What Makes A Great Website?
Knowing that business is not just about having the right technology but about how you use it to communicate more effectively, we have just made some changes to our site. A bit like our own world of telecoms and IT, knowing what our customers valued in our website was one thing. But turning that into reality is another.
In the spirit of shared business learning, let us first of all tell you the importance of having the right guidance. If you’re thinking about a new website or website re-design, it’s important that you work with an experienced digital team with a proven track record. From navigating the dark arts of Google to optimising the experience for your visitors, that track record makes all the difference.
We chose to engage with Click2Convert, a Glasgow based digital marketing agency who provided expert advice throughout the entire website redesign project. Here are their thoughts on what makes a great website.
When considering a new website or website re-design
A great website should provide users with an engaging design and intuitive Information Architecture (IA). The website should be accessible and frequently kept up to date with fresh and relevant content. And of course, should be fully optimised for search engines during build to ensure the site is easy for users to find.
In this blog, we identify four key aspects of a great website.
1. Responsive Design
There are many benefits to having a fully responsive website design. By “responsive” we mean that your website gives your users an optimal viewing experience, regardless of the type of device they are using. The user shouldn’t have to scroll too much or zoom in/out to view content on your site. Responsive design fully adapts to the available viewing space. Essentially, responsive design ensures your brand is giving its website visitors the best user experience regardless of which browser or device is used, which will in turn reduce your bounce rate and encourage repeat visits.
With smartphone and tablet use rapidly increasing, coupled with Google’s new focus on mobile-friendly website design, the importance of responsive design in 2015 cannot be underestimated. If you don’t make the user experience on your site the best it possibly can be, then you will likely lose visitors to your site.
2. Engaging Design
A website should be visually appealing. Using a simple, clean colour palette allows users to discover the information they require whilst receiving a flavour of your brand identity.
Too many colours can be off-putting for users and can distract from the text and website call to action buttons. We would recommend using a maximum of 3 – 5 colours in your website colour palette. You also need to make sure that your company’s branding is consistent throughout the website – inconsistent logos, fonts and colours can be confusing to the user, and more likely to increase bounce rates.
Visually appealing websites don’t have screeds of copy. Short, concise website copy is desirable when creating a website which will hold the user’s attention. But that’s not to say that each page should only have a couple of short bullet points. Because Google likes content. Or rather, Google likes quality content. There has to be balance of quality and length.
Headings and bullet points are good for identifying key page themes so the user can easily navigate to where they want to read.
Your website should have an intuitive Information Architecture (IA). And while that’s the technical name for it, we basically mean that that your users should be able to find the information they are looking for with ease. This should result in a lower bounce rate and users spending more time on the site, engaging with other relevant content.
We recommend having a call to action on each page of your website e.g. Contact Us, Read More, Buy Now etc. And to make it even simpler for the user to identify these calls to action, we recommend using a consistent colour palette on your call to action buttons. On Abica’s new website you’ll notice that call to action buttons have a black outline and black text on a white background until the user hovers over it and the box turns black with white text.
4. SEO & Content Marketing
The objective of optimising your website for search engines is to make sure that your website is ranked highly for any relevant search terms. When building your website, it is therefore important to consider how people will search Google for your product/service and what type of results Google will display. This is called keyword research and is carried out at the beginning of any good website re-design project.
But it isn’t enough to populate your website with interesting copy if you don’t update it by keeping it relevant, factual and up to date. Websites that remain stagnant won’t show up as frequently in search engine results pages, with Google’s latest update focusing on page accuracy. As well as being accurate, on-going content management should focus on adding quality SEO-optimised content including blog articles, video and images. And if your company is using social media as a marketing platform then ensure the user is able to link out to the social media sites via your website.
As a visitor to Abica’s website, we understand that you may be familiar with the “last mile” problem within the broadband industry. Especially if your business operates in a rural area. But if not, we’ll quickly explain it. Basically, you can have thousands of miles of high speed fibre optic cables carrying lots of data throughout the country, but if the final connection to your business premise is aging copper wires, then the benefit of superfast fibre broadband is lost. Likewise, if you do everything right by building a website Google trusts, but don’t specifically tell Google that your page content matches the words people are actually searching for, the targeted traffic benefit is lost.
Effective on-going SEO copywriting tells Google which words are the most relevant ones for the people you want to reach. A good, ongoing SEO and content marketing campaign will ensure your website continues to be ranked highly for your chosen keywords.
We eat, breathe and sleep digital marketing so whether you are considering a new website or website re-design, contact us for a free website audit. We can also give you information on SEO, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing or Digital Marketing Consultancy.
Categories: Guest Blog