What makes a good website?

Jaimz Hodge

September 30, 2023


When I first entered the marketing agency, our main offering was website design. We didn't do development, SEO, or branding at the time. During those beginning years, all that was important to me was just making something that looked pretty. But as time went on, I began to wonder if that was all that a business website needed.

An illustration of a pretty website on a laptop with a landscape behind

Is a website more than just pretty HTML?

Fast forward to today after building several websites, expanding into SEO, advertising, development, and branding. I've come to learn through experience and training, that a good website, is so much more. Don't get me a wrong, having a pretty website is important. Just not in the way that a majority of people think. For instance, the common belief is that a pretty website will create more sales, attract more clients, and just all around become a benefit to the company. Which isn't wrong, a good website will do those things. But it's not just because it looks good to the eyes.

So what does contribute to a good website?

The first thing to keep in mind when designing a website isn't just whether or not it looks cool and fancy. But is it clear what you're wanting people to do that come to your website? If your website is selling soap bars but all you ever talk about is organic ingredients in your soap and never ask people to buy, you website isn't going to make conversions! People want to know what to do, and they want it to be easy! Telling them about our natural ingredient is necessary, but so is asking for the sale.

I know, it's not easy asking for the sale at first. You don't want to sound salesy or pushy or act like all you care about it making sales. That's not a bad feeling to have, just shows that you want to help people, which is completely necessary to run a fantastic business. However, despite how much god will you have towards your potential clients, if there's not a clear call to action there's going to be no action.

Imagine going up to someone that needs help and just standing there talking about how you want to help them, and you just wish that you could, and that you have the perfect solution for them. Going on and on waiting for them to ask you to help them. Finally the person that needs help just walks away because you didn't help them. More importantly they didn't know how to get you to help them, you didn't say "Hey, need some help?"

The above example seems like a no brainer, but that's what we do all the time with websites. We go on and on about how we can help, and why we help, but never just ask "Do you need help?". Next time you visit your website, see if you ask someone if they need help, and show a clear way for them to ask for your help specifically.

An abstract illustration of search engines

What else makes a good website is a website that has traffic. There's nothing worse than dropping money into a really good website with all the bells and whistles, and not getting any traffic to even attempt to convert. There's lots of ways that you can drive traffic to your website, but one of the most common and cost effective ones if you have the time to wait for traffic to build up, is through search engine optimization. SEO, as it's often referred to as, is a fantastic way to bring organic traffic to your website through search engine results. And high converting traffic as well! People who are actively searching for your product and service are 33% times more likely to convert than if you were to simply send a blind advertisement out.

Something to note about SEO. A lot of people will say that they can get you first place results within a week, or get you to rank for thousands of keywords within days. These are generally something to be wary of as search engine ranking takes time and the time required and vary wildly depending on what you're trying to rank for. It's best to expect your campaign to take at least six months to start seeing results, even longer if it's a highly competitive market.

An illustration of a woman drawing on a notebook

Lastly, a major part of having a good website is creating know how to create copy that converts. What is copy? Copy is the wording and phrases that you use throughout your website, brochures, advertisements, conversations, etc. It's your formula to help your brand make sense to clients, as well as keeps your marketing material unified no matter how many people you have working on the project.

There's a couple of ways to create this, but the simplest is to create an elevator pitch. There's lots of tutorials out there that discuss how to do this, but the premise is to create a sixty second explanation of how your business would help someone and what makes you different.

This process takes time, and requires you to rewrite the pitch over and over again until you get it just right. But when you do get it, you'll start seeing light bulbs pop up over the heads of those you tell it to. Every conversation or marketing material might not lead to a sale every time, it will however attract those that need your services.


So what does having a fantastically designed website actually do for you then? Well it's going to increase interaction time. A website that's pleasing to the eyes encourages people to stay on your page longer, increases engagement, and has a higher chance of people exploring your website. All of these things are good, but generally a website with a great design and none of the substance mentioned above will lead to high visit count and low conversions. Something no website owner wants.

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