What Makes a Good Website

1 September 2022
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Looking good is a must if you’re a website that needs to attract visitors and smoothly convert them into customers. In its turn, the smoothness comes from the ease of usage and navigation — no user would want to make an order via a website that won’t let them log in or when it’s impossible to locate the order form. 

So in a nutshell, the quality of a website derives from the general appeal and the ease of use. These qualities depend on the industry (health and beauty VS home renovation), the type of company (manufacturer VS retailer), and the purpose of the site. Today, we are diving headfirst into what makes a website convenient and, which is more relevant, profitable.

Website architecture

When we speak about the structure or build of a website, we usually refer to its architecture or taxonomy. In short, these terms describe the hierarchy of pages and the relationships between them (e.g., main page → main section → sub-section).

What Makes a Good Website

Website architecture involves both design and planning in terms of content. The main goal of optimizing architecture is to enhance the site’s usability. This structure is important if you want to attract and retain users, but it also impacts the way your website is seen by search engines, thus influencing the site’s visibility.

What are the essentials of a “navigatable” site?

  • Categories group the pages based on the topics they cover. Thanks to good categorization, users can easily find what they are looking for (this happens when you don’t place coffee machines in “Home decor”).What Makes a Good Website

     

  • Breadcrumbs — a secondary navigation feature that helps users understand the relationship between the current page and the higher-level pages. Breadcrumbs can be based on various factors, such as hierarchy or search history, for example. These small elements make it easier to move around the site and also showcase its structure. This is especially useful when a user comes to the website from an ad or search results and sees a specific page, not the homepage.What Makes a Good Website

     

  • Faceted navigation or faceted search — when users can use multiple filters at once to narrow down the search results. For example, size, price, and the year of manufacturing instead of a one-dimensional filter that says “plus size” or “bestsellers”.
  • Filters are used to refine the search by a single criterion and usually form big product categories.

As we have stated before, the website architecture depends on what you want from this site, but in simple terms, this is what a good site should and should not look like:

What Makes a Good Website

Design

Website design is another important asset that helps users decide on whether they want to stay or leave the page. We have delved into the creative trends before, but this is like fashion — ever-changing. Still, once you have found a design that works for you, there is no need to change it every season. However, there are some general rules that will benefit any design.

Your website should be:

  • Simple — straightforward designs show better results than complex approaches that try to shock the visitor into staying, besides highly-creative layout may make the navigation cumbersome.
  • Consistent — all pages and buttons should carry the signs of a chosen style, and the layout and color palette of similar pages (for instance, product pages) should be the same.
  • Accessible — design-wise, this includes the quality of the mobile layout.

It’s also a good idea to use visual elements for navigation and storytelling. In the image below, the background photo makes sure that you will notice the lead form.

What Makes a Good Website

User Experience

On top of design and website navigation, on-page optimization and content placement add greatly to the user experience. For example, pay attention to the arrangement of text and images: there are specific patterns that dictate what parts of the screen get the most attention from your audience. Use this information to optimize your website.

What Makes a Good Website

Tips and cues

  • Run regular website usability tests to fix the issues and bugs that tend to accumulate over time. And remember that it is always wiser to employ a professional to do this job.
  • Know your audience’s pain points and use them to make your website revolve around the problem. They don’t want to read up on the topic, they want the issue (whatever it may be) solved.
  • Make your website interactive: forms, questionnaires, and quizzes — are only some of the elements that can entertain the users and make them stick around. However, don’t add such elements for the sake of it, use them when it’s necessary.
  • Link your website to all relevant structures: messengers, support chats, forums, etc. The information you provide should be accessible, and it must look trustworthy — so give them more proof.
  • The language you use should be adequate to your target audience: it’s not only the quality of writing, it also involves the tone of voice and the complexity of ideas. Make the content understandable and relatable.
  • Avoid in-your-face colors and animation that may irritate or distract the users. Opt for smooth visuals and restrained yet contrasting colors.

Conclusion

There are numerous elements that influence your website’s performance, and it is wise to make your best to optimize them all. Make sure that your website is easy to navigate and that it provides users with the very thing they came looking for. If it’s e-commerce — create transparent categorization and informative product pages, blog — use keywords and interlinking, manufacturer website dedicated to one product — use flat site architecture with visible breadcrumbs. Simply put, choose the means to an end.

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