09 Apr 11 Features Of A Great Website
A great website will allow you to expose your brand to organic audiences via search engines, leverage digital advertising to boost lead generation, sell products, and deploy content marketing to build brand awareness and authority.
But what makes a great website? Well, usability is the word. Good website usability is pivotal to the success of a site and should not be overlooked. Good usability can improve the performance of your website, boost sales and revenue for your business.
The experience users have with your website should be seamless, setting your site apart from the competition.
There are many ways to improve the usability of your site, but we have summarised the top features of a great website for you.
Here are 11 features of a great website:
We start off with the most important point of all. Your website needs optimization. Why?
Let me give you a quick statistic. More than 60% of Google searches take place on mobile devices. If someone is searching for a particular product, or service and they happen to land on your site, it ought to work well on their mobile device.
I can think of so many websites whose visits we’ve helped increase simply by keeping this feature in mind during the development stage. Take for instance Kickstore or Biznet Kitchen. Try them out on your phone and let us know. While you’re there, add some stuff to your cart. Tsk Tsk!
Charleson Tip: Check how your existing website looks on mobile by using Google mobile site tester and in case you don’t already have a mobile optimized site, reach out to Charleson Group for a quick fix.
Fast Load Times
I’m sure we’ve all come across a slow website. You probably were fed up and decided to exit the website and navigate to a competitor website.
Slow loading speeds are one of the main reasons users click out of a site. It’s very frustrating having to wait for a site to load when you could be doing other more important things with your life.
Make sure your website loads within 4 to 6 seconds. This will improve its search engine ranking and will ensure perfect usability.
In case your website is slow, third party websites – plugins and widgets e.g. social media are huge factors for the slow speeds, so test your website to see what could be slowing it down.
Charleson Tip: There are a number of free tools to test how fast your site loads e.g. gtmetrix, dareboost and uptrends. Try it today.
Majority of internet users will skim through a website and not necessarily read each and every single word from top to bottom. They tend to scan through the content to see if it’s relevant to them or not.
That is why it is important to format your content with this in mind.
Your site has to have correct use of headings, sub-headings, paragraphs, bullets or lists to help break up text, making it easy for readers to scan.
Well Structured Content
The way content and information on your website is structured on your website is uber important for good usability. However, it is often overlooked.
Plan your website categories and sections carefully and structure it in a way that users find it easy to find. Particularly important if you offer lots of content on your website.
Always imagine that you are the user. How would you like that information presented to you?
Don’t take for granted having forms that work on your website. These could be sign up forms, customer feedback, event registration etc.
They are important because they help users interact with your website more and they also generate more leads.
A good website should be capable of use by everyone including the blind, disabled or elderly. These users typically use screen-readers to access the internet.
The 508 website accessibility guidelines highlight simple web design techniques to make sure your website is accessed easily on screen-readers, making your site available to a larger audience.
Browser compatibility is easily overlooked. Even the websites of some of the biggest companies out there suffer from this problem due to neglect.
This is bad for your brand as well as the usability of your website.
Despite the fact that modern browsers have advanced and become more efficient, there are still some inconsistencies in how different browsers interpret a website.
It’s critical that your website looks and behaves the same in all major browsers, including Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Opera.
Simple details like this differentiate a professionally designed website from the competition.
Good error handling and error display messages is important for usability, but it is often overlooked.
Correct handling of errors on a website ensures it is robust and free of any bugs. Displaying the right error message improves the user experience and overall usability.
It’s also crucial that the navigation is clutter-free. As far as possible, keep the number of menu items to a minimum. On a large site with several pages and links, a drop-down menu or sub-navigation might be more useful.
Though, there is much more to navigation than the menu. Here are some other aspects to consider:
- Good search feature.
- Multiple ways to explore content e.g. top 10, most rates, most popular, etc.
- Custom 404 Page.
- Good Internal Linking
- Informative header and footer
Contrasting Colour Scheme
A good website has just the right contrast between the background colour and the content.
A good colour contrast between background and text, e.g. white text on a black background like this one makes your content legible and pleasing to the eye.
Lack of contrast on the other hand makes it difficult to read text hence an unpleasant experience for your audience.
Valid Markup & Clean Code
You might be wondering what a markup is, so here’s a little explainer so you can understand what we’re talking about here;
A markup contains a series of symbols, or a language, that can be used to provide instructions. The use of markup is accompanied by rules that define the symbols and how they should be used: a specification.
The HyperText Markup Language is used to mark up content (text, images, etc.) on a webpage (HTML).
The markup instructs the program that is used to display a site (the web browser) on how the page should look and function.
Your website should have a valid markup to ensure it is robust and dependable.
It also ensures that your website will load fast, appear consistent across different browsers and devices, and makes it easier to troubleshoot in case any problems arise.
And that ladies and gentlemen are some features of a great site. Does your website adhere to the above elements? What would you like to adjust about your existing site now that you’re aware of this information?
Perhaps you have further questions about your websites? You can reach out to us any time and our team here from Charleson Group will be happy to get back to you ASAP.
For any of your digital marketing needs, you know who to call.
Until next time, cheers!