Our clients, contacts, and the people we meet during our visits often ask us the question:
Website creation for business: what makes up a good website?
The quality of a good website depends on its general strategy, its communication objectives, and the alignment between these elements.
The following six key points will demonstrate the basic concepts and critical success factors of website creation for businesses.
Six essential keys to creating a good website
- Your website must meet the needs of your audience, whether that is to solve their problems or satisfy their needs. This works in both B2C (the approach is called design thinking) and B2B (called solution marketing or “solution selling”). Keep in mind that a website’s audience is always greater than its target. This is the principle of content marketing and inbound marketing.
- Your site and its theme should be clear and understandable, even by someone who knows nothing about your offerings or company.
- Your website should be composed of interesting and relevant content before being decorated with images. Certainly, aesthetics are essential for the comfort of your visitors but don’t forget that a good website always prioritizes its content.
- Your website should use original and relevant images. Feel free to create your own illustrations, which you can brand with your logo, domain name, and/or Twitter name. For example, the image above was taken by us with a macro lens and represents the digits on a smartphone.
- On all the pages of your site, it will be necessary to assign meaningful titles that will go beyond the simple name of your company.
- Your site must offer fast response times and fluid displays because Google favours fast websites.
Many other criteria come into play when creating a good website. However, the 6 points above are essential and provide a good starting point. More detailed explanations, definitions, and tips from our experience and research are offered below.
Do not forget that to create a good website you will also need practice and perseverance. You will most likely not get it right the first time or without effort.
Our website definition
A website is a content space connected to the Internet network through a server. It consists of web pages, text, images, and other multimedia content that may have informational, marketing, technical, social, or commercial purposes.
The invention of a protocol, HTTP or hypertext protocol, uses a web of links to unite the resources of the web. These dynamic or static links make it possible for websites to function.
The function of a website
There are different types of professional websites with distinct purposes:
– Informational purposes: In this category, you will find media organizations, online press, and information sites, including blogs. It also includes thematic websites or portals dedicated to a topic and intended to cover it in depth.
– Marketing or communication purposes: A brand and company must have a website to inform its customers about its products and services and its philosophies and methodologies. The website will attract customers to the company’s offices and provide them with a direct point of contact. In the best case, a company will use its website to attract customers to it and generate new prospects (lead generation). We speak then of inbound marketing, which is customers who reach the company through its website instead of the company going to the customer. This is why the website is essential for the activity of the company.
– In electronic commerce (e-commerce) a website is developed for commercial purposes to make direct online sales. There are different types of commercial sites. First, the “pure players” are internet commerce players that do not have physical stores, and the “click and mortar” combine a physical presence and an online store.
- Non-commercial transactional sites
- Collaborative or social sites
- Sites with technical purposes
Corporate websites are supposed to display your company on the Internet. Therefore, a good website must have dynamic content, be rich and attractive, informative, and, above all, customer-oriented. A quality website will also be interactive, allowing the customer to contact the company and receive a response quickly. A website can be interactive by implementing a chatbox or a video chat option. Another alternative is to utilize a chatbot, an interactive intelligent agent that will respond to the client in real-time.
However, the definition of a good website does end at the excellent criteria of the Bowen Craggs benchmark index. Here is a checklist that will help you assess your web capital.
Checklist for a good website
We updated and simplified the following checklist from Vincent Flanders‘ work within the Webpagesthatsuck.com website. The following points will allow you to assess the quality of your website.
– Our website has been designed to meet the internal needs of our company rather than the needs of our visitors.
– Our website tries to convince visitors that our company is excellent, but will not solve their problems exclusively through our website.
– It would not take a visitor more than 4 seconds to understand what our website is about.
– A man from Mars could not quickly find the center of gravity from your home page or any page you are on your website.
– Our site aims to gain the trust of our visitors. Remember that this doesn’t mean your site must be beautiful (certainly, aesthetics don’t hurt, but they don’t have to come first). Instead, your website’s content should improve your credibility (worry about information first and then graphics).
– On the contrary, it is not enough to include pretty images to seem credible. Your choice of images should not only be relevant and evocative and, above all, original. Unfortunately, the proliferation of low-cost image banks leads to a pervasive Web standardization where all Internet sites end up looking the same. Therefore, we recommend taking the opposite of this trend. That is why, for example, on our website and blog, almost all photos and illustrations have been created by us.
– The home page of our site, or any other page on the website, is quick to display. Speed has become less of an issue for websites. But not for Google, which heavily penalizes slow websites. Optimize your website to ensure display speed. If you have opted for WordPress, make sure the “WP Rocket” plugin is installed and configured. If you have the technical and financial means and resources to maintain a website, instead of WordPress, go for a website.
– Our site is adorned with creative navigation, and we include share buttons that are visible and apparent areas for our visitors to find (which are usually hard to find). The visitor then admires the designer who cleverly placed the elements on his website.
– Our site is full of design tricks that do not contribute anything to the user. Have you noticed how the best-known and most visited websites are also the least aesthetically successful? The cartoon in this area is Amazon, which has hardly changed its design since its launch over twenty years ago. No fancy graphics, no convoluted navigation, no fancy innovations, and a site that hardly changes, which means we know exactly where to find things. At the time of its heyday, Yahoo! was dubbed “the typesetter’s nightmare” as its logo was hideous. The site redesign did not save Yahoo! which was acquired in 2016 by Verizon and in 2017 merged into OATH. This does not mean that to be successful a site must be ugly. But, the main concern you should have for your site is the interest of your customers and users.
– We welcome our visitors with a vague, value-added message such as “welcome to…”. In other words, one should avoid hollow at all costs. Be careful with the first impression, which is usually the best. A visitor will have a few seconds to evaluate a site before deciding whether or not to spend more time there. This is also why content approaches are so powerful. The visitor’s main reason for visiting your website is the content and quality of the information you provide. Think about it!
– Our site is flash-clad or stripped back to an empty page and flat graphic design. Flash websites are a survival of the past, some still resist. But in recent years, a new and more insidious form of web diversion has emerged: the flat-design site with edge-to-edge images fully-fledged on a home page with internal links. They are empty sites with no content, no links outside of the home page that has become a single page. When comparing these two formats (the flash site and the empty flat design site), they are under the same illusion: aesthetics, form is more effective than substance. Be careful not to interpret this rule as a rejection of flat design. Of course, that wouldn’t make sense.
– Our site displays a splash page. This rating does not apply to sites promoting the merits of alcoholic beverages. Less popular today, these splash pages have begun to disappear. If it persists on your site, remove it as soon as possible.
– The title of the home page of our site is “home” or “index.” It is imperative that this title is meaningful and goes beyond the simple name of your company (which is often already present in your URL). Please note that this point is relevant not only for your home page but also for every page referenced on your site.
– Our site welcomes you with music that plays automatically when a visitor opens the page. This development tic was very present in the early days of the Web and then disappeared. But now it’s back, and a growing number of sites, even the most serious ones, have started implementing music. But unfortunately, it is not only useless but irritating. Not to mention the embarrassment you create in the office when you land on a page like that, and all your co-workers glare at you for disturbing their thinking or composure.
There is no standard answer to “what is a good website?”
The list is not closed, and nothing better than concrete work on your website and your web capital. In the end, there is no standard answer to what a good internet website is. Your visitors and their reactions will determine what will make your website good or bad. It is also advisable to multiply meetings and feedback from your readers. Furthermore, good suggestions can also come from discussions or surveys.
In the end, whoever wishes you success on the Internet or anywhere else will not hesitate to express constructive criticism and help you.
By definition, a good website remains a rare commodity. Therefore, choosing an outside consultant for support is always recommended.
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