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The 5 must-haves for a great website

Nov 11, 2022

As a business owner, you’ll already know that having a website is essential to your success. But, having a great website is what makes all the difference. Of course, anyone can create their own website, but, there are one heck of a lot of websites out there, so not only does yours need to do its job, but it needs to stand out to your dream clients head and shoulders above the rest too. So, what makes a great website?

There are a lot of things that can potentially help your business stand out with extra fun and fancy stuff to fit out your site. But answering the questions below will clear up what those must-haves are. We’ll make sure your website not only truly reflects your brand and engages your ideal customers, but also looks great, functions well, and gets results.

Is your website user-friendly?

I mean have you actually tested it out? Have you either gotten into the shoes of your ideal customer and tested out how it works and leads them to where they’ll want to get to or gives them the information they need? You could test your site out on colleagues, friends or even real life clients to get their feedback. I know it can feel like a lot of work when they all suddenly then say things need changing, but this is one of the most important things about a website. Think about when you visit a site and you can’t find what you’re looking for, a button doesn’t work or something doesn’t load. It’s pretty annoying isn’t it? As well as that, your website visitors will quickly lose patience, lose interest and go make themselves a sandwich or get back on with that Netflix series if you give them the slightest chance.

No matter how great your website looks, if it’s not user friendly, visitors will quickly get distracted by any of the gazillions other things they are also doing. What’s more, if your site isn’t user friendly, Google doesn’t like that and will pick up on it quickly which will affect your SEO rankings too. Sad face.

How to write copy for your website

Does it have compelling, fun and interesting content?

Or, is it just a bit boring? Be completely honest with yourself and once again try to step into your ideal customers’ shoes if you can. If you’re not sure whether your website’s content is compelling or interesting enough, ask yourself this: does it accurately reflect your brand and what you’re trying to achieve? If not, it might be time for a refresh. Your website content includes not only the visuals, but also the words you use on your site. Website copy is so often overlooked by business owners, but the words you use are just as important as the design of the site itself. 

Your website’s content is your opportunity to show your Ideal Customer why you’re the business they should work with. Great content is well written, relevant, and engaging – it should make your Ideal Customer want to learn more about you and what you can do for them. If your website’s content is dull and uninspired, you’re missing out on a chance to really connect with your Ideal Customer and win their business.

Does it look good?

Your website is the first impression potential customers will get of your business, and your website visitors will make a decision about whether or not to stay on your site within the first few milliseconds, so it’s important to make sure it looks the part. So, how can you do this? Well it’s important to establish what your visual branding will look like first so this can carry through to your website. A few key pointers are to use great fonts and avoid using too many different font types. Also, stick to a limited color palette that’s within your brand guidelines, so two or three colors is usually enough and don’t underestimate the power of using whitespace in website design. Use high-quality images that are relevant to your business and avoid using photos that aren’t professionally taken or at least that use great lighting and look professional..

Is it easy to navigate?

How frustrating is it when you go to a website looking for information and you can’t find the answer to your question? What’s more, there might be no way to get in touch and ask or the website gets you lost and you leave without finding what it was you were looking for. This can be hugely off putting to your website visitors so let’s make sure your website isn’t guilty of this. All the ebay websites are designed not just around the pretty visuals, but also around specific goals. If you’re a service based business, then chances are you’ll want your website visitors to get in touch with you to enquire about your services or book a call with you. If you’re selling products, you’ll probably want your website customers to buy from your site.

Whatever your website goals are it’s so important to make sure you guide your website visitors through a customer journey towards that goal. This will work best for you in achieving your business goals of getting more leads or sales, but also lead to a better customer experience on your site. Start by planning out some ideas of customer journeys through your site that take visitors toward that goal, then plan out the navigation of your site around them, not just focussing on how the site looks visually.

Is it responsive?

Your website needs to be responsive in order to keep up with the demand for people looking at sites on their phones from wherever they are. This means you’ll want to make sure your website looks the part and functions well on all possible devices from the biggest desktop monitor sizes, all the way down to the smallest of mobile screens. By making sure your website is responsive, you can ensure that your customers will have a positive experience regardless of what device they are using. This also means making sure you test you phone out across devices.

Have you ever visited a site that looks like it was not only designed for 1995, but also it doesn’t work on mobile yet? Since we have smart phones glued to us now for the best part of the last 15 years, this doesn’t exactly give the best impression for your business and you could be losing potential customers if your site lags behind others on this point.

Of course, there are many other things that can make a website great, but these are the basics and are a great starting point. If you need help getting started with your own website, get in touch and let’s chat all things website design for your business.

About the designer...

Hi! I’m Katie. Helping busy business owners create bold online brands and stand-out, non-boring websites is my jam. I’m passionate about giving once-upon-a-time-website DIYers, ambitious entrepreneurs and founders back the time to focus on doing the things they love the most in their businesses, giving them clarity in their online presence and the confidence to grow big!

Through this blog and on social media I share my advice and best practices with  business owners on how to build strong brands that will start attracting their dream customers and website that work by focusing on strategy and business goals.

When I’m not working with inspiring business owners or designing wedding cakes, you’ll probably find me dreaming of what my next meal will be, the best fruit garnishes for a gin and tonic or where we’ll travel to on our next adventure.

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