What makes a great website in 2021
2020 changed a lot of things in the world in a variety of ways affecting industries across the board. Perhaps the biggest thing it’s done has sped up the digitization of businesses across the world. More businesses than ever have realized the importance of having a strong online presence.
I want to spend some time writing about what makes a great website in 2021 with all that we know about the future of digital business. Things have changed and having a website that is properly optimized and performs well has gained importance as the number of online shoppers has increased.
I’m always looking to help fellow business owners and technology professionals make more money and help their businesses run more efficiently! I’ve seen three areas in which you can make your website the best it can be. You have a design, technical, and added feature section. We’ll address all three below.
Here are the 11 things that will make a website great and optimize your sales in 2021.
Visual Website Design
More often than not, a website’s design and what it looks like is the first thing that comes to mind for people when they hear the words web design. There are so many more things to consider when hearing the word web design, but there’s no doubt the way a website looks and feels goes a long way in converting visitors into customers.
When it comes to websites in 2021 the more fancy it is may not be the best approach. Lots of facts are suggesting the simpler the website, the better it converts.
Here are a few things to think about when designing your website.
1. Keep on track with your brand
A website for most businesses and companies is a marketing and sales brochure. You want your website to represent your company and allow visitors to identify your brand upon entry to the website.
Make sure that you are staying consistent with the colors, fonts, and logos you are using throughout your website. This will make it easier for your visitors to associate the brand and colors with your business. This can trigger a memory and bring your business to the forefront of their minds when thinking about the types of products you offer.
2. Utilize white space
White space goes a long way in helping to declutter your website and also reduce strain and stress on your eyes. Utilizing white space makes it easier for the visitor to process and focus on the main feature of that section of the website.
For example, here’s a photo of a great use of white space
As you can see, there is a lot of room and it’s easy on the eyes. It draws your focus to the photo and to the header. You can easily scan the page and not feel overwhelmed by the amount of content on the web page.
Being able to effectively use white space is very important in keeping visitors on your website. When a visitor sees too much content or has too much to digest, they will get overwhelmed and bounce off your website. No business owner wants people running from their website.
Remember that simple is better when in doubt while designing a website!
3. Great use of images
Images go a long way in helping give your users take a break for taking in too much information. This is very much true of websites that offer e-commerce stores. Having effective images for your products can make them even easier to sell as good imagery associates positive thoughts.
However, having poor quality images or images that have no point to the page can actually hurt your website and sales.
Where you place the images also is very helpful. Remember, you want to break up long blocks of text, even if it is in a blog post. This gives your reader a quick break from staring at the screen and creating strain on their eyes.
Captions also get four times more views and reads than the body of your content so a relevant image with a relevant caption can actually increase your chances of your product or service being bought!
Here are some examples of the types of images you can use on your website:
- Stock photography
- High quality images or photographs
Now onto the technical tips that lead to a great website in 2021.
This is the geeky part of your website that you want to make sure you don’t skip over! If you’re using a developer make sure they are knocking out these steps to ensure your website becomes a sales machine.
It may not be the most fun part of creating a website, but it arguably has the biggest long term impact on the success of your website. These are the things that make your website easy to find for Google and that can help you with your search result rankings.
Here are some big tips to focus on or to communicate with to your developer
4. Responsive web design and mobile friendliness
This should go without saying for what makes a great website in 2021 but it has to be mobile friendly as we continue to see a higher amount of searches coming from mobile.
The good news is that even if you aren’t a designer or developer, then there are still ways to ensure you have a mobile friendly site. You can browse templates on WordPress, Wix, SquareSpace, or Shopify and they will have mobile friendly pre-made templates.
If your website/application doesn’t look good on mobile, then you’re going to lose money without question.
5. Website speed
Site speed will play a big role in your website’s ability to convert visitors into clients/customers. It’s optimal that your website loads in under 3 seconds. Ideally faster.
Think about it. How often have you smacked that back button after a website took awhile to load? It’s all too common and poor site speed is a big reason companies lose business.
You can use the Google site speed test to test your website’s speed.
6. Making sure your website is secure!
You know when you’re browsing on Google Chrome and you enter a website that says the site is not verified? Yeah that’s a bit of a concern for your visitors. This is especially true if you’re requesting sensitive information on your e-commerce website or website in general.
Nobody wants to take a risk in having their sensitive information stolen from them. It is an absolute must that you have an SSL certificate on your website to show your visitors that your website can be trusted.
This way they can feel confident and comfortable with entering sensitive information on your website to capture a sale. This is a necessity for a great website in 2021.
7. On-Page/Technical SEO
I won’t go into a lot of detail in this post about on-page and technical SEO, but we will stress its importance! These are the basic tasks that you need to do in order to set your business up to be found on search engines.
On-page and technical SEO include things like:
- Keyword density
- H1 and Header tags
- Declaring your site’s language (en, es, etc.)
- Site title and meta description
- Social cards
- Site Speed
- Alt titles for images
- Broken Links
- 404 Not Found Page
- SSL Certificates
- Mobile Friendly
- Bounce Rate/Performance
All of the above play a role in how easy it is for Google to understand what your website is all about. It also makes it easier for Google to rank your website that matches your keywords.
Wix, Shopify and WordPress offer some of these things built in, but it is worth it to do some research on these topics. If you are using a developer, then speak with them about these things and make sure they understand what they are doing.
Your website needs to be found in order for it to be effective. Don’t sleep on these things thinking people will magically find your website and buy from you!
You can learn more about on-page and technical SEO here.
8. Website features and tools to enhance your company’s website
With digitization continuing to play a huge role in the way businesses approach operations, website tools have become more and more useful.
These are features and tools that can be very very helpful in helping to maximize your website into getting the best results possible. These are things that can help you increase your sales and profits if you take the time to pay attention to it.
9. Google Analytics
This should be one of the first tools you use for your website in 2021. Google Analytics is so helpful in the way that it helps you process data. It isn’t too hard to learn by yourself as there are various classes online.
The ability to understand what the visitors on your website are doing, where they’re coming from, how much time they spend on your site, and where they are leaving your website is so crucial in understanding how effective your website is.
The more you understand your visitor’s behavior, the more you can alter your website to their needs, and the more needs you satisfy, the more conversions and money you will make.
10. Chat Tool
Having a chat tool can be an easy way for your visitors to get in contact with you. These work very well for e-commerce websites where you might be dealing with various different customer requests.
Drift is an excellent tool that you can put into your website. This will allow your customers to have an immediate way to chat with you, and you can easily get in contact with them.
These can be really helpful in the way customers look at your customer service.
11. Email Marketing
If you are not already building an email list then that is something you need to get working on ASAP. Email lists are a great way to be involved and offer content to your visitors and customers/clients.
You can offer them something for free in exchange for the email and now you have a soft lead that could grow into a sale over time. These are great for both service and product based businesses.
For service based businesses, you have an engaged follower who you hope will think of you when they eventually need your service. For an e-commerce store, this is valuable in the sense that you can offer them exclusive deals and notify them of sales.
I recommend using Mailchimp but there are many other options like Constant Contact as well.
This was a longer and more broad blog post but hopefully you found it useful in putting you in the right direction to making a great website in 2021. All of these features are vital to making money using your website these days.
Don’t make the mistake that some make by making an awesome looking website, but then doing nothing about focusing on how your website converts visitors into clients/customers.
At the end of the day, your website should be serving your business and making you more money. It’s a 24 hour sales tool! It’s best to treat it that way!
As always, if you have any questions feel free to book a free website consultation!