Your business cannot survive without a website. While this is certainly true, it has become outdated. Today, almost every business has a website. So, let’s tweak the earlier statement a bit. Your business cannot survive without a perfectly designed and engaging website. Regardless of your product quality or level of customer service, you need to have a professionally designed website.
A poorly designed website can make it harder to find the relevant product or information. The frustration can compel even your most loyal customers to jump ship and go to your competitor. Given the high level of competition, the last thing you want is your loyal customers ditching you for your competitor. To help you decide what makes a good website, we have picked the top 10 components every website must have.
Things to Include in Your Web Design
1. Quality Content
Most of us are familiar with the phrase ‘content is king’. However, we believe it is no longer applicable given the volume of content that goes on the internet every day. Today, quality content is king. Your website is effectively the digital front door to your website. If the content is out of place or does not address the audience’s requirements, it quickly becomes a liability.
While developing quality content seems straightforward, it is quite challenging. According to a survey, more than half of global marketers said that creating quality and engaging content is the biggest challenge. Therefore, we highly recommend that you utilise a specialist digital marketing agency for this purpose.
2. Responsive Design
Design the majority of the website traffic coming from mobile devices, website owners still don’t understand the importance of a responsive web design. Even some of the world’s top websites have a non-responsive design which makes for poor viewing on mobile devices. A modern website must load properly, i.e. adapt the layout irrespective of the screen size. The figure below shows the share of mobile traffic compared to desktop traffic.
3. Optimise the Web Graphics
A website’s loading time directly influences the search engine rankings. Google and other top search engines use the loading time as a key factor in their ranking algorithm. Even if they didn’t include them in their algorithm, you still need to focus on the loading time. According to several studies and our own experience being a leading web development company in Islamabad, long loading times result in poor user experience.
If a website takes longer than 3 seconds to load, the user will click the ‘x’ button and move to another website. With the majority of the website traffic coming from mobile devices, the user attention span is falling sharply. It means that a few years from now, even 3-second load times will be considered poor. Therefore, optimise the web graphics to improve the loading times.
There are several free tools available for this purpose. Therefore, it won’t be much of a hassle. If you have too many graphics, we recommend buying a premium tool. While free ones work just as fine, they have limitations. If you have a WordPress website, we recommend this plugin. As you can see from the reviews, it is highly preferred by WordPress users.
4. Simple Checkout Process
If you are designing an eCommerce website, place special emphasis on this point. A simplified checkout process can be the difference between a top-ranked eCommerce store and one dwindling close to failure. If the checkout process is complex, users won’t hesitate to go to a competitor’s website. That’s why a lot of top eCommerce websites now allow users to complete the process without even signing up!
When designing the checkout process, ensure that the pricing and shipping are clearly visible. Customers hate it when the price suddenly goes up due to hidden taxes or shipping when they are close to checking out. So, ensure transparency throughout the process. Consider exploring one-click checkout to further streamline the customer buying journey. It can help your conversions significantly.
5. Keep It Simple
A lot of website owners talk about keeping things simple, but they actually fail to do so. Their website is overloaded with too many graphics, text, and unwanted web pages. It complicates things for the visitors. They may find it challenging to find the desired information. Therefore, whenever designing a website, keep things simple. Don’t overcomplicate the design!
Unfortunately, this feature is too often overlooked even by the top-ranked websites. Every website has a moral obligation to make things easier for people with disabilities. It not only makes things easier for them but can also improve your standing. Given the emphasis placed on sustainable and ethical practices, improving your website’s accessibility is a great way to stand out from the competition.
7. Social Media Integration
Social media is an important part of our lives and that of a business. There is no point in ignoring its importance. The figure below shows that the average time spent on social media by internet users is increasing.
With VR/AR devices becoming mainstream, we’ll witness further growth. Therefore, it is essential to display social media buttons on your website and ensure seamless integration.
8. Security Features
9. Search Functionality
Most people assume that only an eCommerce website needs to have search functionality. Wrong! Every website must have a search functionality. The search bar must be prominent and have an auto-fill or auto-suggestions feature. Secondly, offer quick links for web pages that are most frequented by your users. It will improve the navigation process. Also, place call-to-action buttons or links to relevant pages when a user’s search returns empty results.
10. Clear Navigation
Lastly, the website must have clear navigation. The menu structure must reflect the website’s hierarchy or the importance of the web pages. We recommend using precise and to-the-point labels for the menu buttons. Implement breadcrumb navigation so that users are aware of their current position on the website. Utilise visual cues to differentiate the hierarchy of various menu items. A/B testing will help you determine the best way to design the menu.
These are the top 10 essentials every website must have. Without them, your website is effectively out of the competition. No amount of marketing can save your website. Therefore, first focus on establishing a sound foundation for your website and then proceed towards the marketing. As a leading web design company in Islamabad, we have the expertise and resources to design intuitive websites regardless of the niche. Contact us for more information.