What makes a great website? And the best user experience for your visitors?  Because nothing is more frustrating than going to a website and not being able to find the information you are looking for.  All small businesses should aim for a a great website.

A Clear, Strong Message on the Home Page

Keep your home page uncluttered.  It’s best in the top half of your website home page to clearly state what you do and who your help.  You can’t help everyone, therefore dig deep into who is your ideal client and focus on them and how you can help them.

One of your priorities is to capture email addresses of potential clients.  One really easy way to do this is add a pop-up to invite people visiting your site to download a checklist, how to guide, or free tips in exchange for their email.  When adding a pop-up, choose a style with an easy way for the potential subscribers to delete the pop-up and continue to scroll.

Nothing is more annoying than not being able to find the ‘x’ button on a pop-up and therefore not able to proceed to read the rest of the homepage.  There is the ability to show a pop-up only one time when a visitor is on the site.  Annoying a visitor by constant showing the pop-up every few seconds is a sure way to stop people visiting your site again in the future.

What makes a great website?  It’s one that is also easy on the eye.  We are all visual, therefore colourful images keep us scrolling on.  Use images to illustrate your message and keep the branding colours throughout the site uniform.  When using stock photography, make sure you have paid to use it or, if you are using one from Pixabay or Unsplash and even Google images, check that the Creative Commons section allows you to use it on your website.  If, for example you use a Getty Image and you haven’t paid for it, the Getty Corp. could easily come after you and charge you a considerable amount of money to use their copyrighted photo.

Make the Navigation of your Website Easy

A great website puts the customer experience front and centre.  One of the keys to navigation is to make it straightforward.  You can use subpages in your drop down menu to divide up your pages and have them easily indexed.  This helps your visitors navigate your site. Check your website for logical navigation.  Does your navigation make sense?

You can always change the sequence of your menu items, but clearly the “About” page and “Services” pages rate the top spots.

Call to Action

On a great website, the homepage should have a call to action to prompt the visitor to take action.   A call to action needs to be at the very top of the website above the fold (ie the top 1/3rd of a page).  A call to action could be:

  • Contact us now
  • Call us today
  • Book a consultation
  • Get a free quote today
  • Make an appointment

Build Trust

When new visitors reach your site, nothing helps more to build trust than testimonials.  Make sure you have at least one on your home page and a whole group of testimonials on a dedicated testimonial page.

Nothing speaks better to your audience than recommendations from your happy clients.  And while you are building these testimonials on your website, don’t forget to ask your raving fans to also write a testimonial for you on both Google and Linkedin.

Website Load Time

A great website needs to load quickly.  People are impatient, they will move on if your website is slow to load.  An under 5 second load time is best

Mobile Friendly

In today’s world of smart phones, it’s super important to have a website that is mobile friendly.  That means it needs to be ‘responsive’.   What does ‘responsive’ mean? The website shrinks to fit the size of the mobile device whether a cell phone or a tablet.  And both in portrait or landscape view. If a website is ‘responsive’ the viewer can quickly scroll up and down to see all the information.  Nothing is cut off or impossible to read.

Optimized for SEO

All your pages and blog posts need to be optimized for SEO.  Search Engine Optimization is a key feature of a great website. It allows the search engines to find your website and keep it high up on its search.  You can use plugins such as Rank Math or Yoast to help you with Search Engine Optimization.  Here is a website that compares the two.  We used to be big “Yoast” fans, but we switched to Rank Math some time back and it is well worth making this change.  There are lots more options with the Rank Math free plugin.

Social Media Integration

Connect your website to all the social media sites you subscribe to.  This alllows visitors to see social proof that you really exist and are active on social media.  This gives visitors an opportunity to follow you on social media and get to know you better.  All part of the “like”, “know” and “trust” factor which is so important in this digital age.

Site Security

Site security is paramount.  You want security for your visitors and security for you as the website owner.  Make sure you have a SSL certificate for your website.  That puts the https designation in front of your url and a lock on your site name in a browser bar, all indicating security.

On the back end website owner side, there are plugins for a WordPress site that can help you have a secure site.  These plugins monitor your site for spamming.  Some great plugins are CleanTalk , WordFence, and Securi.

FAQ Section

Visitors to new websites always have questions.  By adding a FAQ section you are helping to make your site a great website!  These FAQ sections are easy to set up and they answer the most common questions asked.

Contact Information

How easy is it for people to reach you?   Are your phone number and email address clearly listed on your home page and throughout your site?  One easy way is to put a “footer” section on each page of your website.  This means that no matter what page is being viewed, your contact information is always visible.

If you are still not sure what makes a great website or you need a website review to see how your website can become a better website for your visitors, connect with us today for a free website review.

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