You want your website to be unique and contain all of the essential components of a good website. But if it looks unprofessional & disorganized, no one’s going to trust the quality of the products and services you offer.
That’s why you need a cohesive brand & a gorgeous, super-fast, mobile-friendly website designed to turn casual onlookers into lifelong customers who expectantly wait for your next high quality product or service with money in hand.
But this can feel totally overwhelming when you consider all the different things you need to be working on. So let Jennifer Holt Designs take the guesswork out of the website creation process.
Whether you hire someone to create your website for you or you choose to DIY your way to an amazing website, there are some essential components you need to include, and that’s what today’s episode is all about.
If you’re interested in starting a blog, you will find so much information on the Internet.
Everyone claims to be an expert in helping others find success blogging. However, you should be mindful of who you listen to because you want their results to be your desired outcome.
If you know blogging is something you would like to pursue, starting a website is going to be a vital piece of the puzzle. But where should you begin?
Well, the first thing you want to do is listen to episode #37 and make sure you are familiar with the basics of starting a website. Once you have the basics all squared away, you need to know the essential components of a good website.
So let’s dive head first into the 6 core essentials necessary for your website to be a successful platform.
The Essential Components of a Good Website
Easy and Intuitive Navigation
The first of the six essential components of a good website is easy and intuitive navigation. Navigation is basically just how people “move around” your website. As a blog owner, you want people to easily circulate between blog posts and interact with other content (like products and freebies) on your website easily.
To do this, navigation needs to be intuitive. In other words, you don’t want to make it difficult for them to find what they are looking for. You essentially want to funnel your blog readers and website visitors to a specific end.
Your menu locations are going to be important for this particular area. You generally have two specific menu locations in a website…the header and the footer.
The header includes the main navigation menu, and it is located at the top of your website. (You may see this particular menu called main navigation or primary navigation.)
The footer usually has its own menu (or set of navigation links), and it is located at the very bottom of your website. Some websites have up to three different spaces in the footer area to add information, but the footer is always located at the very bottom of the website.
The main navigation menu should include all of the categories of content you offer. There are a few schools of thought on how to categorize content. Many websites just have one “blog” category and then link to all sorts of other content in the top navigation menu.
However, this is not the most Google-friendly way to organize your content. If you are thinking about how to increase your page views and rank higher in Google search (which, by the way, you always want to be thinking about), you would be better served to organize your menu by content area.
Most people would rather search categories than just one menu item that says “blog.” If you are interested in making money as a blogger, you definitely need to use your navigation menu as a way to categorize content intuitively for your website visitors.
Buttons are another way for you to distinguish where you want your visitors to go next. The use of a button is designed to make a reader stop and take notice of what they can access by pushing the button. Including these within your content whether to guide readers to sign up for a free offer or to purchase a product is a great way to direct them down a very strategic path.
While all of your navigation at the top of your website is simply a series of links, you want to also add links within your blog posts and content to continue to guide readers. Strategically placed links encourage them to continue interacting with your content and consuming more of the information you have curated just for them.
This turns casual observers into followers who genuinely love you and your brand.
KEY TAKEAWAY: From your menus to buttons & links, you want your visitors to be able to find what they’re looking for easily and with minimal effort. If they can’t find what they are looking for easily, they will leave and find a different website that is easier to navigate.
So be sure to take a strategic approach to each of these areas on your website.
The second of the essential components of a good website is eye-catching branding. Honestly, this is one of my favorite things about websites. I love to see what colors and images people are drawn to and how they mix fonts to create a unique style.
Unfortunately, very few people actually leverage their branding by incorporating it into all of their social media, products, and websites. This is a huge way to get others to connect quality products, top-notch customer service, and you.
What is the first thing that comes to mind when I show you this image…
As a kid, all I could think of was Happy Meals!! And you better believe that kids can recognize the McDonald’s “Golden Arches” before they can ever read.
That is the power of branding.
The cool thing is that even if you are at the very beginning of your blogging journey, there is space for you on the Internet. We live in a unique time period for entrepreneurs with online businesses. In days gone by, only those with tons of money allocated to marketing could really “make it big.”
In our digital world, there is a place for you to carve out your own niche and become truly successful…you just have to create a brand that equates to quality and awesome customer service. Then people will seek you out.
KEY TAKEAWAY: You need a cohesive & eye-catching brand that is easily identifiable on any platform as your business. Whether it’s your website, social media accounts, TpT shop, or other asset, you want customers to quickly pick you out from the crowd.
Fast Loading Speed
Number three in our list of essential components of a good website is fast loading speed. Site speed is one of the most overlooked and undervalued parts of a website.
We all want to have beautiful websites, but we don’t usually even consider site speed until it becomes a problem. So as you are thinking about the essential components of a website, you need to consider site speed.
So what exactly is site speed? Well, to put it simply, site speed is how quickly your visitors can access your site after clicking a link or typing in the url. The faster your site comes up the better…especially in an instant gratification world.
When I click on a website be it from Instagram, Facebook, or even Google, I expect it to be accessible within a couple of seconds. If I get the spinning wheel of death, I wait a few more seconds before clicking away.
And I know if I do this, so does every other person searching the Internet. So that should remind us of how important it is to assess the speed at which our website operates.
What is causing my website to be slow?
Well, there are a variety of factors that go into making a website slow, but here are a few of the most common things that bog down a website or blog.
- Images that are too large
- Bad hosting
- Too many ads
How can I make my website faster?
You can optimize your high resolution images using a plugin, like ShortPixel, that compresses them while still keeping the quality. I use ShortPixel on my site because it’s inexpensive and it compresses the images while still keeping the quality of my images high (even for retina displays or Ultra HD screens).
