For many businesses, your website is the “Front Office” of your business, and you have to ensure it communicates what you want your walk-ins to see whenever they come into your “office”. One advantage of a website is that it’s easier (and cheaper) to make a great impression than a physical office. Please note that your website is for your clients, and not for you. Your personal preferences do not matter as much as what will serve your customers best and bring the best results.
Let see what makes an excellent website.
What do you want to achieve with your website? What does success look like when a customer interacts with your customer? Some website purposes include: getting leads, increasing sign-ups for your newsletters, selling goods and services online, creating awareness on an issue or for your products, providing support, keeping your customers updated, etc. Always have a clear call to action that you want your website visitor to take according to your goals.
Website content includes text, images, and videos, all of which together make an excellent combination for a better user experience. Keep your content fresh and ensure it is quality, easy to read, and relevant. Avoid jargon. Using blogs for updating your website with fresh content, at least one new article per week would be a great way to keep your visitors coming back.
Good use of color and typography
Have plenty of white space for a clean look, and also to enhance readability. Avoid dark backgrounds for better clarity. Most readers skim through, so it would help if your fonts are large and paragraphs shorter.
A slow-loading website is a turn-off for many users. Keep testing your website for speed and do whatever you can to make it load faster. Use tools like https://website.grader.com/, which will give you pointers on how to speed up your website and improve overall performance.
Avoid too much information and links within each page. Let each web page have one main idea and only draw the reader’s attention to other similar content within your website through internal links. Keep the distractions to a minimum, by not having a lot of flashy features that can cause your website to load slower and confuse the website visitor.
Usually, every website has a menu at the top of each web page within the website. This serves to navigate your website visitor to all the pages within the website. Your navigation should be easy to follow through the use of menus and submenus. If you have too many pages to link on the main menu, create category pages that have links to other related pages within your website.
A good site structure is useful to both the reader and online bots, which helps in ensuring your website is well optimized for search. A good practice is to plan your structure offline, if possible on a piece of paper, using a flowchart. Then proceed to design menus, category pages, and landing pages which reflect your flow chart.
Always maintain best practices in website design, according to what is current in the marketplace. Just like any other technology, website designs are dynamic, and what is relevant today will be outdated in 3 years’ time. Study other popular websites in your industry and note down the key features. Try to get customer feedback about your website and make any necessary upgrades. This does not mean that you overhaul your website too often. Your branding needs to remain constant. I have noticed that huge brands maintain the general look and feel of their websites, even after making major upgrades. Don’t confuse your customers.
Always start with a clear plan for your website before you begin. Your plan should highlight the following:
- Purpose of your website – which problem are your solving
- Who is your intended audience – location, age group, profession, and what are their values in relation to your service or product
- Branding – what is your color scheme? Which colors should stand out.
- Type of content (images, text, videos)
- Which features must the website have in order to meet the needs of your website visitors and achieve your website goals – such as sign up forms, booking calendars, online payments, etc
- Website structure – how will your pages be arranged? Design a flowchart
- Time frame.
Discuss this plan with your website designer or developer for a better outcome and increase the chances of success for your website.