09 Sep The 6 Qualities of a Great Website – Does Your Site Have Them All? Part 2 of 2
In the last article, I discussed the importance of your website having pleasing aesthetics, brand exposure, and optimization on search engines. But what’s even more important? Read on to find out 3 even more essential items a website should always have.
(3) ACCESSIBILITY ON ALL DEVICES
Like most, you probably use your smartphone more than you use a desktop or laptop for web browsing. However, when most people think about creating a website, they start by considering its look and feel on larger screen devices. In this era, this is simply the wrong approach. More than 50% of website visits are now performed from mobile phones, so your website needs to be as optimized for mobile devices as much as, if not more than, desktops and laptops.
Your website creators should ensure buttons and links are big enough so that they can be tapped on phones. They should also build the site “responsively”, meaning that users won’t have to “zoom in” to be able to read content. Today it’s common for website designers to take a “mobile first” approach, meaning they design what the site will look like on a phone first, and then determine how that design can convert to a desktop layout. Whether or not your website creators follow that procedure or not, the bottom line is that making your website optimized for only larger devices is simply incorrect.
(2) FOCUS ON BUSINESS OBJECTIVES
Make it pretty, show your brand, make sure it shows up on search engines, and make it work on phones. That’s everything, right? A lot of businesses think so, and that’s why their websites don’t make them money.
Always remember that the reason you have a website is to help you achieve your business goals. Hence, your website should revolve around that more than anything else. For instance, you might not want your website creator to make a “Buy Now” button large because doing so will cause the site to look slightly less appealing. This is the wrong way of thinking. The “Buy Now” button is what you want all your users to click, so making it more prominent should always override aesthetic appeal.
Having your call-to-action buttons large and well-positioned, using intriguing and attention-capturing headline text, and ensuring your sales flow is easy and short all contribute to accomplishing your business objectives. These are also the tasks that many website creators do not have the skill set to implement. That’s because doing so involves the mind of a revenue-driven marketer, rather than an artist or coder, to accomplish. So be sure that your website creators have appropriate understanding of this skill set, as its importance cannot be underestimated.
(1) PROPER FUNCTION
If your website doesn’t work right, nothing else matters. I’m talking about things like links leading to error pages, contact forms not working, and similar essentials. Although this may seem obvious, it’s surprising how many “open for business” websites have basic mistakes like broken image links and “404 error pages”.
Although these issues should never happen with the right website creators on task, sometimes upgrades and edits performed by your website creators can cause these basic issues. Ensure they have a routine process in place to verify that all pages, links and functions are working properly. Or, perhaps this is a job for you – once a month, go through every web page and click every link to ensure everything looks right and functions right from a user perspective.
I performed the ranking because ranking is fun, and I wanted to discuss the relative importance of these 6 essentials. At the end of the day, however, if someone asks me what is the single most important website focus should be, I would reply with “That’s the wrong question to ask”. All of these things must work together and be implemented in harmony to have a website that your business can prosper from.