Does your website possess the key qualities for success? Whether your site is still in the planning stage or is already live, these characteristics of a good website are worthy of review.
Readers are searching for useful data that will help them solve a problem, make a decision, or become better informed. Obviously, the nature and quality of your content are critical, which we’ll explore in more depth below.
But the accessibility of your content and the overall functionality of your website are vitally important as well. We need to focus on the entire user experience.
Because a website that doesn’t attract and engage readers is doomed to failure!
So, let’s review the essential characteristics of a good website, shall we?
9 Essential Characteristics of a Good Website
1, Visually Appealing and Inviting
For an Internet marketer, your website is your storefront. And first impressions definitely matter. Sadly, the old saying. “never judge a book by its cover,” does not apply to websites. Studies show that readers will judge your site in a matter of seconds.
Your website design should be clean and uncluttered with a limited number of colors and lots of whitespaces. Make sure your content is visible above the fold. Relevant graphic images add visual appeal. But large pictures that swallow the screen and force readers to scroll to find anything of value should be avoided.
Typography choices should be made with readability in mind. Black text on a white background is most comfortable to read. Use simple fonts in at least a 12 point size. Moreover, the text should always be easy to scan. Use headings, subheadings, and short paragraphs.
Keep in mind that if you make it challenging to read your articles, most people won’t bother. The reality is, they have other choices!
2. Intuitive Navigation
Do your website structure and design make it easy for viewers to find information? The last thing you want is to have your valuable content hidden from view and inaccessible,
Audit your site to assess the following features:
- Do you have a clear menu structure?
- Does your site offer a search bar for quickly locating stuff?
- Do your posts contain internal links that guide readers to related articles?
- Have you fixed any annoying broken links?
Periodically, it’s vital that you approach your website with the mindset of a first-time reader who’s not quite sure what you have to offer. How hard is it to find out? For example, I’m always surprised when I visit a website and posts are organized by month rather than in descriptive categories.
3. Fast Loading
A website that is slow to load is a recipe for disaster on more than one level. If it takes more than about 3 seconds for your site to load, expect readers to bale. They simply don’t have the patience to wait. What’s worse is that potential readers who have a bad experience with your site are unlikely to come back and give you a second chance.
Google has also made it clear that speed is a significant ranking factor. A slow website cannot expect to rank highly in the search engines. Google is all about providing searchers with the best user experience and a slow site speed that frustrates users doesn’t cut it.
Many factors can influence the speed at which your web pages load. A few of those include your chosen theme, images that are not properly compressed and optimized, too many installed plugins, and the quality of your hosting.
Use Google PageSpeed Insights to test your site’s speed. This helpful tool will offer guidance about the issues that are impacting your website’s performance that will let you make the necessary improvements.
Most WordPress themes are responsive today and should display appropriately. But, you will want to check regularly. Mobile responsiveness is critical to your success.
Per Statista, roughly half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. Furthermore, mobile-friendliness is another Google ranking factor,
5. Optimized for Search Engines
The search engines are a fabulous source of free traffic. However, to reap these traffic benefits, you must ensure that your site is optimized, WordPress is SEO-friendly right out of the shoot. And, you can improve upon this foundation by installing an SEO plugin.
I use and highly recommend Yoast SEO because this plugin provides easy to follow guidance and will alert you to problems that should be fixed before publishing.
Make sure your content aligns with the terms (or keywords) that readers are using to seek information. Give yourself the best possible chance of appearing in the search engine results pages by also using this handy SEO checklist.
The quality of your content is what will draw visitors to your website or not. Keep it relevant to your target audience. Remember that users are seeking answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. Avoid the temptation to blog about things of purely personal interest or to get too far afield with your topics,
To be blunt, visitors don’t care about your ramblings. People visit your website with an agenda. If your post meets their needs, they will read it (or at least skim through it in search of the highlights 🙂 ).
So, be sure to use a keyword research tool to find your audience’s burning questions. Then provide a comprehensive answer that will thoroughly meet their needs. I use Jaaxy to do my research and uncover the most pertinent keywords for my niche.
Ensure that your content is:
- well-researched and accurate
- thorough enough to completely address the topic
- easily digestible and scannable
- easy to read
- includes relevant images to break up the text and create visual appeal
- free of typos, misspellings, and grammatical errors (I use Grammarly)
Your website should absolutely be using https and an SSL(secure sockets layer) certificate to provide safety and protection.
Google rewards secure sites with higher rankings, and it provides peace of mind to your readers. No one is comfortable when a website’s address bar reads “Not Secure” rather than displaying the SSL padlock.
8 The Face Behind the Site
As you grow your website, your goal is to become something of an authority figure within your niche. You want to build trust and create meaningful connections with your readers. So, don’t ignore or gloss over the About Me page. It’s an opportunity to tell your story.
Including a picture makes things far more personal. Readers now have a real person they can relate to. Be sure to include a Contact Form, and to be active within the comments. We’re all far more likely to purchase from people that we trust.
9. Clear Calls to Action
Do you know what you want your readers to do after reading your post? Desired actions can take different forms. For instance, you may want people to:
- subscribe to an email list
- read a related post
- purchase a product
If you don’t explicitly tell your readers what the next step is, the probability is they will do nothing. So, avoid that scenario by making the desired action clear,
Where Can You Learn More?
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I sincerely hope you found these 9 characteristics of a good website helpful. Improve the overall usability of your website by implementing these guidelines, and your website will be well-positioned for success.
Focus on creating an exceptional user experience, and your fledgling site will begin to soar!
Join the Conversation
What’s better than a healthy debate? If you think there’s a vital characteristic of a good website that I left out, please jump into the comments and let us know about it!