5 Marks of a Good Website
It’s become very awkward to tell someone that you have a business—but not a website. Every growing business is expected to have a beautiful, functional site.
Why exactly is a website so important? One word: credibility. Anyone who’s considering buying from, investing in, or writing about your business wants to know that you’re “for real.” That you’ve spent energy, thought, time, and money on your business. That you can be trusted.
The only thing worse for your credibility than having no website is having a terrible one. Imagine this: You meet a woman named Brianna at an event. She tells you about her beauty product brand. Apparently Brianna’s Best Beauty uses the best ingredients, is environmentally conscious, gives back to the community, and strives for excellence in every way. You’re excited about this brand. Brianna clearly cares a lot about her business.
The next morning, you pull out Brianna’s business card and enter her domain name on your computer. This is what you see:
Would you want to buy Brianna’s products? Even if she seemed like a smart and professional entrepreneur when you met her? We doubt it.
So that begs the question: If credibility is reliant on a good website, what makes a website truly good? Here is our take.
1. A website that immediately communicates what your business is about
We visit dozens of websites a day, and we’re always surprised by how many websites just do not communicate what the business (or blog) is about! We might see a stock image of someone on a computer, or a generic line like “Leading the way for 25 years”—but struggle to just get a straightforward one-line description of the business.
2. A website that’s easy to navigate and search for information
You must make it easy for potential customers to navigate your site easily (especially if it’s e-commerce). Have clear categories for your different types of offerings, make it easy for visitors to go back, and make sure your contact information is clear and functional. Nothing frustrates a confused buyer more than having to spend 5 minutes just trying to figure out how to ask a simple question.
3. A website with unique aesthetics
The downside of template-based website-builders that are easy for everyone to use (which we believe is a wonderful thing) is that more and more websites are starting to look exactly the same. Why is that a problem? You become forgettable—and once a person forgets your website, your serious effort in leading them to it will be wasted. This is where good design, based on what your company is really about, becomes key. Having a memorable logo, consistent colors and fonts, and unique styling elements goes a long way to carving out a space for your business in your customers’ minds.
4. A mobile responsive website
Search “mobile vs desktop internet usage statistics” on Google. You’ll see from just a quick glance at all the headings that mobile browsing is slowly overtaking desktop browsing. Depending on the type of business you have, more than half of your visitors could be looking at your website through their phone. (When we last checked for our own website, 31% of our visitors were using a mobile device.) Make sure your site works on your phone!
5. A website with search engine optimization (SEO)
Having a purposeful, streamlined, and well-designed website is a fantastic starting point. But you won’t go very far if people can’t find your website when they search for the kinds of services or products you offer. In other words, your site is not optimized for search engines. SEO is a science and an art. It’s also a process—unfortunately, you don’t “just do SEO” one time and forget about it. You have to keep working on it.