Great websites enhance the reputation of a business and provide an enjoyable experience to potential customers. We use websites like this every day for online shopping, managing our money or sharing memories with our friends. How often do you consider whether your business website is delivering an enjoyable experience to potential customers?
It is very easy to overlook this question when you are busy managing your business. However, it is an important and necessary question to ask if you want your website to contribute to the success of your business.
In this article we explore what makes a website great.
1) Clean, User-Friendly Design
Clean, user-friendly design is ubiquitous across the web and it is often a key feature of a great website. The belief that a simple yet elegant design is the most effective form of design for business websites has never been stronger. Visitors to a business website want to be able to find the information that they seek or complete a task efficiently without having to navigate through a messy, poorly structured website.
Great websites have a user-friendly design with popular pages featured clearly and an easy-to-use menu. In many cases you may not even consciously notice these features, as they are subtle yet crucial elements of a great design.
Alongside the menu, a great website boasts a degree of consistency between its various pages. The layout of each page does not need to be identical, however the user should be able to experience a level of familiarity as they navigate through your website. This familiarity will improve their experience of your website and instil trust in your brand.
2) Built For Search Engine Success
There are many great websites that unfortunately do not ever reach their full potential. These websites often boast a great attractive design but lack the SEO credentials to achieve strong search engine rankings.
Great websites that are built for search engine success will adhere to SEO best practice by having optimised meta data, valuable content and no or few SEO issues. Consideration will have been given to ensuring that appropriate redirects and sitemaps are in place during its initial migration phase so that any SEO efforts made on its predecessor website have not been entirely lost post migration.
In addition to this, a clear structured plan for the creation of new content in the form of blogs and updates to existing website pages will be in progress, resulting in the regular delivery of new website content.
Ultimately, the result of this careful consideration of search engines will be strong search engine rankings for valuable keywords that drive traffic from potential customers to the website.
3) Make Page Speed A Priority
Great websites consistently deliver a fast and seamless user experience. Visitors to the website can expect each page to load with minimal delay as they navigate from a page to a blog post.
The most successful business websites make page speed a priority. They are powered by fast website hosting and often make use of a content delivery network (CDN) such as CloudFlare to ensure that media assets such as photos, videos and graphics are served to their website visitors in record time.
The importance of page load speed has never been greater, especially following Google’s recent announcement that page speed will now become a ranking factor for mobile searches as well as desktop searches. You can find out more about the Google page speed update and how you can check and improve your websites page load speed in our last blog post.
4) Served Over A Secure Connection
Serving your website over a secure connection has only previously been a priority for online shops and eCommerce websites. However, this is no longer the case. Google have now been recommending that all websites, regardless of their content, be served to their visitors over a secure connection.
A secure connection is achieved by obtaining and installing an SSL certificate from a trusted certificate authority on your website server. This is usually something that your digital marketing agency or website host can take care of.
From an SEO perspective, HTTPS has been a ranking signal for Google search from as early as 2014 when it was first announced as a light-ranking signal. Since 2014, its importance has increased further with the respected digital marketing authority Moz reporting in 2017 that 50% of Google’s page one results are now delivered through HTTPS. It is therefore reasonable to assume that the number of HTTPS page one results is likely to increase further and create greater impetus for SSL adoption.
There are almost no significant reasons not to switch your business website to HTTPS, although there can be a notable amount of short-term SEO work required to ensure that the SSL certificate is installed correctly and that redirects are created from each of the non secure pages to the secure pages.
Do You Know If Your Business Website Is Great?
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