The 5 Features of a Good Web Page
Although many different features can contribute to a web page’s overall effectiveness, five stand out for their ability to improve the user experience so you never lose a potential customer.
A User-Centered Design
User-centered design is essential to the success of any web page. This means you must design your website’s pages in a way that’s simple for users to navigate, read, and understand. Because most people find it frustrating to navigate a poorly designed site, they’ll often choose to leave.
You can help prevent such departures by ensuring all the visual elements remain purposeful and consistent across your entire site. Each individual page should be easy to scan and use.
When designing your site, keep these three characteristics in mind:
Because a web page with one long text block is both unattractive and difficult to read, always use plenty of white space between paragraphs. Other important design elements include the use of short paragraphs as well as headings, images, and infographics to help break up content.
These elements also will make a page look more interesting. In addition, infographics can help you more easily explain complex ideas.
Another best practice for web design involves using one color — preferably something light like white — for your page’s background. A dark or busy, patterned background can make text difficult to read. User-centered designs also avoid annoying pop-up ads that make it hard for users to focus on reading a page’s content.
An Engaging Header Image
Header images play a vital role in grabbing the attention of — and establishing a connection with — page visitors.
An interesting header image can not only give your page the personality it needs to stand out from your competitors, but also help prospective visitors recognize it easily. In contrast, a poor image may create a bad impression by making your web page look tacky and unprofessional.
Because header images fill a lot of space on a web page, they must align with the general theme of the rest of your website. One way to achieve this is to ensure an image’s main colors match or complement your site’s overall color scheme. Another best practice involves incorporating your brand colors into each header image.
When selecting header images, make sure they look great on both desktop and mobile devices. Header images can sometimes experience cropping on mobile devices, which makes only a tiny part of the picture visible. The lower resolution of some mobile screens also can distort images.
While many modern website pages use a responsive design that automatically adjusts the size of images to fit a visitor’s screen, you may need to create smaller, simplified versions of your header images for your website’s mobile version. To find a mobile-friendly theme that will suit your business website, check out our review of the Best WordPress Themes.
Most internet users have very short attention spans so you must structure your information in a way that’s easy to scan.
Headings provide a great way to break up text, outline a page’s structure, and alert visitors to the type of information it contains. This can help them decide whether or not they want to scan a paragraph or read it in detail.
Headings that include keywords also help you optimize your web page so both search engines and visitors know what to expect. This best practice, part of search engine optimization (SEO), helps search engines more easily identify the main topics of a web page. Ultimately, using keyword-based headings can improve a page’s rankings in online search results. To learn more, read our guide on How To Improve SEO.
Ideally, you should start each heading with a keyword. This approach immediately communicates the nature of the content while preventing key parts from getting cut off in the event viewers don’t see the entire heading. But, readability takes priority so move a keyword to another position in a heading if that initial placement makes it sound forced or unnatural.
A web page’s actual content represents another extremely important feature. As a best practice, always use the inverted pyramid system when structuring text-based content. This places the most important information at the top and then provides more specific, supporting details underneath. This will ensure visitors find the information they seek — even if they don’t read the entire article or page.
To ensure your web page provides truly useful content, you must conduct sufficient planning and research prior to content development. This requires a deep understanding of your target audience’s needs and interests. Before you start writing, ask yourself these questions:
- Who’s my primary audience?
- Can a secondary audience influence and inform my primary audience?
- How will they find my website?
Use the answers to these questions to inform the structure and focus of your content so it clearly meets your audience’s needs. No matter how well-written, content won’t perform well on search engines like Google if online visitors don’t find it useful and informative.
In addition, use active voice in your content to help you create easy-to-understand, engaging sentences that speak directly to your audience. For example, “You can achieve success” sounds more personal and meaningful than, “Success can be achieved.”
No website is complete without call-to-action (CTA) buttons — interactive tools used to convert web and mobile visitors into actual customers.
A CTA can take the form of a simple sentence that recommends an action people should take, but it’ll appear as a clickable “button.” Common examples include “Buy Now” or “Learn More.” Effective CTA buttons are eye-catching and hard for site visitors to resist. If you make it easy for them to take the next step toward becoming a customer, they’ll likely do so.
Many people who read to the bottom of your web page may want to engage with your brand. If they look for a CTA button to learn what to do next, but don’t find one, then you may lose your chance to make a conversion. Web pages without CTA buttons can lead to lost business opportunities.
A web page’s structure can directly impact its ability to attract and retain visitors. By optimizing every page for functionality and aesthetic features, you can help ensure your website’s overall success.
After you incorporate these important features into your web pages, check out our guide on How To Drive Traffic To Your Website.