In this day and age, a good website is a must-have for any successful business. Even if your business doesn’t sell products online, your customers will expect you to have a good website.
And if you don’t, you’ll lose customers en masse. Because today, a business without a website indicates a business who isn’t trustworthy. It’s just the truth of the technology-driven world we live in today.
Unfortunately, it’s not enough to have an online presence. Your website needs to follow industry best practices. But you’re a business owner, not a software engineer. How can you possibly know which pitfalls to avoid?
Don’t panic. We’re sharing the 3 most crucial components of all good websites… and you don’t need a computer science degree to implement any of them.
Regular updates are essential.
Every good website evolves over time. Changes are necessary to keep up with constantly evolving technology and customer needs. But it’s not as simple as changing the design around every few months. You have to strategically and methodically update your website—every change you make needs to be for a good reason.
But how do you know if you have a good reason? By keeping three key goals in mind.
Most importantly, your website must always have the most up to date security. If your website uses HTTP instead of HTTPS, for example, Google notifies visitors that your website isn’t safe… and advises the visitor to leave your website immediately.
Security updates like this don’t happen often, so check your website once or twice a year for compliance.
Next, updates are necessary to keep your content fresh and relevant. So much has changed worldwide over the past five years, and customers have problems that never existed in the past. Your content needs to always address their concerns and solve today’s problems—not problems from five years ago.
Finally, best practices for website design evolve every few years too. And if your website follows the standards of 2010… well, you’ll stick out like a sore thumb wearing tacky clothes. But you shouldn’t be changing colors, fonts, and layouts constantly.
Instead, evaluate your website against your competitors’ websites annually. We also recommend analyzing websites of businesses in your industry located in major cities. A successful New York City business has a lot at stake, so you can bet their website uses current best practices.
Simplicity is key.
Whether you build your website yourself or hire a designer, you’ll likely be tempted by many customizable options. Today, there are endless ways to configure and design a website.
But you can’t give in to temptation. When it comes to website design, less is more.
Why? Because a study by Research Gate found 94% of people reject a website– and a business– based solely on bad website design.
You can avoid this major pitfall by using restraint when you design your website. Keep the navigation simple and clean. Many business owners mistakenly think their website has to present every single page in their navigation… but this just leads to a cluttered, confusing mess.
Research basic color theory, or work with a web designer to find website colors which soothe the eyes. Avoid startling effects, like flashing bright colors or loud noises. Make sure all text uses a legible font and font size.
You don’t need to be an expert to check these website design elements. Can you easily read each page? Do you find any elements distracting or aggravating to your eyes? If you can’t read something, your customers won’t be able to either.
Consumer-driven content is absolutely necessary.
Did you know 83% of companies who focus on customer-driven content experience ongoing growths in revenue? It’s true, according to new research by HubSpot.
And it’s no surprise. Today, customers want their problem to be your website’s center of attention. Customers want solutions to the issues which keep them up at night. And if you don’t publish content to solve those issues, you can bet your competitors will.
The easiest way to pick topics for your website content is by asking your customers. Is your business active on social media? If so, ask questions of your followers. It’s simple to create a poll, quiz, or live session on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok.
Ask your followers about their problems relative to your products. If you run a kitchen supply store, ask your followers what really irritates them while they’re cooking. Use their answers to create how-to tutorials for your website.
Once you start publishing content that solves your followers’ problems, you’ll have a virtually endless well of inspiration to draw from.
For best results, publish content in the medium your audience prefers. While certain demographics prefer video content, other demographics prefer text-based content. Consider your topic and target audience when deciding how to create your content.
Does Your Website Meet the Bar?
Now that you know the 3 most important elements of a good website, you can audit your own website. Are you updating at a regular cadence? Or are your updates sporadic and unpredictable?
How clean and intuitive is your website? We recommend asking a friend or colleague who isn’t familiar with your website. Ask them if they can easily find your Contact Us page. Ask them if the colors and layout hurt their eyes while navigating the site.
You’ll probably be surprised by the things a fresh set of eyes notices.
Finally, consider the content of your website. You might ask that same friend or colleague to read some of your blogs and FAQs. Ask how it made them feel. You want visitors to feel like you understand them and address their needs, so make sure your content does just that.
We recommend getting an objective review of your website at least twice a year. Doing so allows you to catch issues before they cause your website traffic to drop. Once your website is up to snuff, it’ll become a nearly effortless way to attract potential customers to your business.
Whether you’re an expert in web development services or brand-new to the industry, you’re definitely aware of landing pages… and how important they’ve become to almost all industries.