What Makes a Good Website

What Makes a Good Website (Designer Secrets for Websites that Sell)

30 minute read

Ever started thinking about your website and gotten overwhelmed before you even begin? We know, we have been there before too! As veteran website designers and developers here at Weeknight Website, we know what makes a good website. 

A good website is a central piece of your marketing and is important for making your business a legit profit turning machine. Fun Fact, according to this article, 57% of internet users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website. (source: https://www.sweor.com/firstimpressions)

This means that even if you have amazing products and outstanding service, people will not recommend you if your website is dated and old. People want the fresh new thing. They expect a good user experience and they will not come back if they don’t get it.

The secret to what makes a good website

Even though we talked about stats above, it’s important to remember that websites are more than good pictures and trendy animations. The key to what makes a good website is connection. Your website is meant to make your customers feel an emotion. When this happens, the connection to you and your product (or service) is a stronger one, which leads to more trust and, in turn, sales. 

Think of it as inviting someone into your home. It may not be the most trendy, but if it feels like YOU and it feels well taken care of and clean, your friends will be at ease. 

Now imagine your home is warm, clean, filled with the magical scent of warm baked cookies, and has the most beautiful and current interior designs, people will not only love coming over, they will tell all their friends and family about your home and their wonderful experience visiting. 

So what can you do if you have a dated website (or no website at all) and little to no design experience? How can you conquer the basics of what makes a good website and design something that people will share for you, helping you grow your business? 

So what’s the silver lining about learning to make a good website?

It’s not as hard as it sounds. 

It’s not even as expensive or difficult as a home reno. (Whew!) 

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There are some very basic and simple things that anyone can do on their website right now to create stellar customer experience and increase sales. Websites are not meant to be overly complicated and time consuming. They are also meant to be living and breathing things that we nurture and add to on a regular basis! 

How to start making a website you can be proud of! 

Knowing Your Target Audience 

This is essential to establish before you begin designing even one thing. If I were building a house for my friend, I would likely be using a completely different style than if I were building for myself. My style and what makes me comfortable might be completely different than that my friend loves and finds comfortable. While we may be similar in taste, I want to make sure that once the house is built, my friend absolutely loves it for years to come. 

Building a website for your audience is just the same. As much as this is your website, it is not about you. It is about your audience. When you make everything you do about THEM they will become your biggest champion and they will love you for it. 

If you do not already know your audience, download the PDF below to identify and target the right customers! 

Begin with A Plan

Just like anything else we do in life, if we fail to plan, we plan to fail. Having a clearly laid out plan is essential to website success. Rather than getting frustrated, designing each page from scratch, changing your mind about the goal on each page, and getting so worn out you never finish, we want you to start and END STRONG when building your website. 

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Now there are some essential things we need to include in our planning phase that will help the design part of building the site easier. 

Step 1: 

Make a list of the pages that you need on your website. Do you need a portfolio page? Are you going to have a shop? What about a blog? Thinking about these things in advance helps you to determine what is most important and where things should go in the order of creating an outline. (We will get to more about that later on in this post.) 

Step 2:

Find examples of other sites you love and see what they have on their site that may be a good idea to include in your website. There are a couple of things to note here. Do not start comparing yourself to other people. You are just starting out and they are established in their website design, content creation, and website style journey. Do not be intimidated out of going forward with your project. That being said, the flip side of this advice is do not copy someone else. Other than being icky and downright illegal, it will also make YOU appear behind the times and unoriginal. If you see something you like, you can emulate it but make sure that you put your own spin on it. This is what will win your audience’s heart. 

Step 3: 

Decide the action you want people to take. Why does this even matter, you ask? Because if YOU can’t decide what the customer should do, then your customer will never be able to make a decision. Remember, a confused mind always says “no”. Just remember that for your whole website there should be one main action. And each page should have one main objective as well. 

