7 Elements of a Great Website
7 Elements of a Great Website

7 Elements of a Great Website

Published on July 31, 2023

Website development is a lucrative industry full of opportunities for savvy entrepreneurs. In fact, the global website builders industry is predicted to be worth $2.7 billion by 2026.

While there are plenty of opportunities to go around, not all websites are created equal. If you want to build websites and get paid for doing it, you need to know what goes into a good website design.

Too many sites on the web right now are poorly designed, don't function well, or present confusing or misleading information. But if you know how to build a site that looks, feels, and functions like the best sites on the net, you'll know how to get clients flocking to your door.

Today, we'll discuss the elements that go into a great website. To find out how to build sites that businesses are eager to pay for, keep reading.

1. Clear Purpose

As a web design business owner, integrating a customer-centric perspective into your digital marketing approach can significantly impact your success. Emphasizing the importance of starting with the end goal in mind, you'll discover that web design is not just about creating attractive webpages, but rather about building high-performing platforms designed to drive sales and conversions for your clients.

By proactively identifying what your client's website needs to achieve, you'll gain valuable insights into the essential elements to include while avoiding potential design pitfalls. This strategic foresight ensures that your web design projects are aligned with your client's specific objectives, allowing you to plan ahead effectively and deliver exceptional results.

2. Appeals to a Target Audience

It isn't enough to understand what you want to build. It's imperative to know what your average website visitor wants to accomplish.

Once you know what the website you're building is supposed to offer, you can identify the audience that wants it. From there, it's a matter of identifying what that audience needs and wants. Effective salespeople succeed by getting into their customers' heads, identifying what scares and inspires them, and offering them a way to get what they want and escape what frightens them.

Effective websites are no different. While you may not be selling something in the short term—for example, a financial blog might not have an obvious monetization system built-in at first—you still need to understand your users to make a site they want to visit. If you're building a website for a bakery that specializes in making wedding cakes, your target audience might be wedding planners and soon-to-be brides and their families.

So your next challenge will be to learn about these kinds of people. From there, you'll need to craft the website intentionally to cater to this audience's interests, needs, and preferences.

3. Simplicity and Cohesion

No matter who your website's audience is or what it seeks to achieve, almost all websites should be designed as simply as possible. To make sure your site meets its users’ needs and expectations, it also needs to have visual cohesion.

The rule of simplicity applies to both website functions and aesthetics.

Functionally speaking, you should keep the available options on any given webpage to a minimum. Ideally, each page should fulfill a single function—for example, to get visitors to join an email list or contact the site owner.

At most, you should avoid offering more than three options for things to do—actions to take, buttons to click on, etc.—on a single webpage. Obviously, this rule won't always apply to websites selling large catalogs of products.

When it comes to aesthetics, you should choose a small handful of design elements that look amazing together. For example, you might choose the colors green and gold for the site's background and graphics, and the simple color white for its text. You might then select a script-style font for headers and a complimentary, easy-to-read font for body text.

As a general rule, you should use fewer than five colors and no more than three fonts in a single website design. But if you aren't a professional designer, you might opt to use as few different elements. The important thing to note here is that you can't master proper design principles by reading a single blog post. If you intend to do this as your career, it's worth taking the time to study a good graphic design course.

An even easier solution could be to use a white-label website builder such as SiteSwan. As a SiteSwan Reseller you have access to over 250+ well-designed industry specific templates that are already built and designed. All you need to do is add some minor customization

4. The Right Photos and Graphics

Web design is primarily a visual medium, and the images used are incredibly important. These include everything from a website's logo to its illustrations, still photos, and embedded videos. The imagery on a website should align with both the particular web page's purpose and the brand of the company behind it. It's easy to get this wrong, so let's take a moment to go into further detail.

If you thought matching colors and typefaces were difficult, collecting photos and graphics that make sense together can be even more challenging. Amateur designers often put together messes of unrelated photos that confuse the user. Instead, you should select photos and graphics based on the needs of the webpage and the personality of the business.

If a webpage is trying to sell a physical product, it should have multiple flattering photos of that product. If your client is a law firm targeting professionals, graphics should be kept to a minimum to reflect its serious personality. When choosing photos and images to use, begin by asking yourself what the webpage needs to meet the user's expectations.

Will the user be expecting a lot of pretty imagery, or a more streamlined design? Will they need illustrations to understand the information on the page, or are the words alone enough?

Next, look for images that meet this need while expressing the spirit of the company. You might use Pinterest to make a few “mood boards” with images in different styles that you're considering.

5. Intuitive Navigation

One of the most important features of a good website is also the least obvious: navigation. When you use a well-designed website, you don't typically think about the navigation. That's because when navigation is done well, it fades into the background, so you don't even notice it.

However, if you're on a website searching frantically for the option, button, or information you're looking for, that's when poor navigation becomes noticeable.

In a word, the way your website works should make sense. Someone who's never been on your site before should be able to find what they need there almost instantly. This goes along with what we said earlier about simplicity.

6. Responsiveness

Most people don't browse websites from their desktop computers anymore. Instead, the majority of web traffic comes from people using mobile devices.

Because of this, it's imperative that the website you build is responsive: that it recognizes the device or screen size it's being viewed on and adjusts (or “responds”) to fit it.

The good news is that most modern website templates and builders have responsiveness built-in. Still, you'll want to make sure you test and inspect your site on multiple devices before it goes live.

7. Good Search Engine Optimization

With rare exceptions, people don't use the web by entering web addresses into their browsers anymore. Most of the time, people use search engines to find the services, content, and products they're looking for.

As a result, if your website doesn't appear on the first page of search results, it's likely going to be overlooked by the vast majority of users. That's why proper search engine optimization, or SEO, is so important.

There are many factors that go into optimizing a website for search discovery. As a rule of thumb, a site that loads quickly, updates its content often, and is well-designed and easy to navigate shouldn't have too much trouble getting discovered.

Beyond that, make sure you have a list of keywords that are relevant to your client's audience and use them throughout their website. You'll want to find keywords that get a lot of search traffic without too much competition.

Start Building Great Websites for Your Clients Today

With that, you now know what goes into a great website. From observing tried-and-true design standards to doing proper SEO, this is what it takes to make websites clients are eager to pay for.

If you're thinking of starting your own web design business, or up-leveling the agency you already own, SiteSwan is a great place to start. Our platform lets you build professional websites easily, with all the tools you need to profit quickly.

To learn more and get started with SiteSwan, request a free demo.

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