Welcome to our list of the 25 features of a good website in 2023! This fairly comprehensive list will aim to cover as many important aspects of a great website by today’s standards, separated into 5 sections, allowing you to focus on the section of your site most in need of some care and attention. This blog will cover the key aspects of improving SEO, Content and User Journey (UX) by breaking down the features of a great website and their importance in building one.
To learn more about how we can optimise these elements of your site for you, and more, then get in contact either by phone at 0161 326 2635 or by email on [email protected].
Foundational Elements of a website:
In 2023, google fully completed the transition to Mobile-first indexing, meaning that it is more important than ever to ensure a seamless experience on various devices. Many users today search via mobile devices, and mobile-first indexing means that how your site performs on mobile, impacts how it performs overall.
Fast Loading Speed:
Improving page loading speed can also be vitally important when improving the features of your website. Slow-loading pages mean higher bounce rates, as people get frustrated when elements load slowly or push the other elements on the page around as they do. Check with Page Speed Insights to see how you’re doing. (You can find more tools like this on our huge SEO Tools Page!)
You should always maintain a secure connection on your site with HTTPS. If any unsecured HTTP URLs are discoverable or indexable, these should be re-directed to their HTTP variant.
Navigation should be made intuitive, with easy-to-use menus and navigation focused on the user journey. Pages should be placed where it makes the most logical sense for a user to find them. Utilise both Header and Footer navigation effectively.
Clear Call-to-Action (CTA):
Almost every page on your site can, and should, include concise calls to action, indicating and guiding users on what actions to take.
Try using a small but clear banner or tactfully placed, easy-to-read buttons on your pages.
Content and Engagement:
High-quality content will always be king. The Content is the very substance of your website, and not utilising relevant, engaging, and valuable information in your content, is akin to building a house without bricks.
- Ensure that your content is readable, relevant, interesting and most of all, useful to your readers and users.
- Use the correct type of content for the page you are writing for.
- Keep up with the times, and ensure that content remains relevant and dynamic.
Engaging features like sliders, galleries, etc. are great for driving user engagement and increasing the time spent interacting with your content. This builds trust, displaying knowledge and understanding of your subject matter, and can also drive conversions if used effectively enough,
Video Media is becoming increasingly prevalent in the digital world, with apps like TikTok and features like YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels becoming the popular way to get your content or products seen en masse.
Video Content is also critical for building trust in your service or product. Showing users exactly how they are to interact with your offering is a great way to build interest and trust on their journey through the messy middle.
Blog or News Section:
This section should serve users with relevant and up-to-date information surrounding your industry or service. If you’re clever about it, you can also include guest posts from relevant and high-authority sites as part of a link exchange partnership. Either way, the content in this section should aim to keep users informed and engaged.
Since the addition of the second E to E-E-A-T, and its rising importance in the algorithmic ranking decisions, Customer Testimonials that are used to signal trust from user experience, are also rising in importance. What better way to prove your product or service is worth it than to have a previous customer say so?
User Interaction and Support:
Clear Contact Information:
Contact information should be clearly visible and accessible across the web. This means ensuring that the contact information on your site it is consistent across all digital platforms, including Google My Business, Local and National Citations and even
Simplify User Registration/Login:
Don’t make user interaction and personalisation a laborious or frustrating process for your users. Try registering for your own site/business and see what problems your users might encounter when they try to register. Take steps to make this process as simple as possible to avoid bumps in the road.
Feedback is vital. It lets you know what you’re really good at, but more importantly, where you need to improve. Take note of your feedback through feedback forms or CTA’s and pay attention to what is said, it just might provide you with answers you didn’t know you needed.
Chatbots or Live Chat:
Providing instant support or assistance through a live chat means that your customers feel cared for and attended to. Quickly responding with a friendly and human tone, to provide assistance on their purchase journey can really assist in conversion.
Again, Live Chat conversations might glean some hints into where there is room for improvement in your business.
An FAQ Section is a staple on any website. It serves to inform users at the awareness stage of the conversion funnel, of commonly asked questions and answers.
Nowadays, there are a multitude of different browsers in circulation, and optimising your entire site for only one of them could end in disaster. Try testing your site in multiple browsers to troubleshoot before your users encounter frustrating issues like contact forms not loading or text being displayed incorrectly. Try to achieve consistent performance on different browsers and platforms.
One of the leading causes of slow page loading speeds is un-optimised imagery. When uploading images to your site, enlist the help of a compression tool, such as a browser-based tool like ImageResizer, or a Plug-in Option in your CMS.
It’s also important to tag all images with relevant alt-text. A Google crawl-bot does not have the capacity to analyse an image and must derive context from the alt-text, meaning this is a great way to ‘tell Google’ what the context of the page might be.
Don’t lock yourself to outdated software or platforms if you intend to scale your site in the long term. Be ready to migrate or upgrade to more powerful plug-ins/tools/platforms if your workload requires it, and try not to invest too heavily into one thing.
If you have elements on your page that you would like to keep, but take a long time to load, ensure that you support these elements with loading animations to indicate to the user that they should wait for something to appear.
It is a legal requirement to ensure that if you collect any personal data from your customers or users, that the way that you collect and store that data is GDPR Compliant. Tracking interactions through cookies and other analytics methods must also be compliant, so it is important to read up!
Advanced and Additional Features:
Personalised User Experience:
Taking into account the feedback from above, the next step is to personalise the experience for YOUR users. If you find that one page is seeing more paths to conversion than you expected, then push more resources to that page, or build more internal links to it. Ultimately, the users will tell you what works for them.
Integration with Analytics Tools:
Tracking and analyzing user behaviour is an extremely important way of understanding the behaviour when interacting with your site. Correctly implemented analytics and tracking can give you invaluable insights on what is performing well, and what isn’t.
Integration with E-commerce Features:
If you are an E-commerce site or business, you should ensure that you have an easy-to-use platform for users to check out online.
Go through the purchase journey as if you were a user, note any hiccups that you encounter along the way or any features you’d like to see, and then attempt to implement these. Repeat this until you are happy with the journey. This should aid you in creating a smooth and hassle-free experience for your customers.
Create frequent, full backups of your site to protect against the worst-case scenario. Preventative maintenance is always the most effective way to deal with large-scale issues.
Some users prefer to read white on black, are trying to save battery, or are trying to reduce the amount of blue light that they receive from screens on a daily basis. Whatever the reason may be, more and more people are using a Dark Theme when browsing, and it could be a good idea to offer this as an option.
If you need any help with this…
You should get in contact with us here at Embryo. We have a decorated history of helping businesses perform better online and would love to see if we could help you do the same!
Whilst this list is comprehensive, there are many more aspects of your digital presence to be improved, such as your PPC campaign or DPR offering, and a cohesive online presence will almost certainly drive more sales and traffic!