A website is a must-have for a company today. The presence on the Internet is becoming more and more important and a website is the port of the entire online presence. In the following blog post we describe what makes a good web presence and what you should pay attention to when creating a website.
One of the most important points in advance: If you do not offer your users added value on the website, you will not be successful.
The domain is a fundamental point for the success of your website. It gives the first impression about the company. When choosing a domain name, make sure it is as short and memorable as possible. This makes it easier for users to access your website. In the best case, the domain also already describes your offer or services, gives an idea of what your company does. The domain extension is also important. In Switzerland, domains that are registered on .ch endings have a very high trustworthiness among users. There are other domain extensions like .swiss or .li, which can be used if your desired domain is on .ch is already taken.
2. Define the goals of the website
In order to build a successful online presence, it is important to first define the goals of a website. Goals can be to run an online store, generate leads through the website or introduce your company. Of course, there are many other goals you can define. Always pay attention to the customer’s point of view when defining the target group. You are building a website not for yourself, but for your customers or other stakeholders.
If you have defined the goals of the website, customers will ultimately realize what the goal is when they use the website. Whether explicit or implicit, you can guide users based on their goals.
3. Define target group
For a successful web presence you need to know and define your target group. What do customers want?? What do you expect when you are on your website? How must services or products be described so that they are bought??
These are the questions you need to answer so you can create content that is relevant to users and provide them with value on your website. "Content is king" is the motto when creating a website. The most important thing is that the content you create is relevant to your target audience. There are few things more frustrating than not being able to find the content you are looking for on a website. Expectations are not fulfilled and users leave the website again. This ultimately leads to a lower ranking (ranking) in search engines.
The navigation on the website is very important. Care should be taken to make the navigation as simple and clear as possible. Navigation is ultimately based on the goals for the website and the defined target audience. The information architecture of your website is a very important factor and is directly related to usability and user experience.
A flat and clear navigation helps website visitors to find their way around in the best possible way and to reach the information in just a few clicks. A nested and confusing construct of links and menu items is a big hurdle for your visitors. The menu should, if possible, be structured according to simple menu items such as "Home", "About us" or "Services. You should be able to see at first glance what is hidden on the respective subpages.
5. Usability and design
Great websites often impress with their simplicity, clarity and design. Fancy designs tend to be difficult to read and do not guide users intuitively through the website. Usability is one of the most important aspects of a website.
The website should be self-explanatory, as well as the navigation. Users should be able to find their way around without difficulty. Most visitors to a website do not feel like spending a lot of time gathering information. You can certainly see this in your own example.
A contemporary design is important. Also, the design should be adapted to your company. Optimally, you already have a CI / CD (corporate identity / corporate design), which you can use as a guide when creating a website. If not, that is not a big deal either. Then build the communication to the outside around the design of your website.
6. Content with added value
As already mentioned: "Content is King. The content should offer real added value for your defined target group. Be responsive to potential questions from customers. Explain your products or services well and understandably. It is important that possible questions are answered comprehensively without the texts becoming unnecessarily long.
The language should also be adapted to the target group. Use paragraphs when creating the texts and do not create sentences that are too long. This increases the readability of the texts. Complicated explanations about products or services should be described in a way that even someone who is not a specialist can understand, if possible. Nevertheless, it is important not to scare away experts by too simple or too extensive texts. Look for a middle ground.
Another point is error-free grammar and spelling. Of course, mistakes creep in all the time (it’s the same for us), but have someone else proofread your texts. Error-free texts increase the credibility of your company and also have an impact on search engine rankings.
7. Fast loading times
Fast loading times are very important in all respects. On the one hand, it is tedious for users to wait a long time for your website to load. On the other hand, long loading times have a great negative influence on the ranking in search engines.
Very good loading times are between 1-2 seconds. If a website takes longer than 5 seconds to load, your users will bounce away from your website. Even more important is the loading time for smartphones, because the loading speed also depends on the connection. So with bad connections the loading of a website takes even much longer.
By the way, you can measure the speed of your current website yourself at the following link: PageSpeed Insights
8. Responsive Design
While we are on the subject of smartphones: another point in this context is "Responsive Design". This means that the website adapts to the size of the screen on which it is displayed. So with a large screen the content is "stretched" and "displayed large" and with a small screen, such as on a smartphone "compressed".
Why this is important? Because on average, around 60-70% of all website calls are made via a mobile device. If the design is not responsive, your users will bounce and not return because they were not satisfied. This in turn has a negative impact on search engine rankings.
9. Contact and interaction possibilities
Contact and interaction possibilities characterize a good website. On the one hand, you must have a contact form that is clear and easy to use. On the other hand, you need links and "call-to-action" buttons on the individual pages, which will prompt users to perform a specific click.
Interactions can be achieved, for example, by linking to your social media channels, where posts can be shared, commented on or liked. If you run a blog, this is an ideal way to do so.
The interaction possibilities, however, go far beyond the described examples. Search functions, "chatbots" and other possibilities exist. For SMEs, however, the above examples are usually sufficient.
10. Show yourself in a natural and sympathetic way
A website is actually a digital business card. As mentioned above, it is the port of all online marketing activities. Therefore, it is important for you to appear natural, friendly and likeable. Show your target audience what you have to offer, who you are and what your philosophy is.
Naturalness should continue after contact has been made. That is why it is not worthwhile to make promises on a website that you cannot keep afterwards.
11. check font and readability
On our Digital Creators website we use the OpenSans font, which is often used online. It is an example of an easy-to-read font that, without attracting a lot of attention, leaves a lasting impression.
When choosing the font, make sure that it can be displayed by the most common browsers. Otherwise, the browser will simply display a different (possibly more complex) font. boring) font to. From experience, the font size should be at least 16px, but also not too large.
Furthermore, you should pay attention to the typography (fonts, font sizes, line height, etc.).) to create a consistent design. If possible, flow texts should be left-aligned and not run across the entire width of the screen. Texts that are too wide make them difficult to read. Centered texts are often suitable as header texts and less so as body texts.
Accessibility is an often forgotten, but important point when creating a website. It must be taken into account so that visually impaired or deaf people can also find their way around your website.
Responsiveness also plays a role here. Websites must display correctly on all devices such as desktops, tablets and smartphones. Mandatory are ALT texts (rough description) for images, graphics and videos, a consistent design, a good contrast ratio and a simple and clear language.
Accessibility also affects search engine rankings.
13. Keep website secure and up to date
After the creation is before the maintenance. Security updates must be made so that the website and applications can be used without security risk. In addition, you protect your website against attacks from outside by hackers or malware. After security updates, you also need to test the website again.
Also make sure to keep the website up to date. When you introduce your team and have internal changes, you need to make them online as well. Always analyze the user behavior by means of digital analytics (monitoring). This way you can optimize the content and provide your users with what they are really looking for. This is also how you notice when something on the website is no longer working correctly.
The 13 points described above give a good overview of what makes a good website. Of course, the list can be extended, for example by a keyword analysis before creating the texts, search engine optimizations (SEO), storytelling or by creating detailed customer journeys.
When creating online stores and websites for SMEs, we at Digital Creators proceed step by step. We start with a kickoff meeting where the framework is established. Then we create drafts (wireframe and mockup), which are discussed again before we go into technical and content implementation. In the end it is very important to test all pages and all links.
We will be happy to explain the exact procedure to you in a personal meeting. Inquire today for the implementation of your new website.
Do you need support with the conception and creation of your company website?? Then contact us.
Samuel Sommerhalder Sam is the communications expert at Digital Creators. He is familiar with a wide variety of industries and knows how the hare runs.