Our website development team has just about seen it all when it comes to websites, and because of this, we’ve started to notice that there are some things that make a difference between a website that’s just okay, and a really good website. That being said, not having every single thing on this list doesn’t mean your website is horrible, and having them all doesn’t mean your website is perfect. But this list is a great place to start and will at least mean that your website is pretty user-friendly. Without further ado, let’s get into the things that make a good website.
1. An Obvious Call-to-Action
A call-to-action (CTA) is an absolute must for any and every website. Your website visitors need to know exactly what to do and where to go to interact with your site. The last thing you want is people coming to your site and not knowing what to do. Your CTA can be anything, and yours will depend on what your business does. Some examples are Shop Now, Book an Appointment, Learn More, Call Now, etc.
While your site may be trying to achieve multiple goals, it’s best to use one primary CTA to direct people to, and the other as a secondary CTA that’s featured much less on the site, but can still point people in the right direction.
Consistent design is really important for your brand’s website. It needs to have the same fonts and font sizes and colors throughout, similar layouts, etc. This doesn’t mean that your entire website needs to look like a copy and paste of the same page over and over again, but you don’t want it to look like five different people with different styles worked on your site.
Website visitors should never show up to your website wondering if they’re on the right brand’s site. You can change it up here and there, but consistent elements and feel throughout your entire site will immediately make your site look more professional.
3. Mobile & Tablet Responsiveness
Have you ever used your phone to access a website, but for some reason the layout looks wonky and nothing looks like it’s in the right place? If you have, you’ve seen a site that was not designed to be responsive on mobile devices. It may sound obvious, but it’s common for people to forget to check, or not even know to check if their site is being developed with mobile responsiveness in mind.
You want your website to be functional across all devices, but you don’t have to give up the cool design elements you made for desktop view – either find ways to incorporate them for smaller screens, or make other variations.
4. Navigation that Makes Sense
Your Navigation (Nav) menu is the list of the pages your website consists of and is usually found in the top header section on your website. Too often, we see websites with either way too many things listed in the Nav, or the things listed just don’t make a ton of sense for what people are looking for on the site. If you have too many pages in your Nav, it can be really overwhelming for visitors. Many website visitors don’t like the thought of having to dig through tons of pages on a website to find what they’re looking for. Even if you just have a few pages in the Nav, but they sound repetitive or not useful, that can also confuse or turn away visitors.
When choosing what to put in your website’s navigation, we recommend choosing between three and six pages to include that represent unique parts of your website. You can always link to other pages within the pages in your Nav – your website doesn’t have to be limited only to the pages in the Nav, but avoid making it too cluttered or confusing for your visitors to navigate.
5. What Your Visitors Need
You obviously can’t know what every visitor hopes to find on your site, but you should be able to anticipate at least their most basic needs when it comes to their time spent on your site. Think about what you look for when you visit a website, as well as websites that were missing something you really needed. Things like a ‘Contact’ page and an ‘About’ page are the bare minimum that every website needs to have, no matter the purpose or CTA of the site.
You don’t want your visitors immediately clicking off of your site because they don’t know who you are, what you do, or how to get in touch with you. Other things like a Wish List functionality for your storefront website, a way to search for a specific entry on your blog page, or a way to make an appointment online instead of having to call, are all extra functionality abilities, but they can set you apart from the other businesses that didn’t anticipate their customer’s needs and left them wanting more.