What are the five elements to a good website design?
There are many factors that go into making a good website. In this article, we will discuss five essential elements that all good websites have in common. If your website is missing any of these elements, you may want to consider revamping it! And don’t worry, we can help you with that.
1. Website speed
Let’s start with your site speed, which is important for a number of reasons. First, it creates a good user experience. Nobody likes waiting around for a website to load, and if your site is slow, people are likely to leave before they even get a chance to see what you have to offer. This is especially true for visitors on mobile devices. Second, speed is a ranking factor for search engines like Google. This means that if your site is slow, it will be harder for people to find it when they are searching the web. Finally, speed is important for conversion rates. If you want people to take action on your website, such as signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase, you need to make sure that every page on your site can handle the traffic and load quickly.
Wondering how fast your page? Go to Google Page Speed Insights and test every page on your site. If they rank at least above 70 for both desktop and mobile, you are good, but if your scores are low, you need to take action.
2. Clear message
Your website needs to have a clear message. That means that when someone lands on your homepage, they should be able to tell right away (within seconds) what your website is about and what you offer.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many websites out there don’t have a clear focus. If your website is all over the place, it will be confusing for visitors and they will likely leave before taking any action. So take a step back and ask yourself, what is the one thing that I want my website to be known for? Once you have your answer, make sure that everything on your site supports that message.
It might be hard to see your websites objectively, since you know your business inside-out. To get a better idea how your first-time website visitors perceive your site, ask a few people (who are not your friends or relatives or employees) to open your site and tell you what they think the website is about within 5 seconds. If most of them get it right, you have nothing to worry about.
3. Website Design & functionality
Another common mistake is sacrificing the functionality of the site for the sake of creative design. While it is important for your website to look good (it should look at least as good or better than your competitors’ websites), it is even more important for it to perform well. Remember, the goal of your website is to convert visitors into leads or customers. If your site is confusing to navigate or isn’t logical, you are losing out on potential business. A good rule of thumb is to keep your design simple and focus on making your site easy to use.
Your website should be designed with your target audience in mind. If you are targeting businesses, your website should have a more professional look and feel. On the other hand, if you are targeting consumers, your site can be more creative and playful. In either case, make sure that the overall design of your site is clean and easy to navigate.
Here are some rules of thumb you should follow for a better website UX (User experience). Open your website and check how many of these rules you might have broken.
- The menu bar should be at the top of the page and stay there even when you scroll down (always-open menu bar performs better than collapsable hamburger menu icon)
- Each menu item should be clearly labeled so visitors know where they will be taken when they click
- The menu bar should be easy to find and easy to read (contrasting colors work well, don’t use any fancy or small fonts in the menu)
- There should not be too many items in the menu bar (keep it simple!) and use logical hierarchy (main categories expand to sub-categories)
- The website’s logo should be in the top left corner of the menu bar and it should be clickable (takes visitors back to homepage)
- The logo should be clear and easy to read (again, no fancy fonts)
- If you don’t have a logo, use the website’s name in the menu bar instead (but you should really have a logo, branding guidelines with basic color scheme and fonts selected before you build your website)
- The footer should be at the very bottom of the page
- It should contain contact information, social media icons and links, and possibly a short summary of what the website is about
- Disclaimer and less important links belong to the footer as well (not on the main menu bar)
Designing for mobile
With over 60% of web traffic coming from mobile devices, it is more important than ever to make sure that your website is designed for mobile. That means that your site should be responsive, which means that it will resize itself to fit any screen size. In addition, your site should have large buttons and easy to read text so that people can navigate your site on a small screen.
Consider making the mobile version of the site a bit simpler than the desktop version and only include the most important information.
Finally, you need to make sure that your website loads quickly on mobile devices. As I mentioned before, speed is important for both SEO and conversion rates, so if your site is slow on mobile, you are missing out on a lot of potential traffic.
To test how mobile-friendly your website is, go to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and enter your URL. If your site is not mobile-friendly, you will need to take action to fix it.
4. SEO Optimization
In order for your website to be successful, it needs to be visible in search engines. That means that you need to Optimise your website for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
There are a lot of different factors that go into SEO, but some of the most important factors are:
- write website copy with relevant keywords in mind (that means researching the keywords you are trying to rank for before even starting writing any content)
- have a well-structured website with logical navigation (make sure you use user-friendly URLs with keywords/description for every page)
- Use keyword(s) in page titles
- Use unique meta descriptions for every page
- Breakdown chapters by header tags (h1, h2)
- Use images and videos (optimise them for fast loading speed and include alt text for every image)
- Create quality backlinks from other websites
- Interlink different pages on your site with descriptive internal links
- Make sure you have enough content on every page (about 500 words).
There are a lot of other things you can do to improve your website’s SEO, but these are some of the most important.
At this point you are probably quite overwhelmed with your DIY website audit. If that’s the case, let us know, and we’ll be happy to jump in and do a proper website analysis on your behalf and compile a list of suggested improvements for your site.
5. Website Analytics & Google search console
It is super important to track how well your website is performing, so you need to set up analytics. Google Analytics is a free and easy tool that will give you insights on your website’s traffic, where it’s coming from, what people are doing on your site, and more.
In addition to setting up Google Analytics, you should also add your website to Google Search Console which allows you to see how your site is performing in search results and track any errors that are preventing your site from being indexed properly.
Both Google Analytics and Google Search Console are essential tools for any website owner, so make sure you set them up before you launch your site.
So, now that you have gone through all of these elements, it’s time to ask yourself: how many of these factors have you included in your site? How many rules have you broken? How is it affecting your website performance?
If your site follows all the rules above, good job! You should feel all warm and fuzzy right now.
But if not, let’s fix it today! Better late than never.
Contact Us today to book a consultation session on website design & SEO to make your website stands out from the competition!!