What Makes A Good Website? [Hint: It’s Not Design]

What Makes A Good Website? [Hint: It’s Not Design]

Before we get started, I promise we’re not throwing shade. We love designers, and we know that a beautiful website goes a long way to establishing authority and building trust in any business. That said, what makes a good website is not design.

What makes a good website is functionality.

When it comes to digital marketing (which is what you’re doing if you’re building a website) your website is a tool. It matters that it looks good, but what’s more important is that it functions as a tool — driving new traffic and leads to your company, and helping your sales and marketing teams close new deals.

So, if your website is a digital market tool, then what makes a good website? Here are a few of the key components that add up to a quality website that will work for you, even when you’re off the clock:

Quality CMS

If you learn only one thing from this blog, please let it be this: DO NOT have a developer custom-build you a website from the ground up.

Yes, they can do it. And yes, it might be a wonderful website.

It will never compete with the searchability and support that a more traditional CMS (Content Management System) can offer.

unmaintainable-codeA developer might be able to design you a fantastic custom website. The problem is that if it’s custom-built, and doesn’t make use of a convenient, sustainable CMS, when that developer leaves for a new job, retires, or wins the lottery, it will be very difficult to change or update your website. With a custom-built site, only the developer will know how the site works, is built, and how changes can be made, which means your site is now effectively dead in the water.

Beyond that, CMSs offer some very attractive benefits, like SEO ranking power, immediate translation, security, and more.

Let’s back up for one second — what is a CMS?

A CMS or content management system is an application that allows you to publish and manage content on the web.

You’ve heard of WordPress? What about Joomla or Drupal?

All are very famous CMS platforms. We use WordPress, for a lot of key reasons.

You don’t have to choose WordPress, but you should use a reputable CMS to build and manage your website. Why?

A CMS supports a variety of website templates, it should include intuitive publishing and content management options, it allows you to easily format your website content however you please, and it’s customizable. Essentially, it’s the first building block of a quality website. It’s the foundation that your excellent website will be built on, which is why you need to choose a quality one to start with.

We cannot stress enough the importance of using a quality CMS to support your website. Click To Tweet

A CMS helps you keep your website secure, and it makes it sustainable. Choosing a reputable CMS is investing in the future of your website. The CMS will always be there, and it will always be simple to update, change, and alter as your business grows and changes too.

Mobile Responsive and Quick Load Time

Your website has to keep up. If users have to wait for your site to load, or if they can’t view it on their phones while they’re in line at the sandwich shop, you don’t have a good website.

Start by choosing a website theme that’s mobile responsive. Mobile traffic makes up more than half of all the internet traffic around the world. Believe us when we say it’s important.

If your website automatically resizes to fit any screen, seamlessly, you never lose a potential client for something as silly as, “I couldn’t read your site.”

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In the same vein, your website has to load quickly. More than 50% of web browsers will abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load the landing page. That means, no matter how beautiful your website is, if your consumer can’t see it in 3 seconds or less, they’ll never see it.

It’s easier than you’d think to improve load time. One simple solution is to just minimize image sizes on your site. We use a plugin called Smush to optimize and compress all of the images on our site, ensuring that our site both looks good and loads quickly too.

Blogging Capability

We’ve gotten through most of the technical aspects of what makes a good website. For all intents and purposes, the thing is built. But now you have to get people to come to your website. Blogging is the first, easiest way to do that.

Any good website should have blogging capability. When you can publish blogs to your website, you can create a steady stream of content to draw new traffic in. A blog is important for a number of reasons:

  • Regular posts help you rank for strategic keywords
  • You can share your content on social media platforms, engaging more potential leads
  • Blog posts help you teach and delight new leads with quality, relevant content that draws them through the buyer’s funnel.

The more regularly you blog, and the more regularly you share those blogs, the more traffic your site will see. Click To Tweet The more traffic your site has, the greater its opportunity to live up to its potential as a digital marketing tool for your company.

When your site is seeing regular, qualified traffic, you can convert that traffic with great content offers and landing pages, collecting contact information and helping your sales and marketing teams close new deals. That all starts with your website’s blogging capability.

SEO-Friendly

So, we’re making a good website that functions as a tool to convert leads and close deals, right? Right.

Well, SEO, or search engine optimization, is a key factor for any good website’s functionality.

Search engine optimization is the process of, well, optimizing, your website to attract the right attention from search engines like Google. When Google knows your site exists, then it will share you with potential leads who have a relevant interest in what you’re selling.

A website that is SEO-friendly has:

  • Content that’s written for target keywords. (You should do some keyword research to figure out what those keywords are first)
  • On-page SEO, like site titles, title tags, social media sharing buttons, and more.
  • Relevant, keyword-optimized alt tags.

This is a very paired-down explanation of SEO, so if you want to know more about how to actually optimize your site, head here.

The point, for the purpose of this blog, is that SEO is another way to make sure your site is getting plenty of the right traffic. The more optimized your site, the more likely you are to see high-converting traffic that cares about what you have to say.

