Since founding WEBEFO in 2014 I’ve had the opportunity to build websites for hundreds of awesome clients.

Year to year I’ve noticed trends that come and go, but there are a few timeless factors that affect the success of a website.

Here are some of the most important keys to a successful site:

1. Text that’s easy to understand

The main words you want to use on your website are just as important as the way they are presented visually. There are a few good principles you can follow that will help you get it right:

  • Break up your text into small chunks to add your text to your website

  • Label sections of text with headlines.

  • Use your website text copy your customers are looking for.

  • Avoid insider word or terms that confuse your customer

  • Being clear is more important than being clever

  • Talk about things from your customer’s perspective that will help website conversion.


2. A professional design

Having your website designed by a professional is more important than you think. Here’s why:

Customers will judge you at a glance

If your website looks amateur, customers will assume that your services or the quality of your product are also amateur. Compare it to how our brains assume things about someone by the way they dress. Even though it may be incorrect, our brain often uses the way something looks to make a judgment call instantly.

Great design builds trust and shows legitimacy

When your website looks clean and professional, people are more likely to trust you because they know you’re serious about your craft. Not only does this make people more likely to hire you, but it also makes working with them easier since they will be more likely to trust you as a professional.

You can’t afford to confuse your customers

A professionally designed website will follow usability principles to help organize information in a way that makes it effortless for customers to find what they’re looking for. If people don’t find what they’re looking for quickly, they’ll go elsewhere.


3. A user-friendly website editor

An often-overlooked aspect of having a successful website is the ongoing management plan after the website is built. Having an easy-to-use website editor (CMS) is critical. If your website is too hard to edit, that friction may keep you from getting the most out of your investment moving forward.

Here are a few basic things you should be able to do:

  • Be able to edit your website while previewing your design
    (not have to switch between edit and preview modes)

  • Edit and update photos very easily.

  • Ability to change text quickly and easily

  • Duplicate and copy your existing design and create new pages easily.

  • Easy to make small changes on your website for mobile and another screen design.

At WEBEFO we’ve chosen to use Squarespace for our clients since it meets and exceeds all of these requirements. We re-evaluate regularly and so far continue to find Squarespace to be the most user-friendly website builder for our clients.

4. Search engine optimization.

When we build a site we follow several best practices to optimize Squarespace websites to be more discoverable:

  • Add a professional site title based on your business or brand type.

  • Add the title for your website on each page.

  • Use Squarespace to recommend URLs strategically.

  • Add custom page descriptions with your required tag.

  • Write alt-text for your website all images

  • Submit to the most popular search engines for indexing your website.

While design trends are fun (and we like to follow them too), keep in mind that there’s more to a successful site than looking good. Clear copy, a professional design, a good website editor, and SEO best practices will get you a long way.

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