI of your image here.
Reasons to ensure you have high-quality images:
- Brand Reputation – High-quality images reflect positively on your brand’s reputation. They convey a sense of quality and credibility, which can influence how visitors perceive your products, services, or content. If your product or brand photos are poor quality, this will reflect poorly across your whole business.
- Accessibility – High-quality images are more accessible to all users, including those with visual impairments who may be using screen readers. Alt text and other accessibility features are more effective when the underlying images are of high quality.
- Trust and Conversion – Trust is a critical factor in online transactions. High-quality images can build trust with your audience and increase the likelihood of conversion, whether that means making a purchase, filling out a contact form, or subscribing to your newsletter.
- Social Sharing – If your website content is shareable on social media, high-quality images can significantly boost your social sharing potential. Visually appealing images are more likely to be shared, increasing your content’s reach and visibility.
- User experience – High-quality images enhance the overall user experience. They make your website visually appealing and engaging, which encourages visitors to stay longer and explore your content. This can lead to increased user satisfaction and reduced bounce rates.
In summary, high-quality images play a crucial role in creating a positive online experience for your visitors and contribute to the overall success of your website.
6. Easy Access to Business Information
Having comprehensive and easily accessible business information on your website is a crucial aspect, but it is something that many business owners neglect in their website design strategy. Easy access to business information can be presented in a variety of different forms, such as in the headers, footers, pop-ups and perhaps most importantly, the ‘About us’ page.
Here are a few reasons to ensure your website provides easy access to your business information:
- Contact Accessibility – Displaying your contact information, including email addresses, phone numbers, and physical addresses, makes it easy for customers and prospects to reach out to you. This accessibility can be a key driver for inquiries, customer support, and sales leads.
- Transparency and Trust: Providing comprehensive business information, such as your company’s history, mission, and values, instills transparency. This transparency, in turn, fosters trust among your website visitors and potential customers. When people know who you are and what you stand for, they are more likely to feel comfortable doing business with you.
- Credibility and Professionalism: A website with detailed business information conveys professionalism and credibility. It signals to visitors that your business is well-established and legitimate. In contrast, a lack of business information may raise doubts and skepticism.
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): Search engines reward websites with clear, relevant, and accurate business information. Properly structured and up-to-date business details can improve your website’s SEO, leading to better visibility in search engine results and increased organic traffic.
7. Search Engine Optimised
In today’s digital age, a website is a gateway to reaching a global audience, building brand authority, and achieving your overall business goals. But what good is a website if it remains hidden in the depths of the internet? This is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in.
Search Engine Optimization is a set of practices, strategies, and techniques designed to improve a website’s visibility on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. The primary goal of SEO is to increase a website’s organic (non-paid) search engine rankings, making it more likely to appear near the top of search results when users enter relevant queries or keywords.
In order to stay competitive online, your website needs to be able to outrank and stand out from your competitors, in order to successfully reach your target audience and capture a larger share of your market.
However, SEO is a long and ongoing process which needs to continually be worked on and revised in order to keep your website high up in the search engine ranks. In addition to this, SEO is also not a quick-fix solution and it can take time to see any results, but don’t be put off, be patient and you will see the rewards!
To help you get started, we’ve prepared a free 6 step SEO guide!
8. Mobile and Tablet Friendly
What is a mobile friendly website?
A mobile friendly website is a site that is designed to display correctly on smaller screens, such as mobile phones or tablets. Traditional websites do not render properly on mobile or tablets and can often mean that sections of your page will get cut off, display out of order or simple be unusable. In the modern day it is no longer safe to assume that your customers will be visiting your website on a desktop or laptop, so it is crucial to make your website mobile friendly.
Why is it important?
Simply put, a large proportion of your customers will use a mobile device to access your website, and it is important to ensure that these visitors have as positive of an experience as your desktop visitors do. If a website is not mobile friendly and takes too long to load, your customers may move along to one of your competitors’ websites – meaning that not having a mobile friendly website could lose you customers.
Alongside this, not having a mobile optimised website can decrease your search visibility and make it harder for customers to find you. Back in 2015, Google gave preference in terms of ranking to mobile optimised sites, which meant even if only a small percentage of your visitors are on mobile devices, having a non-mobile and tablet friendly website would significantly affect your online visibility.
You can self-check if your website is mobile friendly by seeing how it scales to display its content on smaller screens, by checking it on a mobile device or simply resizing your window. However, Google also offers a helpful tool in Google Search Console to make this process easy.
9. Fast Page Speed
When it comes to page speed, every second counts, literally.
Research shows that around 79% of online shoppers are less likely to return if they experience a slow loading website and that bounce rate increases by 32% when a load time page increased from 1 to 3 seconds. It may sound trivial but loading speed plays a crucial role in determining the quality of your customer’s experience on your website and can be the difference between a view and a conversion.
Alongside customer experience, Google takes into account your page speed and bounce rate when it comes to pushing your page further up the search engine rankings, meaning that all the work you have done to optimise your website’s SEO could be wasted if you aren’t monitoring your page speed. Luckily, Google offers a speed checker to see how your website is performing.
To avoid that, here are some tips to optimise your page speed:
- Compress your images – Sites such as TinyPNG and Optimizilla allow you to compress the file size of your image to help with your site speed without compromising the image quality.
- Minify your code – This reduces the amount of data that needs to be transferred when sending web files over to the browser, and can help speed up your page load time.
- Enable browser caching – This provides visitors with an opportunity to store certain resources locally, making it quick and easy to access data from their computers.
10. Trust Signals
Trust signals are key indicators to your customers that your website is trustworthy and secure, to put their mind at ease when interacting with your brand. Trust signals can encourage how your potential customers think of your brand and its integrity as a whole, so it is crucial to include these aspects on your website.
There are two main types of trust signals when it comes to a good website:
For reliability, customers must be able to trust your brand to want to purchase from it, and a key way of building this trust is by letting them get to know your brand. This can be achieved through About us pages, author bios on articles, and easy access to contact and support information. These features on a website allows you and your customers to connect on a more personal level and makes interactions between the two feel more comfortable.
Security is all about the safety of your website for your customers. This is much more technical and to do with the protection your website has against possible threats like cyber attacks and leaking of personal information. Regularly performing website audits is crucial in ensuring the security of your website; these include running security scans, validating the SSL certificate and keeping your software and extensions up to date.
You can check your website’s SSL status here.
Having an effective website is crucial for businesses to succeed in the modern day, and it is something every business should consider, regardless of experience or industry. As we’ve explored the elements that make a website effective, it’s clear that web design isn’t one-size-fits-all. Instead, your website should be a harmonious blend of several key factors that shape a memorable online presence.
These have been our top 10 aspects of what makes a good website and we hope you have found them helpful!
Let us know in the comments which of these tips you’ll be implementing into your web design strategy and tell us your number 1 tip to help each other out!
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Digital Marketing Assistant
Olivia started her digital marketing journey with her own small business back in 2021. Since then, she has graduated with a Master’s Degree in Digital Marketing Management and has continued to grow her skillset working for Converrt. Her main interests are content creation and web design, as she feels this is where she can best exercise her abilities and creativity.