What makes a good website in 2022 comes down to a number of things. Other than having a modem, well-designed website, you have to think about who’s using your site and how they’re going to navigate it. In addition, determine if it’s easy to read, your services/products are identified, and if your website is optimized for mobile devices. Below you will find 13 important components for a good website:
1. An Amazing Homepage
The homepage is your website’s main page when someone goes to yourdomain.com. Upon landing on your homepage, there are 3 major things that should be identifiable:
- What your business does
- A call-to-action of a service or product
- Business branding (logo)
Before scrolling, (also known as above-the-fold), it’s important to have those 3 items identified for a clear understanding of your business. In a short sentence, describe what your business offers or make it clear what your services are. This can be done with an original photo paired with a clear heading. Next, would include a button or link that will direct a user to “take an action” on your website. This could be to request a quote, promotion, consultation, learn more, or service. Ultimately the point of a call to action is to keep users on your website and not immediately leave. For branding, ensure your business logo is easily visible. Typically, the logo is found on the left-hand side of a website’s menu and provides navigation back to the homepage when clicked. With those items in mind combined with a modern design, you’re on your way to a great website.
2. Clear Messaging and Call to Actions
Providing a clear message throughout your website gives consistency and recognition to your brand. For example, if you’re switching between a fun, quirky tone, to a more serious one within the same web page, it doesn’t create consistency. Overall, making it difficult to follow. Furthermore, a clear and direct call to action receives more clicks than ones with lengthy text. A call to action button should not exceed more than 2-3 words (ex. Get a Quote, Contact Us, Promotions, Shop Now, etc.). Altogether, you want it effortless for your users to understand and take action on your website.
3. Designed for Phones, Tablets, and Desktop computers
Also known as a mobile-friendly design, a website that is optimized for any device is an aspect of a well-made website. Have you ever visited a website on your phone and found it hard to click on a link because they were too small? Or had to zoom in constantly to view photos? This is an example of a site NOT optimized for mobile devices. For most businesses, 50% of website traffic comes from mobile devices. Therefore, you want to ensure you’re optimizing for phones, tablets, and other devices for a good user experience. In addition, websites with a mobile-friendly design is a Google ranking factor.
4. Fast Loading Pages
Ideally, the pages on your website should load within 2-3 seconds. This is important because 40% of consumers will wait no more than three seconds before abandoning a site. You can optimize your website for speed in a number of ways including:
- Downsizing your images before uploading them to your website
- Reducing the number of scripts on a page
- Minimize the number of animations
- Use a fast-loading WordPress theme
- Enable a caching plugin
To further understand how fast your website is, take a look at Google’s page speed insights. Here, you can see a breakdown of what’s slowing down your website and in some cases, how to improve it.
5. Scannable Content
Similar to browsing a magazine, you’ll want to make content on your website scannable, straight to the point, and easy to read. By this we mean creating simple headings, using icons or images to connect to your content, and breaking up long-form text. Doing so, allows users to easily “connect the dots” and understand what your business is about. Tips on creating scannable content include:
- Original photography to demonstrate a service
- Use of vector icons
- Bullet-point or numbered lists within articles
- Creating contrast between headings and body text
- Learn to write for the web
6. Easy Navigation
Whether it be links on your landing pages or your site’s main menu, your site must be easy to navigate. Understanding what your users will be searching for, will determine the location of certain links. Ideally, you’ll want to limit the top menu items to 6-10 links. A quick tip for putting a number of links in an area would be to take advantage of your site’s footer. If you take a look at Amazon’s site, you’ll see they have a number of links that can help users navigate their website. Although not as sought after as top menu links, the footer is a great place to put additional points of interest that would otherwise not fit within your navigation.
If you’re starting a website in 2022, you’ve probably heard the term SEO. This refers to optimizing your site to increase its search engine ranking. The number one search engine is Google. SEO grants your business the opportunity to gain online visibility, save on paid advertising, and compete against your competitors. With over 200 ranking factors, SEO can be a daunting task but with the right tools, can be accomplished.
8. Original Photography
While stock photography is great where needed, original photos demonstrate authority and trustworthiness to your users. Additionally, no one else on the internet will have those photos. By using original photography, you’ll separate yourself from the competition and provide users with a unique experience. To get started with photography, phones nowadays have excellent cameras. Simply start taking pictures of your products, store, services, and whatever best represents your business. From there, you can eventually invest in professional web photography.
9. Consistent Branding and Design
Similar to clear messaging, displaying consistency within your website provides a fluent representation of your brand. To explain, use the same fonts, colours, and design elements across your website as you would for print materials. Ideally, you should have no more than 2-3 typefaces. One for headings, the other for body text, and if desired, one for sub-headings. Being consistent with your branding and design makes it easy for people to recognize your business online and offline.
10. Trust Signals
Trust signals are factors that prove you are a real business and encourage users to make a purchase. Additionally, feel safe using your website (website is secure and contains no spam links). A few examples of trust signals include:
- An About Us page
- A Google My Business profile
- Businesses you’ve worked with
- Contact Information
- Work Bios
- SSL certificate
11. Social Media Links
An easy way to get people to visit your social media pages is to include their links on your website. This way people can further explore your products and services. For best practice, include your social media profile links within the footer of your website and on your contact page.
12. Business Contact Information
Especially important for local businesses, ensure your contact details are easily accessible. This can be achieved through a contact page. If you wish to not display your business email address, use a contact form with thorough verification to receive messages. Every good local business website will have some form of contact so you can communicate with your customers.
13. A Modern Website Design
Last but not least, a modern website design builds trust, increases readability and overall displays relevancy. A site that is built for modern times is what you need for a good website in 2022. While you don’t need to constantly update the look to fit the latest trends, a modern website should be mobile-friendly, easy to navigate and be able to compete with your competitors. Additionally, qualified for SEO to get you ranking in search engines.
What’s the least expensive way to create a website?
A rule of thumb is you get what you pay for. There are a number of free website builders out there but will come with limitations. If you’re serious about creating a website you’ll want to think about growth and purpose. Growth because most free website builders have limitations on website traffic and speed. Purpose because if you have big ideas for a website, you might not get what you need from a low-cost option. We help small and large businesses create a website that will fit their needs. Get started today with a free quote.
What do I need for a website?
A couple of things you need for a website include a domain and website hosting. A domain is separate from website hosting and is in most cases offered together. Next will be original content, imagery, and a website build.
What’s the best way to create a website?
The best way to create a website is to start with research and see what you need for your type of business. See who your competitors are online and what their websites provide. From there, identify what you want to include on your website to build it on your own or get assistance from professional web designers.
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