Step 4: 

Decide on the second and third actions that need to go on the home page. These will be further down the page and will have clear calls to action that we will talk about later on in this blog post. These things can be actions such as:

  • Joining your mailing list 
  • Blog 
  • Shop 
  • Booking form 
  • Music player
  • Gallery 
  • Calendar

These are a few examples. Keep in mind that all the content should be pointed toward one singular direction and business. Don’t try and build multiple business sites on one domain. The result will be messy and complicated for users. Not to mention your statistics will be completely convoluted, making it hard to do advertising and analytics tracking later on. 

Pro Tip: One Website = One Mission / Brand / Topic

Step 5:

Decide what should go in your navigation menus. Your main navigation should be reserved for those core offers we talked about in step #2. The footer navigation should include things that you need for legal reasons such as a privacy policy, terms and conditions, and if you are a shop based website, we would also recommend including your shipping and return policies. 

Use a Proven Homepage Framework

Now that we have determined the items for what makes a good website, now we need to establish what framework those items we are going to use. 

The key here is to keep your direction strong and clear for your audience so that you never confuse the buyer’s mind. 

This is one place that we can help you speed along your process. Instead of researching for hours and getting that FOMO feeling each time you see a site more beautiful than the next, let us take some of the pressure off! 

We have a list of the 7 best Homepage Outlines you can steal based on our research on over 10 year of design and marketing experience. All you have to do is add your email below and snag it! 

Build Trust with Your Audience

This is such a common mistake when people don’t understand what makes a good website. Remember when we were talking about connection and building a home for your online visitors to feel comfortable in? Well friends, this is the part of the process where the rubber meets the road. 

There are tons of ways that you can prove your authority and experience in a niche, even if you are just starting out.

Testimonials 

These are the lifeblood of any website that wants to make sales (so, yeah, all of us.) If you don’t have any yet, we recommend reaching out to your past customers that loved your product or service and asking them for an image and a short review. This will lend credibility to your product or service. No customers yet? No worries read on for ways you can build trust till you get your first paying customers! 

Show your process

This is for our services peeps in the house, Don’t be shy. Tell people about how you are going to deliver on your promises. Give them an overview of what to expect from you and how long things generally take. It may seem silly, but when you do this, you give the customer confidence to book with you. 

Case Studies

These are a more data heavy and results driven approach so they are naturally harder to get, however, they can also lead to BIG profits! These are among some of the most important types of proof and data that you can acquire for your business, so as soon as you can, make this a priority. 

Story

Again, we are going to use emotion to connect with our audience here. Tell them why you do what you do or what inspired the products you are selling. Let them feel the heart of your mission and let them connect with you and your mission. This is one of the strongest forms of trust building you can do, especially with a new audience. A great place to do this is on your “About” page. 

Need help writing a killer “About” page? Download our free fill in the blank PDF with the perfect About Page Formula! 

The most important secret about what makes a good website

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If you get nothing else form this blog post, please know that THIS is the make or break moment for any website. 

85% of adults think that a company’s website when viewed on a mobile device should be as good or better than its desktop website. (Source: https://www.invisionapp.com/inside-design/statistics-on-user-experience/)

This website statistic tells a clear story. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly site you are leaving money on the table and possibly throwing money away. This is something that no one can afford to ignore in the online climate of the 2020s. The good news is that with the right builder for your website, mobile-friendliness is not a hard or arduous task. You can build websites that are absolutely stunning no matter what device they are on with a little bit of forethought and planning. 

Want to Learn 3 More Secrets for What Makes a Good Website?  

Learn our best designer’s dirty little secrets in our new webinar, 3 Website Must Haves to make you look legit online.

This webinar is devoted to helping you build a website that will make sales and build your business. 

YOU’RE GOING TO LEARN…

  • The one-page website structure that will get your business going fast
  • The mistake you’re probably making on your site that is repelling the right people
  • Tricks you can use to improve your online street cred and look legit!
  • How to make your site one that gets you paid, without you needing to pitch, email or call anyone!

Register for the LIVE webinar here!

We are a team of web designers and marketing pros with over a decade of experience. Our mission is to help you go from zero to money-making website with the support you need to get it done. Join our list below to get free stuff and special offers from us!

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