The 5 Most Important Things for a Website

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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?

1. High-Quality and Relevant Content

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.

Brother Vellies webpage featuring two mannequins in a NYC bodega.
Brother Vellies has content that specifically appeals to its audience – young, hip, creative, and city-dwelling.

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.

Top Tip: Optimize visuals for faster loading times and include alt text to improve your website’s accessibility.

More Information

  • Copywriting Tips: Some top tips to improve your website’s copy in our helpful guide
  • Copywriting Techniques: Discover the tactics used by experts so your copy can help boost conversions on your site.

2. User-Centric Design

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).
A Lipbar webpage featuring a variety of women's faces and tiles with beauty products for sale on a pink and burgundy background.
The Lip Bar’s color palette is both calming and striking, reflecting the lipstick brand’s offerings.

3. Mobile Responsiveness

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.

A photo of two young women in black sunglasses and slick outfits. There's a "Revive Our Roots" title.
Coco and Breezy’s mobile site looks great and is perfectly formatted for smaller devices. 

4. Fast-Loading Speed

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
  • Change your website’s code and scripts – look at your site’s HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to make sure it doesn’t include anything unnecessary to reduce file sizes, such as comments, characters, and whitespace
  • 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
A red white and blue webpage celebrating cherry Icee Dippin' Dots ice cream. With fireworks!
The Dippin’ Dots website loads up quickly, meaning customers can find what they need instantly.

5. Enhanced Security and Privacy

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.
A photo of a superfood poured into a white bowl, and a headline saying "Energize your Summer".
With one glance at the padlock in the web address, you’ll see Golde is a secure website.

Find Out More

Check out these free tools to run a Website Security Check on your site to check your website is safe.

Summary

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!

FAQs

There are lots of things that go into good website design. There are more objective things like fast load time, responsiveness across all devices, simplicity, easy navigation, tags and menus that are identifiable, and consistent branding throughout. And more subjective ingredients that make a good website are an effective use of color and images, memorable and reliable content, including your values and vision, and stories to bring the website alive.
Check your site’s loading times and ensure it looks great whether you’re on desktop, smart phone or tablet. Is your content up-to-date and SEO optimized? Is it organized well? Does it make the most of your skills and talents? And is it memorable? If you feel overwhelmed, check a reliable, free website checking service.
Great question! A website can help you build credibility, look professional, and expand your reach and customer base. It also gives you a built-in marketing platform and helps you communicate with potential and current customers. And, it can give you data to help you shape your products and customer experience for the future.
Written by:
Smiling headshot of Amanda Graham
I started writing for Website Builder Expert in 2022. I love copywriting for ecommerce, website, automation, and website brands and I’ve ghostwritten and content strategised for some of the largest multinational brands in the world. I have years of writing experience for the BBC, including documentaries, scripts, and Twitter campaigns. With such a wealth of experience to draw on, some of my best work on Website Builder Expert focuses on topics such as ecommerce strategies, marketing tips, and small business advice. I hope you enjoy my articles!

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