WHAT MAKES A GREAT WEBSITE?

Refer to these simple pointers before signing off on that new project!

Refer to these simple pointers before signing off on that new website design project!

A great website design is a good start to an awesome user experience

While website design agencies may have different approaches, here are some of the basics to cover for a website that will generate leads.

The website design should be crisp and clean

  • The website design should be in keeping with your brand and find resonance with your target audience
  • It should be uncluttered and consideration should be given to how it will render on desktop, tablet and mobile devices
  • Menu and navigation mechanisms, like links and buttons, should be customised for different display devices

Pro tip:  While your website design should be sufficiently unique to make your website stand out from the crowd, it should not completely break the mould or it will quickly date, leaving you out of pocket for a redesign in a year or two.

The design and navigation should be user-friendly

  • The website’s content should be organised logically and navigation should be intuitive
  • Try to avoid too many levels of content – website visitors should typically be able to find the content they’re looking for with no more than 3 clicks
  • Keep things simple – content should be easily accessible, printable and downloadable

Pro tip:  When planning your website, keep in mind that it is not to serve your needs, but those of your customers. Content should be allocated and categorised in a manner that makes most sense to them.

Design and coding should be mobile-friendly

  • The website’s design should be fluid and render optimally according to the screen size of the device on which it is viewed
  • Menus, tabs and buttons should be large enough and sufficiently spaced to be thumb-friendly on mobile devices
  • Mobile users should not have to endlessly scroll or swipe left or right to view website content

Pro tip:  The website design and coding should be both fluid and responsive. This will allow for the design elements and content segments to dynamically ‘flow’ into different configurations to best suit the device on which the website is being viewed.

The content should be fresh and add value

  • The content should be up-to-date, of high quality and relevant
  • Even quality content should be regularly tweaked and edited to remain fresh and engaging
  • Content should be cleverly segmented into bite sized chunks, each with a descriptive heading to allow multiple ‘access points’ for readers

Pro tip:  Always include a blog as part of your website; not as a standalone. Blog ‘posts’ rank better than standard website pages for currency of information as they are date-stamped when posted. This makes it easy for Google and your site visitors to spot fresh and value-adding content.

The website should be engaging

  • Your website should include easily accessible interactive mechanisms (forms, for example) to allow visitors to easily connect and engage with your business
  • Consider on which devices your target audiences are most likely to view your website and select the engagement mechanisms most suited to them.  For example, integrating What’s App as a quick chat mechanism is great for on-the-go smartphone users

Pro tip:  Keep your forms short to ensure that they’re quick and easy to complete both on desktop and on smart-phones. Only ask for essential information so as not to ‘lose’ potential enquiries and try to avoid using annoying pop-ups; nobody likes being ‘ambushed’.

The website’s design should be inviting

  • Your website design should include clear call-to-actions to encourage interaction and invite engagement
  • Don’t bombard your site visitors with pop-ups, lengthy subscription forms or meaningless ‘freebies’ – provide quality content, especially when asking users to subscribe to access it

Pro tip:  Try to include contact numbers and links to easy-to-complete forms in your call-to-action statements to make contacting you as simple as possible.

Your website must be search engine friendly

  • Your website should be properly optimised for search engines to easily understand and index it
  • The website structure, design and content should be underpinned by a solid and well-researched keyword strategy
  • Quality content, clean code and mobile-friendliness are non-negotiables for both web design and SEO

Pro tip:  SEO can mean the difference between having a great website and having a great website that generates leads! Google offers online tools to test both mobile and search-engine friendliness.

The bottom line…

If you want your website to generate leads to help grow your business, then it needs to make sense to both search engines and site visitors.  Your website needs to be optimised for the right keywords, quick to load on both desktop and mobile devices and packed with quality content that will match the needs of internet users.

A good website will help build your brand, generate quality leads and pay for itself several times over!

Post penned by the Cadiz Digital team.

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