What makes a good website?
Internet marketers now have close to twenty-five years of experience to draw from. As more and more businesses strive to build their web presence, those twenty-five years of experience allow us to list the qualities of a good website.
A Good Domain Name
Chances are you were not allowed to choose your name at birth. So take advantage of this opportunity to choose the best possible domain name for your website. Just like naming your business was one of the most important first steps in its creation, a great domain name is one of the essential qualities of a good website.
Here is how to find a great domain name for your business:
- Find a domain name that is easy to type. Avoid phrases that could lead to misunderstandings.
- Avoid hyphens, because they will lead to confusion. People will not remember all of the hyphens within your domain name san-diego-web-designer.com. The same is true for numbers. For example, 1webdesigner.com could be confused with onewebdesigner.com.
- Short domain names are better. Long domain names with a lot of complexities will not be memorable.
- Include keywords that are important to you, but don’t go overboard. If you stuff keywords into your domain name you could cheapen your brand.
- If you are serving a local market, include it within your domain name. If you are a web designer in San Diego, include it within your URL.
- There are millions of domain names out there and most of them are boring. Come up with a name that’s memorable. When you find a domain name that you like ask your friends, family, and colleagues for their opinions.
- Check for trademarks. Once you like a domain name enough check for active trademark registrations. A little research in the beginning could save you a lot of legal headaches down the road.
- Use the .com extensions. I know there are more-and-more domain extension to chose from, but the .com is still the best for businesses. Other popular extensions are:
- If your domain name contains words that are often misspelled, register the misspelled version too. You can then just forward the misspelled domain to your website.
- Register your domain name sooner rather than later.
Do you want to improve your website? Contact us now.
A good website design makes your site memorable, yet some entrepreneurs opt to design their own website. And, because they have built it they love it. Unfortunately, the result is that they end up with a website that looks home made. If you want to create the right image about your business, hire a professional web designer. Don’t hack together a website that creates the wrong first impression about your business.
Stay True to Your Identity
Your business targets a specific consumer base and offers specific products or services. Your website should reflect this identity in the best possible way. Your website will represent the face of your business to internet searchers who find your website. One of the most important objectives for your website will be to strengthen your brand identity, so it is imperative that your website supports and enhances the identity of your business.
Good websites are structured to be well-organized. They are not cluttered with unnecessary images or text. They are clean with plenty or white space. Organization makes websites user-friendly.
The internet brings vast amounts of information directly to the fingertips of users and the world has come to expect easily available information. When potential customers visit your website, they will come expecting to find certain things. Contact information is one of the most sought after pieces of information your customers are seeking. So, make sure that your physical address, email address, telephone number, and hours of operation are featured prominently on your website. One of the main goals of any business is to convert potential customers into paying customers. To make purchasing easier, make sure you include means for purchasing your products or services on your website. If all your business happens at a physical location, consider linking a map with directions to your business in your website so that customers can find you.
Content is what makes your website unique. Content can turn your website into an authority. Original content is also great for SEO.
There are many ways to create original content, here are some of the most popular ones:
- Curate content from other popular websites.
- Brainstorm with your team.
- Ask your readers and create content with your answers.
- Interview experts and team members.
- Guest post articles on other people’s websites.
- Publish case studies.
- Review products or services.
- Tell stories about projects or customers.
- Write about recognized brands.
- Write about books and movies and how they relate to your business.
- Report on trends.
- Recycle some of your existing content. Turn articles into videos or articles into infographics.
If you are going to include purchasing means on your website and there will be the exchange of social security numbers, credit card numbers, bank account information, and birth dates, it will be important to include security encryption on you website. Identity theft and other forms of online crime are a serious concern. You can increase your buyers’ confidence and allay their anxiety by using SSL certificates to encrypt communication involving sensitive information.
Here are some of the most effective ways to keep your website secure:
- Keep your WordPress installation up-to-date. If your website is not built on WordPress, hire a professional to convert it for you.
- Instead of hosting your website on cheap hosting accounts, host your site on reputable high performance hosting accounts.
- Update your plugins too.
- Use strong passwords. Never include any dictionary words within your password. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters within your passwords. A bad password would be “george1984”. A good password is like “N#t!23xtY%#Q8>”. If have trouble coming up with a strong password for your website use a site like strong password generator.
- Keep your passwords safe by scanning your computer for spyware.
- Use SSL, which is a protocol that encrypts data transmitted through the internet. Install SSL and renew your certificates every year.
- Register your website with Google Webmaster Tools. As a result you will receive notifications of malware infections immediately. This is very important because if you don’t catch malware on your website, you will be blacklisted and excluded from the Google search results.
- Don’t use “admin” as your username. Most hackers try to hack the “admin” account first.
- Limit login attempts. There are plugins like “Limit Attempts by BestWebSoft” that allows you to limit attempts to login to your website..
- Backup your website often, that means at least once a day.
- Get expert help. Our team at Webene can help to keep your website secure. Ask us how.
The best websites make it a breeze to get around. Your site visitors must quickly find whatever they are looking for on your site. If they can’t find what they want, they will leave frustrated and end up on your competitor’s site. Simple navigation will help you with your conversion rate too.
Customers hate websites that just will not work right. The internet has progressed to a point where everyone expects that pages will load quickly, that links will work, and that information will be clear and accessible. A good rule of thumb for load time is that potential customers will forsake your website if it takes more than four to six seconds for your page to load after being clicked on. There are several factors affecting load time including plug-ins from external sources and the complexity of media files embedded in your website.
Take the following steps to make your website more user-friendly:
- Keep your logo on the top left area. Your logo should also serve as a direct link to your homepage.
- Add search functionality to your website. A navigation menu is not enough. People expect to be able to search by keywords.
- Highlight the navigation to show the visitor where he is at any give time.
- Include your contact information and make sure it is easy to find. I recommend that you have your phone number in the header area and your physical address in the footer area.
- Make sure that your website is responsive.
Easy to Read
When it comes to websites people like to skim through.
Here is how to make your website easier to read:
- Leave plenty of white space.
- Use H1, H2, H3 tags.
- Make your paragraphs short, no more than 5 sentences.
- Start each paragraph to draw interest.
- Avoid long complex sentences.
- User bulleted lists.
- Add relevant links to content on your site and on other sites.
- Use numbered lists within your articles and blog posts.
- Bold, italicize, and underline to draw attention.
- Add images, photos, and infographics.
Make sure the world knows how great your business is on your website. If your business wins awards, gets good press, or earns high reviews, go ahead and feature that information on your website. You can also include a feature that allows your customers to compose testimonials. Because you control your website, you can publish all the best testimonials you receive while learning from the rest.
Do you want help with your website? Contact us now.