In September 2023, Umbraco 7 will reach end-of-life, having entered the security-only phase in July 2021. Whilst this doesn't mean that your website is going to suddenly vanish overnight, there are some significant negative implications to consider.
What makes a good website?
So, what makes a good website? There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to this, as it depends on what kind of website you have, who you want to target and what you want to achieve. Nevertheless, websites are still ones of the main assets of any business. Having a credible, professional, and engaging online presence requires a lot of work and patience. A successful website will allow you to stand apart from your competitors. To do so, it needs to grab the customers’ attention and quickly provide them with the information they need. Here are nine key factors that should be considered when building a website for your business.
What makes a good website: Design and content
Your website is often the first impression your visitors get of your brand, so it is important to make the best impression possible to keep your audience captivated and on your website.
1. Original Content
Original content should not only be based around what you are trying to sell but also your audiences’ interests. This will encourage customers to get involved, share your content with their friends/colleagues and come back for more. Furthermore, Google values content that is relevant and interesting for users. Therefore, creating original, exciting content is doubly beneficial when producing a successful website. Some companies decide to do this by writing articles or blog posts, while others create pages addressing frequently asked questions. However, it not much use having amazing original content if no one sees it, so it’s equally important to know how to optimise and promote it.
2. Visual design
Your website needs to be eye-catching! That means a well thought out colour scheme and high-quality images. The right colour scheme can go a long way in giving your visitors the best experience possible. While you need to be careful not to overdo the amount of colour on your website, as it can distract from the text and imagery, colour is something that needs to be considered before launch as it can brighten up and make most pages look less boring. Similarly, images play a huge role in the visual appeal and overall success of any website. They help create a much more professional and high-quality look, helping to communicate with your audience more effectively.
A modern website must be accessible so all types of visitors can use and benefit from your content. Screen readers and contrast which help people view websites have to be enabled. Have you ever seen a website with a black background and dark blue text? I don’t think so, as this would be impossible to read and would turn visitors away. When designing abuilding your website it is important to continually test for accessibility.
Most people don’t read a website they just quickly scan through them. That is why structure is key in improving user experience. Hierarchy helps people identify the most important sections on the website. Whilst headings help break up website content and by separating the text into small blocks will help visitors digest content more easily.
5. Search Engine Optimisation
SEO is vital in driving traffic to your website. Effective SEO takes time and effort to see results, they don’t simply happen overnight. However, having said that in comparison to other marketing techniques such as cold emails or social media, SEO yields a much higher ROI. SEO efforts are usually accompanied by implementing strategies such as: optimising and promoting quality content frequently, backlinking, conducting keyword research to determine what your audience is looking for and cleaning up code.
Make sure you check out our previous blog post on ‘What is SEO and how does it work?’ to find out more about how and why you should be using SEO to optimise your website.
What makes a good website: User Experience
Not only should your website be visually appealing, but it also needs to be both functional and usable. This increases user experience, giving your customers a reason to come back.
A good website design isn’t all about its visual appearance. Overall, your website must be useful and serve a purpose. If it doesn’t it’s a waste. Every page of your website should be useful to your visitor and help them in a productive journey- whether that’s to tell visitors about your brand, sell a product or give them the opportunity to get in touch. Companies need to ask themselves what visitors will be looking for when visiting their website and create the website accordingly.
2. Organisation and navigation
A well-organised website allows it to stay clean and professional, removing any unnecessary clutter. Following a solid structure makes a website more accessible and user friendly, meaning that visitors will be able to better navigate their way through your website and find the content they need. If a user has to wander around your website to find what they are looking for they may get frustrated and leave. Thus, it is imperative to include an intuitive navigation bar or mega menu depending on the size of your website.
Check out the mega navigation we recently delivered for Smart Energy GB on their website here.
Users don’t want to wait for slow content to load, they want the information they need at the touch of a button (quite literally) and without delay. Speed is also a vital component of good SEO. The main contributor to how fast a website performs is where/how the site is hosted. This is a really crucial discussion to have in the early stages of any web build project. In order to keep speed optimal, it is a good idea to review your website’s graphics, videos and audio to make sure it loads quickly.
4. Tracking and analytics
Metrics and website analytics give companies an insight into what’s going on, on their website. Furthermore, measuring traffic helps to better target a website’s customers, generate relevant ads, and increase website conversion rates. One of the biggest advantages of analytics tools is that it allows marketers to determine whether your customers are completing an action or not on your website. This could be completing an online purchase, filling out a form or subscribing to your newsletter. In order to have a good website is it vital to track and understand what is working and what isn’t to make educated improvements.
A good website grabs the customers attention, encourages them to stay longer and browse different pages until they find the information that they need. While it may seem like a simple task, building an effective website takes a lot of planning and consideration.
Here at ClerksWell, we have partnered with Umbraco and Sitecore to create innovate, robust and functional websites for our clients. Our experts have been developing websites since inception, and we pride ourselves on our technical expertise.
So, if your website needs optimising? Or perhaps you’re looking to build the perfect website from scratch and want to talk to one of our experts about it, don’t hesitate to get in touch here.
Web accessibility is the practice of ensuring that people with certain impairments and/or disabilities can use the web, whether that’s internal usage (digital workplace), or external (audience-facing public website).
The UK government required that all public sector organisations make their websites accessible by September 2020. Now that public sector websites must be accessible, what does this mean for the private sector?