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  • Writer's pictureJanice Clines

What makes a website great? A comprehensive guide to success

Your website is often the first point of contact between your organization and your audience. In today's digital age, it's crucial to view your website as an asset that provides solutions and leaves a lasting impression. A great website goes beyond aesthetics; it encompasses a clear purpose, user-centric design, engaging content, and continuous improvements. I recently attended a webinar, hosted by Results Direct, that explored the key factors of what makes a website great, while providing many insights on how to create an exceptional online presence. Here are some key takeaways from this webinar that I think you will find useful.

Clear Purpose & Goals Driven by Strategy

Every great website begins with a well-defined purpose and strategic goals. It's essential to understand why your website exists and what it aims to achieve. Whether it's generating leads, providing information, or facilitating transactions, a clear sense of purpose guides every decision in its development and maintenance.

Prioritize User Experience

User experience (UX) is paramount in website design. A great website ensures that visitors can navigate, access information and accomplish tasks with ease. This user-centric approach enhances engagement and encourages visitors to return.

Visual Design & Branding

Your website's visual design and branding play a significant role in creating a memorable online identity. Ensure that your website is accessible and user-friendly across different devices and browsers. Avoid generic stock images and focus on humanizing your brand through authentic visuals. Simplify the design while maintaining a consistent brand experience.

Compelling Content

Content is king in the digital world. To make your website great, provide valuable, relevant, and up-to-date content tailored to your target audience. Align your content with your website's purpose, offer solutions, and include clear calls to action to guide users to the next step.

Performance Tracking & Ongoing Improvement

A great website is never finished; it evolves with your audience's needs and technology advancements. Continuously monitor your website's performance, looking at metrics like average session duration (aim for a high number) and bounce rate (aim for a low number).

Insights to Good User Experience

  • Identify top tasks your visitors want to accomplish on your website.

  • Seek feedback to eliminate assumptions and improve the user experience.

  • Avoid jargon and acronyms; spell everything out for clarity.

  • Pay attention to how users refer to your content and use that language.

  • Regularly test your website and encourage user feedback.

User Journey

Map and verify user journeys from their first point of contact to your landing page. Whether they come from email, social media, or search engines, make sure their experience is seamless and intuitive. Clear indicators on your website should guide them toward their goals.

Design and Branding

Ensure that your website's design and branding represent your organization's identity effectively. Humanize your brand with authentic images, simplify the design, and maintain consistency throughout your web properties.

Website Content

  • Align your content with your website's purpose.

  • Provide value to your key audience.

  • Keep content up to date to reflect your organization's current position.

  • Include clear calls to action to guide users toward the desired action.

Website Success Measures

  • Regularly clean up website content.

  • Monitor metrics like average session duration (higher is better) and bounce rate (lower is better).

  • Utilize tools like GA4 to understand user behavior and engagement.

  • Create custom reporting dashboards to get a snapshot of your website's performance.

  • Implement website/content governance to optimize your content.

  • Develop a digital roadmap for continuous improvements based on user behavior.

Remember, in the digital world, a great website is an ongoing journey, not a destination. By implementing the factors mentioned above and continuously refining your online presence, you can create a great website that not only impresses your audience but also delivers tangible results. Your website should be a powerful tool that contributes to your organization's goals. AOE has the expertise and know-how to help you make your website great, reach out today.


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