What does it take to make a good website?
I’m not going to sugarcoat this for you. We spend a lot of time on bad websites.
Actually, we probably all do because everyone and their uncle has a new website. The barrier to entry is super low for website building and domains are pretty inexpensive. The site creation boom totally makes sense!
But there’s a difference between building a good website and a bad one. It isn’t adding all the fancy-pants pop ups and do-dads (those actually lend themselves to the “bad” side of things) and it isn’t paying top dollar for a website designer—you don’t need that.
The difference between a good and a bad website is simply, whether or not it speaks to your ideal customer. If yes, good website. If no, bad website. Simple.
Why is a Good Website Important for Business?
There are 4.1 billion internet users in the world that will spend around $3.45 trillion in 2019 alone—and more than half of that amount of money goes right back into advertising for more sales.
If you’re running a business online, especially if you sell products, a good website is how people find you and build their confidence in you. It’s where you showcase how you benefit your ideal customer and how you show that your business is trustworthy.
Building your site in a way that works really well for your ideal customer should be your number one goal. You can make traffic happen when you need to using SEO, ads, affiliates, backlinks, influencers, lead generation, etc but if you’re spending all your energy on traffic and none on making sure that your traffic converts to sales once they get to your website, you aren’t going to make any money.
I know “drive traffic” is what all the gurus are saying right now. For every $92 spent on traffic, $1 is spent on improving conversion—seriously. Between traffic and conversion, do you know which one is exponentially beneficial? (Hint: it’s not traffic.)
When we do our comprehensive user experience audits, we focus on the big picture items and the bits and pieces alike because even the slightest misstep or confusion can lead to a missed sale for you and your customers.
So while it’s impossible to list everything we look at to make a good website, there are six things that we have found absolutely vital for the bare bones of a successful webshop.
The Top 6 Elements a Good Website Should Have
1 – Have a Clear Mission Statement
What do you do? This needs to be immediately understandable to the people that you serve.
Your mission statement should be above the fold so your ideal customer doesn’t have to search to figure out whether you can help them. Why? They won’t search. They’ll just find someone else to solve their problem.
2 – Updated Product/Service Pages
At the very least, your product or services pages need to have relevant, helpful information for the people interested in them. Make sure that you include sizes, benefits, how to use information, and ingredients if applicable. A good product page also has an element of story, uses keywords that your customer would search for, and has an updated meta description.
3 – Yes, You Need an “About Us”
Somehow this always gets ignored. The story about why you’re building this brand needs to be available to your audience. Loyal customers will tell your story to people when they’re sharing about your products (free traffic), so do your best to share your emotional connection with your brand.
“I’m working with a holistic marketing team of two women with two different minds that really care about creating a strategy that represents my brand,” is a lot nicer than, “I hired a marketing team that helps me.”
4 – Make Sure Your Website Works
I can’t tell you how often we see potentially good websites that actually don’t work.
Go through your checkout process all the way, click your links, and check the functionality on mobile, desktop, and tablet. This is especially important for mobile, since almost 50% of traffic and 45% of ecommerce purchases happen on mobile—and that percentage expected to grow to almost 70% by 2021.
The focus for purchase right now is still on desktop and in general, desktop engagement is higher, so optimize for both.
5 – Have the Right Navigation Bar
The key here is finding the balance between simplicity and options. Typically you need 3-4 options on the main navigation: about, shop, blog, contact/FAQ is pretty good.
Create sub menus of your main product categories so people can easily find what they’re looking for in your shop menu. Don’t add too much here, your menu should be clear, easy to understand, and not overwhelming.
6 – Stay in Your Niche
Don’t add a bunch of products that don’t resonate with your ideal customer. More isn’t better, and you’re not doing yourself or your customers a favor by adding random products to your website.
Staying in your niche means being clear on what you offer, who you offer it to, and how you communicate about it. Set guidelines for your brand and don’t stray from your goals and intentions—people will pick up on it and you’ll lose trust.
Do you have all these elements on your webshop? What are you missing?