The top five things people look for in a website

Aside from your storefront (if you have one), your website is the main face of your business. In today’s digital era, where transactions are increasingly going online, it’s essential to your business.

Your website also says a lot about your brand to visitors interacting with your brand through the website. It works the same way as your physical store, only that there are no sales representatives guiding customers around.

A website should be visually attractive and have the necessary information to solve customer needs effectively. First impressions matter, and you need to ensure that your visitors are impressed enough to stay and interact. So what picture does your website portray to visitors? In this article we cover the top five things people look for in a website.

1) Accessibility – don’t lock anyone out

Besides simple navigation, another website feature that says volumes about your business is accessibility. While it’s ethical to build a website that anyone can access, whatever their physical and cognitive capabilities, it’s also a requirement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Lacking accessibility features in your website can get you into trouble with the law and damage your brand reputation. For example, blind users rely on screen readers to navigate online content. Lacking alternative text for images, audio, and video automatically locks them out from adequately accessing your web content.

Poor web accessibility tells visitors that your business does not care about customers with disabilities. So ensure you consult a web development accessibility professional to guide you when designing and developing your business website. They can also carry an audit to identify aspects that you need to change to make it accessible. 

2) Navigability – keep it simple

This may seem obvious, but just to emphasize, good website navigation is among the most critical features in portraying website quality. You don’t want to have a site where visitors need to figure out how to get what they want. It needs to be intuitive. Think about the user journey around each page and the website as a whole. 

You need to tell them where to find what they want, and you’ll fulfill your business purpose as well, which is conversion and sales. Here is how to do it right:

  • Steer clear of menus that are confusing and lacking a clear structure. 
  • Avoid overwhelming users with options and choices, showing an apparent lack of planning and disregarding ADA requirements for websites for defined page structures.
  • Update your web design to a modern, intuitive and responsive design that shows visitors that you care.
  • Make the site’s architecture be relevant to your target audience and match with your business goals.

3) Branding – keep it clear

Branding is the core of what you are, what you do, and how you want the world to perceive you, and a website is supposed to showcase your business branding. From the first glimpse, visitors want a clear indication of who you are and what elements represent your business. You need a well-defined branding strategy even before the development and design of your site.

It determines the color choices, content, and language you use to communicate and start conversations. Ensure that the images, logo, fonts, and voice matches your brand and what you have across all your channels of communication and customer interaction platforms. Strong branding is a website must-have if you want to boost brand recognition and loyalty with customers.

4) Relevance – keep your information clear

Surprisingly, nobody knows what criteria search engines use to show Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). But it’s becoming increasingly clear that priority is given to content relevance. That means, apart from a good design, navigation, accessibility requirements such as ADA compliant fonts, among other crucial elements, your website information needs to be relevant. 

Ensure that your web content is answering the customer queries in the most relevant and credible way. Optimize your information correctly for search engines to help visitors get their answers quickly. 

5) Function – make it work

Finally, even if your website features all the elements discussed above and it does not work, it would be an effort in futility. When you have a website that takes ages to load, is unresponsive, and complicated to use, visitors will bounce out as soon as they land. Incorporating new technology and design trends in building a website is okay, but don’t forget the core elements.

Many web visitors will leave a website that takes more than three seconds to load. Similarly, many people currently access websites on the go through mobile devices. If they can’t access the content on these devices, they’ll abandon your site to one that they feel accommodated and valued. You end up losing customers and sales. In simple terms, if your website is not functional, visitors won’t engage and interact with your business.

Make sure your website is user-friendly

While this list is not exhaustive, it covers the critical aspects of your website and what they say about your business against what users want. A website isn’t something you do once and forget. It needs regular review and update to ensure that it stays relevant to the target audience and in line with your business objectives and branding. This is the best way to ensure it attracts and retains customers.