Whether your goal is to increase brand awareness or to sell a product or service, effective website design can be the difference between a new conversion and a lost prospect. Your website is how users learn what your brand is all about. The last thing you want is for a poorly designed website to dissuade site visitors from becoming customers. A good website must possess certain qualities and characteristics. Considering these attributes first before building the site saves cost and time in the long run. Planning is an essential to building a great website.
How responsive is your website? Being able to answer this question correctly is one of the qualities a good website should possess. You are building for your users, and your users do not all use a single device.
Building a website that is responsive across devices is crucial to creating a fantastic user experience. A responsive website will function well on both old and new desktop devices, and on different types of mobile devices as well, be it smartphones or tablets. So when creating your website, your web designer has to ensure that your site is built with themes that can function well on all devices. In case you didn’t know, Google is now mobile-first, and that means that Google considers how mobile-friendly your site is when calculating the ranking of your site.
Content is king they say, and it’s true. Apart from a beautiful and responsive website, the next thing that makes it of good quality is the content provided. Your design won’t be of much value if you are not sending a clear message to your users. Google sees duplicate content, plagiarized content and content with poor writing as low quality. An article that is published on two different webpages on your site is duplicate content, while an article is plagiarized when it is copied from an external source. You should avoid both. However, that’s not enough.
You should also ensure that your web articles or blog posts are written well to give readers relevant information. They have to be written by writers who have a good understanding of the subject. These days, long-form articles ranging from 1000 words to 5000 words do better than articles with less than 1000 words. It is clear that readers prefer articles that offer them good value for their time.
You should also keep in kind that your articles ought to be easy to understand, in fact, the recommended readability grade is anything from grade 7 – grade 11. Most internet users are not university-level readers, therefore, you will only confuse them when your articles are too complex to understand. So, keep it simple.
Evaluate how good or bad your content writing skills are. If you feel they are below average, then hiring a content writer wouldn’t be a bad idea. Take your website content seriously; they are the main qualities of a website that ensure a user keeps visiting.
3. Load Time
Your website loading time is another factor to watch out for. The average load time of your website is one of the qualities that make an excellent website.Optimize your website to ensure it doesn’t take too long to load. If your website takes more than three seconds to load, then you have a problem to fix. Users are impatient and you should not expect your users to wait the whole day for your website to load.
When you have a website that loads fast, you will simultaneously reduce your site’s bounce rate. Website loading time is the speed at which your website loads when a visitor tries to access a webpage on the site. Bounce rate, on the other hand, is how frequent and how quick visitors leave your website when they visit. If your site’s visitors are impressed with what they find on your website, they will spend more time on it, but if they are not impressed, they will leave almost immediately. If most of your site’s visitor leave too soon, it will surely affect your bounce rate, and this will affect how Google classifies your website. In other words, a low bounce rate means you have a good website while a high bounce rate means that you have a bad website
Your site’s loading time affects your site’s bounce rate, therefore, you have to put in measures that will make your site load fast. Compress your images file size, use simple designs and optimized themes, etc. You can use compressor.io to increase your website’s loading speed.
You shouldn’t take the appearance of your website lightly. Consistency in the appearance of your website matters a lot. Ensure that your website maintains consistency throughout, from webpage to webpage, the navigation, the fonts, margins, spacing, color, heading sizes, button styles, etc. As readers go through your web pages, they should feel like they’re in a peculiar space that has a single identity. Your website should not lack coherence. As they go from articles to articles and check different pages on your site, the unique identity of your site should still be glaring. This means that you shouldn’t use design elements that look out of place with the rest.
Besides consistency, your website design should be created with people who may have difficulty seeing in mind. Make use of white space, this will highlight the text on your webpage. Your color choice shouldn’t be too bright or too dull that readers will have to strain their eyes to read your web content. Secondly, make use of clear fonts, not stylish fonts as that can make it difficult for people to read the words on your website.
Another design standard your website should meet is simplicity. There’s no better way to say this, your readers are ordinary people, don’t go all techie or creative on them. Your navigation button should be obvious, everything on your website should be precise and easy to understand and use.
Work on enhancing your website design and do consider colors. If you are terrible at designs and colors, then hire a UI/UX designer to do the work for you.
5. Contact Form
Tracking user activity and conversion, and collecting user data is a good practice that can be used to improve your website and your business at large. Now, if you were to choose between asking your site’s visitors to fill in a contact form, and click on email address option, go for the contact form. Using a contact form makes it easier for your visitors to enter their details without leaving your website.
Your website should include a contact form, a working contact form precisely. Do not build a contact form that does nothing; this will have a negative effect. Users rely on your contact form to make complaint or suggestions to you, and if the contact form isn’t functioning on the backend, then you are losing a lot of feedback to help make your website better.
