In today’s digital world, it is essential for businesses to have some type of web presence. Last year in the United States 29.7% of all business was conducted online, and that number will likely only grow. But even if your business isn’t fully conducted online, you will still benefit from the credibility and legitimacy a website can lend in the eyes of the consumer. Plus, a website is a great platform for sharing your brand’s story with would-be customers.
With the ability to set the tone for your business or brand through your website, it’s vitally important that your web presence display your brand in the best light. Look at your website today. Is it putting your brand’s best foot forward? If you’re not sure your website is hitting the mark, let’s walk through seven components of a strong website. Then you can see how your site is measuring up and what exactly you might want to work on during your next site redesign.
7 Elements of a Strong Website
Clean, Modern Design
When it comes to website design, less is more. Your site doesn’t need to be flashy—in fact, it’s more important that the content is well showcased so users can learn what they need to know and see where they ought to click. You also want the design to look modern so visitors know that you’re still an active business.
In the fourth quarter of 2021, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 54.4% of global website traffic. With just over half of the world’s website traffic coming from mobile phones, not having a mobile-optimized website would be a huge miss. Consumers expect websites to be just as navigable from their phones as from a desktop computer. Responsive websites, where the site automatically reformats to fit the screen size, are standard practice. Current WordPress templates make building a responsive website easier than ever before. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, it’s time to start thinking about a redesign.
User-Friendly and Accessible
An effective website is accessible and easy to use for everyone. And that includes having a well-thought-out information architecture. This means that how the content is organized and where information is located on your website needs to make sense for an outside visitor. When planning the content on your website, make sure to always put yourself in the user’s perspective. They don’t know your business the way you do. Walk them through your story from beginning to end in a logical way.
In addition to making information user-friendly, it’s also important to make sure your site is accessible to all users, including those who use screen readers or other adaptive technology to access the Internet. Having an accessible website is not only a nicety, but it’s also technically required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (commonly known as the ADA). You can learn more about website ADA compliance and the rules governing it here.
Quality, Easy-to-Consume Content
When visitors come to your website, they are looking for something specific. Maybe it’s an answer to a question, more information on a product or just to be entertained. The content on your website can be in a variety of forms—video, text, images/graphics—but it needs to meet the needs of your customer.
It’s also important to keep the information in small, easy-to-skim pieces. Most people won’t sit and read every word on your website, so by keeping copy blocks small and headers eye-catching, users can figure out the gist of what they need to know and navigate through the site to find the content that is the most meaningful to them.
Fast Load Times
Let’s be honest. It’s annoying to wait for a website to load. Don’t make your customers wait or they might leave and never come back. How fast is fast, exactly? The target to aim for is between two to three seconds. Any longer and bounces start. In fact, 40% of consumers will only wait three seconds before leaving a site.
Even if your website doesn’t accept payment, having a secured site is important for protecting your business and your users. An unsecure site can not only can lead to real risks for you, but most browsers also block or issue strong warnings for users trying to visit a non-secure site. Not the first impression you want to make with a potential customer. Luckily, it is very simple to get an SSL certificate to take care of this issue, and many hosting services offer SSL certificates as part of their packages.
Clear Navigation and Purpose
The navigation structure plays a big role in the user’s experience on your site. If it’s clear and concise, users can easily find what they need. To keep things simple for the user, try to make your navigation as streamlined as possible. If you have a lot of categories that need included (like if you’re an e-commerce store, for example), then organize your categories into a logical order and nest them in an easy-to-read mega menu.
Similarly, make the goal or purpose of your website abundantly clear for your users. Tell them what action you’d like them to take—sign up for a demo, make a purchase, fill out a contact form. You can’t expect visitors to take an action if you don’t ask them to.
By ensuring that your website has all these key elements, you’ll be on your way to not only presenting your brand in the best light, but also starting to turn your website traffic into sales leads and customers.
If you need a brand-new website or are looking for a design refresh, our team can help! Reach out to start a conversation about our website capabilities.