A Digital Marketing Platform

In the end, a good website is one that functions as your company’s digital marketing platform. It should be the hub for any digital marketing effort you make:

  • Digital ads should lead back to a landing page on your website
  • Social media posts encourage followers to check out your blog
  • SEO efforts bring new, qualified traffic into your website
  • Your blog converts new visitors into leads
  • Content offers convert those leads into sales opportunities

And that’s why we say that what makes a good website isn’t design, it’s functionality. While a great website will also feature quality design, what your website looks like shouldn't be your top priority. Click To TweetInstead, focus on how your website can help your company close more deals, and grow overall. If it can do that, then you know you’ve made a good website.

And if you’re looking for a little help building a website that delivers leads? Get in touch with the Evenbound team! We live and breathe website design for inbound marketing, and we’d be happy to offer up a few pointers to help you improve your site for better performance.

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Fredricks Design Website Project: Implementing Intelligent Website Design For Inbound Growth

Fredricks Design Website Project: Implementing Intelligent Website Design For Inbound Growth

Fredricks Design

Fredricks Design is a leading industrial design and engineering studio that creates, develops, and engineers innovative product solutions. They serve clients in a number of technologically advanced industries, including autonomous transportation, themed attraction, and healthcare.

Click to view the full “Before” image of the Fredricks site.

Their Challenge

Because Fredricks Design serves cutting edge clients, they wanted a fresh website that would accurately reflect their ingenuity, expertise, and scalability in creating exceptional product solutions for a variety of industries. Their two existing websites were disjointed, and made use of a static one-page design that did not offer potential clients insight into what types of products they were capable of delivering.

Fredricks Design needed a single digital platform that would consistently represent their brand, showcase their innovative work, and draw in new, qualified clients.

The Evenbound Approach

One of our greatest challenges in approaching this new website design project was ensuring their site content would speak to the technical nature of Fredricks Design’s work, without alienating non-technical potential clients. Considering Fredricks’ reputation as a leader in industrial design and engineering, it was also important to merge content from two different sites into one new website that would maintain consistent branding, showcase their work effectively, and position them as a creative innovator exploring new frontiers in both design and engineering.  

Getting Started

We started the website design process with a lengthy discovery session with the Fredricks Design team, to determine exactly what industries, and what people in those industries Fredricks Design most often speaks to. With clearly defined buyer personas in place, we were able to form a concrete strategy going forward for the Fredricks Design website and inbound marketing project.

Implementing Design with an Inbound Focus

Click to view the new Fredricks site!

While website design is paramount for any new project, it must also be backed and supported by helpful, clear content that gets the client’s message across.

We focused on creating site content that answered Fredricks Design’s buyer persona pain points by building out clear case studies, developing in-depth content offers, and converting some of Fredricks’ useful paper marketing content into digital resources that speak to key concepts in their industry and answer their client’s most frequently asked questions.

With informational, targeted content written, we were able to apply a next-level design that delivers in both aesthetic and function. The new Fredricks Design website matches their brand and style guidelines, and is modern, exciting, and highly visual.

Because the work that Fredricks Design does can seem nebulous to new clients, it was important to clearly define past projects to potential clients, so they could see real, tangible examples of the work Fredricks produces, and the results their innovations deliver. CAD-rendered drawings and actual sketches from past projects were used to define the site visually, and to create context for first-time site visitors.

To support the website’s new design, Evenbound helped round out Fredricks Design’s inbound marketing strategy by creating attractive content offers, writing optimized blogs, and incorporating calls-to-action and targeted landing pages to help convert new visitors. We worked to drive traffic to the new site by developing segmented email workflows, and implementing targeted paid and social advertising campaigns. We also helped Fredricks Design onboard to the HubSpot platform, as they were functioning without a CRM. These efforts, combined with their newly responsive, dynamic website, delivered the following results.

The Results

Just two months after its launch, the Fredricks Design website has seen exceptional results, and is providing measurable growth for the company. The new site has delivered:

  • 143.45% more users
  • 146.44% new users
  • 138.92% more sessions
  • 183% increase in overall site traffic

Since the new website launch, overall site traffic has nearly tripled, and organic traffic has more than doubled as well. Fredricks Design went from seeing about 50 to 100 organic visits per month, to an average of 200 visits per month in the two months following the launch. This marked bump in organic traffic points to a successful optimization of the website itself, as well as effective targeting of key phrases that Fredricks Design’s buyer personas are looking for.

Another metric that indicates content success is most viewed pages. After the home page, Fredricks Design’s most visited page is a blog written and optimized for key industry phrases by the Evenbound team, which tells us that our partnership with Fredricks Design is working to boost their site’s ranking, and provide helpful, engaging content for their visitors.

Measurable Growth

As a result of the increase in organic traffic the website is providing, Fredricks Design has already converted one organic lead, nurtured them through the inbound marketing funnel using the HubSpot CRM, and closed the lead as a successful sale. For the notoriously slow-moving B2B world, this is an impressively short sales cycle, and an excellent example of how a well-designed website, a targeted inbound marketing strategy, and a savvy sales team can work together to effectively generate and close on warm leads.

Inbound Marketing Growth in 2019

In just two months, the Fredricks Design website has more than doubled its traffic, bringing awareness of the company and their services to a wider pool of qualified potential clients. Beyond this initial metric success, the website has already begun to prove its value as a tool for legitimate business growth. With continued implementation of their inbound marketing strategy, and support from Evenbound, the Fredricks Design team is well on their way to exceptional growth in 2019.

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