Qualities of a Good Website

Qualities of a Good Website

With the internet industry growing tremendously, it is very important for small and growing businesses also to have a strong web presence. In many cases, a good website can help small businesses compete effectively with their more established competitors. Many small businesses make the mistake of treating their website like an online business card and not like a working online representative of the company that can drive business.

In an effort to try and get the cheapest website possible, many small businesses end up with a website that either does nothing for their business at best, and hurts their business image at worst. A loss of belief in the online medium or frustration are common outcomes for businesses that do not invest wisely in making sure that they have an effective, hard working and good website in the first place.

How to make a good website?

Is it enough to put up 5-10 pages with the contents of your company brochure? Is it enough to have a sleek and high-tech looking website? How does one create a good website? What should be kept in mind while creating a website so that it is equally friendly to both users and search engines?

Ever wondered what makes people stay longer on certain websites when they visit it? Just because you have a website, why should it feature on page 1 of Google when there are perhaps thousands of similar websites if not more?

Is it the site design, the content on the site, images, animations, videos? Would it help to have the latest technology? Well, yes and no. All of these are important if they provide something of value to your visitors.

Ever asked yourself why anyone should return to your website after visiting it once? The answer to that question will help you build a website that works for your business.

At the very minimum, you need to make sure your website has the following two qualities:

The basics of user friendly design

It is important that your site is always up and doesn't go down too often. Links to pages on your site should not be broken. Navigation of your site should be intuitive and easy. Pages should load quickly. Content should be organized by theme and relevance to the way a user would want to access it. All these elements go a long way in enhancing user experience on your website.

Aesthetics matter

A good looking site isn't always an animated site. It isn't always the site with the jazziest graphics. Good aesthetics should either reflect your business personality or should look contemporary when compared to the sites you compete against. If a visitor to your site likes its look and feel, you have won half the battle.

User-centric content

This is the other half of the battle, and perhaps the more difficult part. Content on your website should serve the need of your user. When writing content for the site, do not think "what do I want to say", think "what does my user need from me". When you provide content that is written with the end user in mind, there is a good chance it will be engaging for the visitors to the site.

Keep your website alive

Have you ever been to a website that had outdated content? If you have, did you feel it was a very credible and reliable website? Would you keep going back to such a site? Would you do business with an organization that has a dated website?

If you wouldn't, why would your customers? Provide the visitors to your website with up to date information at the least. Try and build thought-leadership through informative blog posts or articles. Give information that you feel will be valuable to your visitors. Keep reading and updating the content of your site.

Provide value

Perhaps the most important element of a good website design is its value proposition. Why should someone like your site over your competitor? What differentiates you? Never build a site that tries to sell what you have to offer. Try and build a site that gives users what THEY are looking for. Satisfy your user's need more often than not and you will be sure to have a winning site.

Use programs all browsers support

The latest features used on some sites may not be supported by all browsers. If a browser does not support a particular feature, then the user to your website will get a less than optimum experience. HTML is one such program that is supported by all browsers and is search engine friendly as well. Most small businesses get into the trap trying to be with the times when HTML may be the most optimal solution. When considering the use of a technology, make sure it will be compatible with most — if not all — browsers.

High Quality Content

Content is the most important part of a website. It is very important to have original and credible content on the website. Do not copy-paste content from different resources. If you can, try and create content that is witty and / or content that engages the reader. People like to visit sites where they get useful information. Users will not like it if your site only gives a list of links to different websites. Having content does not mean just having a lot of data on the page. The content should be relevant to your business and should be related to the subject of the page. Avoid typos, incomplete articles and other mistakes on the site. Update the site regularly. If users visiting your site realize that it has irrelevant content, typos, incomplete articles and other such issues, they will not come back to your site again. More often than not, content that engages visitors is also loved by search engines.

Images and other graphics on the site

Though content is an important aspect of a website, having just content on the site can make it appear boring to the user. Hence, it is important to use some sort of images or graphics on the website. Some of the content on the site can be represented graphically as well. Images and pictures give relief from all the content on the page. They can make a website look appealing to the user. Videos and animation, when used judiciously, can add a lot of value to your content. However, do not use graphics, images, animation or videos meaninglessly. Remember that graphics slow down your site and they should add enough value to justify the compromise in speed. Make sure your website is designed to fit the screen resolution of most number of users.

Optimize HTML

If your website is created using HTML code, then it is necessary to optimize the HTML code. The code should not have any errors. Many times browsers render a web page even if it has errors. However, these errors slow down search engines when they try and crawl the content. Error-free coding of your website will ensure that your site is crawled quickly and effectively by search engines, giving it the best chance of ranking well in search results.

Interactivity

It is important for a website to be interactive. Wherever possible involve the user. Adding a blog where users can comment, having a forum or Q and A sections on the site will result in the user being interested in your website and wanting to visit it again and again. However, it is important that interactivity is not a gimmick. It should serve the purpose of engaging your visitor. Having an un-manned online chat feature can do more damage than not having a chat. Same is the case with a blog that's seldom updated or a forum that no one participates in.


There are many aspects to a good website design, but if you take care of the above, you would have given yourself a good start. The first step would be to partner with the right web design company. Make sure your website is optimized for search engines. Try and create a 'wow' factor that will make users keep returning and try to ensure that users find something new and interesting with every visit.

Your website is not your online business card. It can be an effective business representative if you give it a fair chance. It can only be as good as you allow your website to be. Good website design is not rocket science, but it isn't cheap either. Compromise with your website and you could potentially be saying good bye to a lot of business that could have come your way from your website.

Lakshmi is a member of the SEO team at VTech SEO and a writer. VTech SEO provides high quality outsourced SEO services, web design services and content services to growing businesses around the world. We also offer white label SEO services to web design firms, digital marketing firms and advertising agencies.

VTech SEO is among India's leading SEO firms for growing businesses from around the world. VTech SEO offers outsourced SEO services, HTML based web design services, content services, and other outsourced services from our offices in India and USA.


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