Whether you’ve only just started your search for the perfect website builder, or you’ve already finished making your site, everyone wants the same result – for their website to be successful.
But the digital world’s always changing and the landscape can be competitive.
So how do you stand out? By revving up the website elements that are key to success when you design your site. These elements will boost your user experience, give you better search engine rankings, and boost your conversion rates.
That’s why in this article, we’ll dive into the five most important things for a website to have in 2024. With good guidance, you’ll be well on the way to an unforgettable online presence. Ready?
As a consumer yourself, you know how important good content is – it draws you in, keeps you engaged, makes you aware of a brand, and even turns you into a loyal customer who will spread the word.
Your audience will want to connect with your business and learn more about you and what you’re about. To do this, you can use your unique point of view to write and make valuable content that speaks to their needs, problems, and interests.
Keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush are a great way to find out what your target audience is searching for. Then you can fold those keywords into some of your content. You can even carry out market research to help your content stand out from its competitors.
When you mix your copy up with images, videos, and infographics, you keep things interesting. Visuals are appealing and can communicate emotions, vibes, and even complex ideas, fast.
Storytelling is where the magic happens. Personal anecdotes, case studies, and customer success stories will help you form a connection with your audience. We’re emotional beings – and the deeper connection can drive conversions and foster brand loyalty like nothing else.
And to keep your content machine running smoothly, consider using content management systems (CMS) and tools like Trello, Asana, or Airtable. They help you plan, collaborate with others, write content ahead of time, and manage your content strategy with ease – a useful tool to consider if you need help staying organized.
It doesn’t matter how cool you are, or how rare or popular your products are. If your website is terrible or boring to use, people are going to bounce.
That’s why your website design has to be user-centric. It’s like giving a birthday present to a good friend. You’d think about what type of stuff they love, what they find useful, what they already have, and make the birthday experience as awesome as possible.
With user-centric design, you want your visitors to have a smooth and intuitive experience that speaks to their needs and pain points. So, what should your website focus on?
- Accessible content: use simple language, short paragraphs, and bullet points, to make sure your content is easy to understand. This makes your pages scannable and digestible, which is great if you want your readers to find the information they’re looking for quickly.
- Consistency: you want your website’s visual aesthetics, such as color palette, typography, and imagery, to align with your brand identity. Consistency makes your site look polished, gets your message across, and builds trust with your audience because they know what to expect.
- Use of whitespace: whitespace enhances readability, makes your website more accessible, and boosts the overall user experience. Leave plenty of breathing room around your content to avoid clutter.
- Adapting & testing: staying open to user feedback and testing the website experience is an invaluable way to give your audience more of what they want (and less of what they dislike).
79% of smartphone users have bought products using their mobile phones this year, and 80% of shoppers use a mobile phone to compare prices, check out product reviews, and find locations.
Having a mobile-friendly website is more important than ever, and it shouldn’t be overlooked when designing your website.
First off, you could use responsive design. This will automatically adjust your site’s layout and content to each user’s device and screen size, meaning your site will look and function like a dream on smartphones and tablets.
The other option is going mobile-first, which centers mobile usability and performance ahead of desktop users. When users access your site from bigger screens (like desktops), the design scales up.
But why bother beyond improving the user experience? Well, search engines, like Google, prioritize mobile-friendly sites, so when you optimize for mobile, you’ve got an edge over the competition.
If your website’s load time is slow, people won’t stick around to check it out – even if you have high-quality content or a mobile-responsive site.
And if search engines realize your website’s speed is lagging, they’ll push you down the rankings.
So, how can you speed things up? We’d recommend the following steps:
- Optimize your images and multimedia content – compress files or use appropriate formats to keep your media looking good, without sacrificing quality or speed
- Use a content delivery network (CDN) – CDNs store copies of your website’s files on different servers around the world, so visitors can access your site via a server that’s close to them
- Regularly check performance – tools like Google PageSpeed Insights will help you monitor your site’s speed and performance, and will even provide tips to help your pages improve
Rounding out our list of the five most important things for a website to have is enhanced security and privacy. It’s an uncomfortable truth, but if we decide to be online for any reason, there’s a slight chance data breaches and privacy concerns will impact our lives.
And as an online business with a website, you must have rock-solid website security measures in place to protect sensitive information. Not only is this a legal requirement, but keeping customer data secure will help your business build trust with its audience.
We recommend the following steps:
- Use SSL encryption & HTTPS protocol – upgrade your website’s security with an SSL certificate to guard the data that’s transmitted between your site and the user (such as payment details). The HTTPS protocol (“https://” instead of “http://”) can be seen as a padlock in the browser bar and protects sensitive data, indicating to visitors that the site is secure.
- Regular software updates – keep your website’s software, CMS, and plugins as up-to-date as possible to clear out bugs, patch vulnerabilities, and get rid of lots of potential threats.
- Strong user authentication methods – bring in two-factor authentication (2FA) to prevent hacking. This protects accounts from unauthorized access by requiring users to verify their identity with passwords or codes, for example.
- Comply with data protection regulations – Regulations like GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) will guide you on how your website can collect, store, and process user data.
Find Out More
Check out these free tools to run a Website Security Check on your site to check your website is safe.
There’s so much you can do to make an impressive website, but these are the five most important things for a website to have by far, from relevant content and high-quality content to mobile responsiveness and enhanced security.
Though the website landscape changes all the time, good foundations will always serve you well. By investing some time and effort into these essentials, you’ll be able to create an online presence in no time and meet customer expectations.
But even more than that, you’ll be on your way to creating a user experience that is memorable and keeps them coming back for more!