Having a good website host is KEY to providing a good experience for blog visitors. My favorite hosting company (and the one I use for all of my sites) is SiteGround. The quality of hosting is fantastic and the customer service top-notch!
Ads are a potential revenue stream for you once you have enough visitors coming to your blog. However, not all ad companies are equal in their approach to placement and number of ads. It is important to make sure that there aren’t so many ads that your content gets lost.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Your website needs to be FAST because visitors want to read what you have to say or buy your product now. We all like instant gratification & if your site is taking too long to load, no one’s going to stay long enough to buy from you.
Interested in a
Let me create a professional, custom website for you that converts casual observers into devoted clients who pay top dollar for your products & services.
I’ll take the guesswork out of designing a fast & mobile-friendly website, so you can spend your time creating amazing content for your clients.
Another one of the essential components of a good website is that it is focused. Now I could park on this one for hours, but I just want to mention a couple of things related to this.
You need to decide on a niche. In other words, you need to figure out what type of content you want to offer and who is the person you envision coming to your site to consume the information and buy your products.
While it may seem counterintuitive, the narrower your focus and the clearer your ideal client is to you, the better off you’ll be.
Let me give you an example. Instead of creating a website that covers calculus, underwater basket weaving, makeup routines, and food preservation, consider taking just one of those categories and diving deep into that particular content.
Although it seems like the more general content you offer the better, this approach actually hurts you because you don’t have a focus. Then you have people who come to your site for calculus content along with those who want to hear about your stance on the current food preservation practices.
This doesn’t seem like that big of a problem until you realize that if you want to send emails, create products, or share affiliate links, you have way too many groups of people. So consider two specific factors as you create a focused website.
Your ideal reader
As you are brainstorming content and product ideas, you want to have a very particular reader, customer, or client in mind. This person is the one you will be “talking to” whenever you create content.
I know this sounds ridiculous, but think of it like this.
When you are having a conversation with a friend and you offer advice, you tailor that advice to your friend’s specific needs at the moment. You think about all of the issues she is facing and what you can say that will both encourage and challenge her.
This same logic applies when you are writing content or creating products. You need to be thinking about the issues facing your reader, what questions she might be asking, and even how you might help her answer questions she hasn’t even considered yet.
Your ability to help her see a different perspective and keep your content focused on her unique needs will have her coming back to you again and again.
Your content structure
As you consider who your ideal reader/client actually is, you want to think about how she consumes content. Does she…
- Read blog posts or prefer to listen to podcasts?
- Want content with lots of images or just a few images and mostly text?
- Pay attention to the content in the sidebar?
- Need a summarized version of info sent via email each week?
All of these questions will help you create a place your ideal customer feels comfortable and is itching to check out every day.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Your website needs to be focused and niche-specific. This will guarantee that you are always speaking to your ideal client or customer and solving the problems they have. Otherwise, you never really provide the answers they’re seeking.
Piggy-backing off of the last component, you want your content to be meaningful for your reader. The best way to do that, as I mentioned before, is by knowing who your ideal customer is and how she consumes information.
But that is only going to tell you what to create. The next step is going to be able to take the “what” and turn it into “how tos” your customer is going to love.
Your customers need to know that when they come to your site, you are going to answer all of their most pressing questions and give them a perspective they may not have considered previously. This will keep them coming back over and over.
However, you need to also be mindful that you are answering their questions thoroughly. Many websites on the Internet create interesting headlines, but then when you go to read the article, the content is severely lacking.
Therefore, you want to make sure you create robust content that answers your clients’ questions and even provokes them to think more deeply about the matter upon leaving your site. You want to provide answers to their questions and even propose questions they may not have considered.
This will be meaningful not only for your customer, it will bolster your rankings on Google.
Once people begin reading your articles, you begin ranking higher and higher in Google. Then your content is seen by more and more people searching for that particular content. As this process continues, you get more eyes on your site and ultimately become an authority in the eyes of Google on your particular topic area.
KEY TAKEAWAY: The whole point of having a website is for your potential clients to be able to find you and buy from you. And the easiest way to get in front of a large audience is to be found on Google. So you need to create quality content that sets you up as an authority to Google.
The last in our list of the 6 essential components of a good website is to show up where your people are. This seems like a no-brainer when you say it out loud, but you want to make sure you are focusing your time and attention on being in the places your ideal client is going to be found.
Obviously, everyone uses Google to search for specific information…which is why you need to create meaningful and thorough content. But what about social media?
Social media is going to be the place you go to discuss your newest content, talk about your newest product, or share a new idea. It is the place where you can find others and be found by them.
This will be where you get an instant increase in eyes on your content while you wait for Google to realize you need to be at the top of the rankings for a particular subject. Social media is more of a short term approach while Google is definitely the long game.
But you want to be mindful and focus on the one platform where most of your clients are going to spend their time. Don’t try to learn all the nuances about every platform because there just aren’t enough hours in the day to create awesome content and then be everywhere all at the same time.
Determine whether you need to be on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, TikTok, or whatever platform makes sense for you, your content, and your brand. Show up where your people are and they will find you.
KEY TAKEAWAY: You want your ideal clients to find you. That means leveraging the power of social media by showing up where your potential clients are. Don’t waste time on every platform. Figure out where your people are and then show up there.
As you consider starting a blog or revamping your current site, ask yourself these questions to clarify whether or not you have the essential components of a good website.
- What can you do to make navigating your site easier?
- Is your brand cohesive across all platforms?
- What can you do to decrease the amount of time it takes your site to load?
- Does your website “speak” to a particular person?
- Is your website content meaningful and helpful to your people?
- Are you showing up (on social media) where your people are?
If you would like a printable version of these questions, just fill out the form below!