9 Elements a Website Needs to Have for Better Results
The success of a website depends on a few key elements. As you know, great design is important for a website, but no amount of design will keep a user on the site if these elements aren’t present. Let’s take a look at the 9 most important elements every website needs to have, apart from a great looking design.
1. Responsive Design
Websites need to look good on any size screen. That’s why it needs to be created with a responsive design.
Here are some ideas:
- Design “mobile-first,” which means that you start by designing for mobile and then adjust for desktops.
- Use a responsive theme.
- Learn some responsive code to help you along for more complex designs.
If a website isn’t responsive, it will look terrible on small screens. That will only make visitors run away from the site instead of sticking around to see more.
2. Easy to Follow Navigation
Navigation isn’t only about the menu bar. Getting around a website depends on user-friendly navigation. Buttons and links need to be easy to find or recognize. Every single page must be connected to the home page.
To create the best navigation experience possible, create a wireframe of the site before designing. Create a detailed outline of pages and subpages. Outline an escalating route from home page to content which will in turn convert visitors to clients.
Before putting a site into live mode, check and double-check all the navigation to see if it’s working. Test it out with friends and coworkers.
3. A Clear Call to Action
As you know, the main idea of a website is to convert. Conversions can be sign-ups in exchange for a download, subscriptions to an email list, hiring of services, or the direct sale of a product.
For this to work, there needs to a clear call to action. The main call to action needs to be noticeable at first glance without it being pushy or full of sales jargon. With the help of some good copy, the user needs to be told why they need to take action. How will this product, service or freebie help them?
4. Updated Contact Information
It’s common for a user to want to ask a few questions before they go ahead and hire a service or buy a product. A website without any sort of contact information is essentially useless. There are a few different ways to display contact information.
- Add a messaging plugin.
- Use a clear contact form.
- Insert social media profiles in an easy to see spot.
Make sure the email connected to the contact forms is updated. There is nothing worse than not receiving important messages and losing out on opportunities. Also, make sure the social media profiles are updated.
5. Reviews and Testimonials
Always include a section with reviews and testimonials. These will make new users gain the trust of the company faster. Use real reviews and testimonials, never use fake ones. Create a special section for the testimonials, making sure the visitors see them.
6. An About or Our Story Page
There must always be an About or Our Story section on the website. Users want to know who is behind the operation. If the story of how the company came to be is an interesting one, then it needs to be displayed. For older companies which have been around for years, a timeline infographic or interactive visual will add a special touch.
7. Relevant, Branded Visuals
A website is nothing without visuals. The best visuals are the ones that make sense with the company. Stock photography isn’t always the best option. Web designers who are also graphic designers can take care of this on their own. Otherwise, a graphic designer should come into the team so that visuals are the best they can be.
8. SEO Optimization Plugin
SEO is a huge part of a website’s success. By using an SEO Optimization plugin like Yoast SEO, websites have a higher rate of success on Google search results. Not using an SEO plugin is a huge mistake.
A little caveat; Web designers are not always SEO specialists. A plugin with minimal knowledge will help, but there’s nothing better than hiring an SEO specialist to push the results to higher levels.
9. Speed Optimization Plugin
Another plugin which must always be present in any website build is a speed optimization plugin. The options for this are quite varied. Some hosting platforms already offer this in their package. You might also want to use WPRocket and other image optimization plugins like Smush or TinyJPG. A slow website is a useless website.
Over to You
As web designers, it’s our responsibility to deliver the best results to our clients. That’s why these 9 elements must always be included in the final product. Use this as a checklist the next time you design a website. Have it handy so you can double-check.
Let us know in the comments if you think we missed something!