Ever seen a website that just “works” or simply looks amazing and you don’t even know why? While style is subjective, the following elements of a website are an absolute must-have to get you a website that stands out from the rest.
Content is anything that you take in and process. This is normally considered as text or copy, but also can be in the form of images, videos or infographics. If you lack content, essentially you will lack everything else in this guide. Content needs to be engaging for your target audience, easy to digest and memorable for someone when they leave your site.
If you don’t have much or you lack decent content, it’s best you focus on this before anything else. As the old saying goes, “Content is king”.
2) Visuals that communicate
The importance of having good visuals that are both engaging and structured cannot be overlooked. Great looking websites should not be underestimated just for this reason. A site that delivers the right message also needs to feel right for the user. The design also needs to talk to its audience through its styling and composition. There would be no point having what seems like a clean, modern and fresh website if its visuals do not communicate with the user.
For example, a car enthusiast website obviously needs to reach out and appeal to a car enthusiast. Having flames, stripes, checkered flags and so on that speak to an enthusiast is a must here. Without it, Sure, the call to actions might be on point and the site may look tidy and finished too. But if it looked like a corporate business site, you can bet your audience will move on to the next site within a heartbeat.
3) Easy Navigation
A site needs to be very easy to navigate; its information, function, contact page and so on need to be easily accessible. You need to pave the way for the user. If they are looking for the “contact” option, it needs to be almost in their face (without being intrusive) so they don’t waste time to search for something that needs to be simple and straightforward, especially when they like what they see and they’re trying to get in touch with you. If a website is overcrowded and its navigation is surpassed due to an overload of content or visuals, users may not know where to go next or how to find out more information. The result? You will have a frustrated user who ultimately leaves the site and may never return.
4) Clear Message
When a user lands on your site, they need to know they are in the right place. The right content (with visuals mentioned above) will convey that to the user.
Reaching out to your users with their problems and your solutions matters. Letting them know why you exist can really help them understand why they are on the site. It will also help them know whether they want to move further. An appealing site with no correct message is essentially a Ferrari without an engine.
5) Users should know what to do when they’re on the site
Similar to a clear message and easy navigation, but for this point, the spotlight is on the users understanding of the site and what they should be doing next. If it’s a membership site or a site with a user login, it should be clear that the purpose of the site is to sign up, log in and interact with the site, and what exactly you will be doing on the site.
6) Mobile Responsive
Mobile responsive is having your website optimised to adapt and change when being viewed on a mobile device. Think of the Apple iPhone or Google Nexus. With most people using a mobile device these days to browse the web, there is nothing worse than having a great site that appears to be broken when viewing it on a website.
If you’ve ever opened up a desktop looking site on your mobile phone, you’ll know it’s almost impossible to use and you say you’ll “come back to it later” when you’re on your computer or laptop, but do you? If your potential customers are ready to make a purchase now and they can’t because your website isn’t optimised for mobile, they’ll go somewhere else. They don’t need to wait around, and why would they?!
Some of the best websites you will come across will also work seamlessly when viewed on a mobile.
7) Call to actions
Having a call to action is vital for getting your traffic to perform an action when finished up from the site. Be it “Call today to learn more”, or “Fill in the form to receive our special offer”, giving your users the option to further interact with your business is important for conversion.
If you don’t have a call to action on your site, this is the easiest way to improve your website without getting an agency to design or develop a brand new site.