In today’s digital age, having a website for your business or organisation is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. However, simply having a website is not enough. The online marketplace is very crowded, and to stand out from the crowd, your website must be built on solid foundations that make it visible, engaging, and trustworthy.
Here is our checklist of 21 important elements that are the solid foundations for a good website.
Having a website is pointless if no one can find it. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is crucial to ensure your website appears high in search engine rankings, making it more visible to potential customers. This involves optimising your website’s content and code to match relevant search terms, ensuring that Google and other search engines trust your website and understand what your website is about. Google then tries to match the ‘search intent’ of its search users with authoritative web pages that match the intent.
Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your site. They are important because they signal to search engines that your website is a credible and authoritative source of information. The more high-quality backlinks you have, the more likely your website is to appear higher in search engine rankings.
Your website needs to load quickly on all devices. This is important so visitors don’t get frustrated with slow load times, but fast loading is also important for usability of web pages.
Google has created various metrics by which Google can measure and assess different websites for load speed and usability. These are Google’s Core Web Vitals (CWV) and your CWV scores are now used as a ranking factor in its search results.
Whilst Core Web Vitals are a ranking factor, good relevant content that matches search intent is more important for SEO than serving your website pages quickly. Useful tools include Page Speed Insights, Lighthouse and Google Search Console.
First impressions matter, and your website is no exception. Your website should look professional and credible to gain the trust of visitors. This means using high-quality images, a clean layout, and clear, concise language.
Your website is an extension of your brand. It should reflect your brand’s personality, values, and aesthetic. Consistent branding throughout your website can help reinforce your message and create a memorable experience for visitors.
Trust is essential for any business or organisation, and your website should be designed to build trust with potential customers. This can include customer testimonials, awards and accolades, social proof, and security badges.
Your unique selling proposition (USP) is what sets you apart from your competitors. Your website should clearly communicate what makes your business or organisation unique and how it can benefit your customers.
User experience (UX) is how visitors interact with your website. It should be easy to navigate, visually appealing, and accessible on all devices, including mobile phones, desktop computers and tablets. A good UX can increase engagement, reduce bounce rates, and ultimately improve conversions.
Navigation is how visitors move through your website. It should be intuitive and easy to use, allowing visitors to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. Clear and concise navigation can help reduce frustration and improve engagement.
Content is king, and your website should have high-quality, engaging, and up-to-date content. This can include blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, and more. Regularly updating your website with fresh content can help improve your search engine rankings, increase engagement, and establish your brand as an authority in your industry.
Personalisation involves tailoring your website’s content and user experience to each individual visitor. This can include customised recommendations based on their browsing history, targeted marketing messages, and more. Personalisation can improve engagement, build trust, and ultimately drive conversions.
A website should be designed to deliver real value to its visitors. Understanding your target audience and their needs can help you create content that addresses their pain points and provides solutions to their problems. By providing real value, your website can establish your brand as a trusted authority in your industry.
A good website should reinforce the reasons why visitors should come to your site. This can include highlighting your USPs, showcasing your products or services, and providing clear and concise information that answers visitors’ questions.
The buyer journey is the process that a potential customer goes through from the initial stage of awareness to the final stage of making a purchase. A good website should be designed to support this journey by providing information that guides visitors through each stage of the process.
A good website should provide reasons for visitors to return. This can include regularly updated content, exclusive promotions or offers, and relevant information that keeps visitors engaged and informed.
Integrations with third-party systems can enhance the functionality and user experience of a website. This can include integrating with CRM systems, email marketing platforms, and social media platforms to provide a seamless experience for visitors.
A call to action (CTA) is a button or link that encourages visitors to take a specific action, such as filling out a form or making a purchase. A good website should have prominent and clear CTAs that guide visitors towards the desired action.
Following up with visitors after they have interacted with your website can help establish a relationship and build trust. This can include email marketing campaigns, newsletters, abandoned cart emails, retargeting ads, or other forms of personalised communication.
Analytics reports and insights can help businesses understand how their website is performing and identify areas for improvement. By tracking metrics such as traffic, engagement, and conversions, businesses can make data-driven decisions that improve their website’s performance.
Your website needs to look secure and more importantly, it needs to be secure. All websites these days should have SSL Encryption, but this only encrypts data between your webserver and a visitor on your website. SSL Encryption does not make your website secure from malicious attacks.
Make sure your website software is kept up to date with any security patches that are released. Get a security review to ensure that your website pages, linked databases and any file upload facilities are not open and vulnerable to attack.
A good website is not a set-it-and-forget-it project. It requires ongoing maintenance, updates, and improvements to ensure it stays relevant and effective. This can include regular content updates, security updates, and user experience improvements.
A good website needs to be built with solid foundations if it has any chance of being successful in the crowded online marketplace. The website for your business needs to help you stand out from the crowd, attract the right types of visitors and establish your brand as a trusted authority in your industry.
With these solid foundations, you can create a good – or even great – website that attracts the traffic you want, generates sales leads and customers, drives cost-effective conversions, and encourages positive reviews and new referrals from happy customers.
Does your website have solid foundations? We’re happy to chat if you want to discuss it, so please get in touch.
These ‘Solid Foundations’ were also discussed in our Concise Webinar about “What Makes A Great Website In 2023”. (Here is that section of the webinar if you want to take a look.)
Subscribe to Learn, and you will receive an email with a link to each new ‘ How To’ Blog
article and each new Concise Webinar replay.