Your contact form should always be accompanied with a Thank You page or message. Your Thank You page is where you ask your visitors to do more; to download an ebook, to sign up for your newsletter, to leave a review on Google Maps, etc.Include a CTA in your Thank You page and watch it generate amazing results.
6. Call To Action(CTA)
To complete a sale, you sometimes have to direct your visitors down a path.
A quality website needs to have a call-to-action feature, as this can help increase your conversion rate by a large margin. The call-to-action feature can be used to build a mailing list, give out coupon prices or make an actual sale.Call to action is a key marketing strategy; hence you need to have it as part of your website, and you have to implement it strategically too to get the best results.
How do you implement call to action strategically? First, make use of words that will inspire action, that is, words that can move your readers to do what you want them to do. So, always include a verb or a word that can invoke excitement — these words have the tendency to create psychological and emotional triggers
Additionally, using the right color shade along with your call to action text will go a long way in helping you get your desired results. Think of the emotion you want to invoke in your readers, choose a color that conveys it best and use it as the background color of your CTA text. For example, red is a warm and vibrant color while blue is a more welcoming and calm color. Therefore, red will be a good color to use when asking your readers to cancel a plan, while blue will be more fitting for asking your readers to sign up for a plan.
Your call to action (CTA) isn’t just a text asking your target audience to make a commitment, it is a pitch, so polish it and make it look appealing and convincing.
With new browsers emerging daily, building websites for a specific set of browser is a wrong approach. Quality websites ensure that they are compatible across browsers used by users. In the real sense, do not build for one browser, but build to ensure compatibility across various browsers.
Make sure to always review your website and update regularly in order to remain compatible with new technologies.
8. Error Pages
Run frequent checks on your website to fish out error pages and fix them immediately. You can always use redirect codes to fix your site’s error pages. The thing with error pages is that they are misleading. When people visit your site, they have a goal in mind and possibly a need that they believe your website will meet. So, when they click on a link on your website and it takes them to an error page, they feel cheated. Hence, make sure that you do your best to avoid error pages.
The truth is that it is almost impossible for a site not to have an error page, that is why you need to create a fancy error page. Ensure errors are well handled on your website, and rather than showing a code report on a user’s screen, replace this with a fancy error page that keeps the users engaged.
External error pages can also create a poor quality user experience. When you include external links in your articles, it is because you think that the links have relevant information your readers will appreciate. However, this can change in the future as the URL page may get deleted from the original site, and this will render the link useless. The best way to deal with this is to run regular checks on your website and delete any external link that is no longer useful. If you are aware of an error not well handled, go ahead and fix it right away.
The uptime rate of your website is another quality to take into consideration. Users want to be sure they can trust you and rely on you whenever they need you. Downtime on your website has the potential to drive away users, and even if you do come back up and running, it becomes difficult to regain their trust. Ensure that your website rarely has a downtime moment as downtime will not only cause you to lose your web users but also cause you to lose money.
The best way to make sure your website is always online is to use a good web hosting provider who offers at least a 99% uptime rate. If you are already subscribed to a web hosting service that gives your website frequent downtimes, this is the best time to migrate to a better web hosting provider.
Also, ensure that you are using the web hosting plan that can handle your website traffic. If your traffic has increased but you are still using the web hosting plan you were using when your website was newly launched, that might be the problem.
One of the ways you can always manage your website uptime is by monitoring it. You can use a cloud-based website monitoring. Do your research and choose a reputable cloud-based website monitoring service that offers 24/7 monitoring. They will detect when your server is having an issue, what exactly is wrong and give you prompt notification until it is resolved.
The security level of your website is paramount to the users. A good website must ensure proper security measures are in place to shield it from hackers. If your website is insecure, do not expect users to keep their information with you, neither will they trust you enough to make use of your website.
The first thing to do if you want a secure website is to host your website on a web hosting provider that offers strong security.
Most websites have a section where users are requested to enter their details. You want to make sure that your site has some encryption in place to protect user data such as passwords, and not display them in plain text. Having security questions feature is a great way to protect your user data and other private elements that are stored on your website. Your website should also have SSL encryption.
Search Engine Optimization is a crucial part of a quality website, so ensure your website follows SEO rules and guidelines. A website with a poor code structure won’t fare well when it comes to SEO, which reduces the ability to attract traffic from external sources and search engines correctly.
There are several SEO practices you can do to make your site rank well on search engines — good use of keywords, internal and external link building, optimizing your title tags, optimizing your images, etc.
You can also make use of SEO tools that are sure to help you achieve your SEO goals and invariably improve the quality of your website. Google Search Console is one of the highly recommended SEO tools you can use to monitor your site’s performance. You get to see how many people visit your website, how your site is doing on search engine result pages (SERPs ), and then use the data to improve your SEO practices.
The above eleven key points are the qualities a website should at least have; they are essential to a website’s survival and growth. One way or the other, your website has a flaw, and one you’ll most likely discover a flaw from these
qualities, find them and fix them.
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