We Want to Build You a Great Website!
And you can help make it happen!
The web offers over 1.8 billion sites. Some are good; few could really be called great.
Why so few? Because too many websites miss the point. They fill pages with unfocused content that fails to serve an audience-focused purpose. At Covenant, our goal is to develop a great website for you, one that stands out above the crowd. To do that, we'll ask you a lot of questions about your company, of course, because you provide the information that goes into your website. You can help us develop the best website possible if you understand what makes a great website.
Two Characteristics of a Great Website—
- Purposeful Structure
- User-Valuable Content
Those two statements may sound simple—perhaps even obvious—but inside them are rich insights that can make huge differences in your website and in the results it generates for your business.
1. Purposeful Structure
Structure is all about purpose. Structure refers to the architecture of the site. It includes the site design and the CMS (Content Management System) that delivers content in desktop, tablet, and mobile formats. Skilled web developers begin designing a site's architecture by drawing wireframes: sketches that determine the most strategic placement for content in order to achieve the website's purpose.
Purpose is so important that the first question Google asks in its Webpage Search Quality Rating Guidelines is "What is the Purpose of a Webpage?" Too many businesses answer this question incorrectly because they answer from the business owner's perspective. Most business owners say the purpose is to sell products and services, to make money, to build your brand, to build customer loyalty. Those are all wrong answers. They are not the purpose of your website.
To get the right answer, answer the question from the web user's perspective.
The web user has a problem and is looking for a solution. Or the user has a question and is looking for an answer. The purpose of your website is to solve user problems and answer user questions.
You don't sell products and services. You sell solutions and answers. You make money and build brand loyalty by selling solutions and answers. The whole purpose of your website is to meet the specific needs of a target audience of customers.
So how does a website have a purposeful structure?
- It targets a specific audience, focusing on the problems those users need to solve and the questions they ask.
- Every piece of content (headline, text, image, etc.) has a specific goal to achieve.
- Each piece of content is strategically placed to achieve its goal and to direct users toward what you want them to do next.
- Site architecture gives priority placement to the most important user questions and needs and flows toward strategically placed CTAs (Calls to Action), creating opportunities for users to take advantage of the solutions you offer.
As web designers, we know site architecture, but we don't know your customers. The more you can tell us about who they are, what they need, the questions they ask, and what they need to know, the more purposefully we can design the structure for your great website!
2. Audience-Valuable Content
Google lists the following as the most important criteria it uses to evaluate web page content:
- Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness (Google uses the Acronym E-A-T to describe this quality)
- Main Content Quality and Amount
- Website Information (the business that owns the website and appropriate contact information)
- Website Reputation
In a nutshell, Google is looking for concise depth of authoritative content from a trustworthy source. Let's unpack that.
"Concise depth" may sound contradictory, but it explains what Google means by "a satisfying amount of high quality content." Web users want accurate, thorough information that doesn't waste their time. Users want relevant, meaningful graphics that are easy to see and understand, and they want thorough explanations in clear, understandable language.
Users do not want shallow "filler" text, irrelevant or overly complex graphics, or language that is overly-technical for the audience. These elements earn poor page ratings from Google. Poor quality pages may also offer either very small amounts of content (sometimes too small for Google to be able to index) or large amounts of text with very little meaning. As an example of one of these poor quality sites, Google links to a page about electric cars that after a full page of text says only that electric cars use electricity and require recharging. Most users searching for information on electric cars would learn nothing new here.
Your site should instead offer valuable content developed specifically for your target audience. It should use SEO strategies to attract that audience to your site and offer concise, precise solutions to their problems and answers to their questions. The depth and accuracy of high quality content also helps to establish E-A-T. Your company's reputation for expertise and customer service, established by online reviews and endorsements, further supports the authority of your business and the content you publish on your site.
We want to develop a great website for you.
And you can help by using these questions to evaluate the quality and authority of the content you prepare for your website:
- Is this information accurate, precise, and specific? Is it clear, thorough, and concise, or should it be edited?
- Does this information solve our customers' problems? Does it answer our customers' questions?
- Is this information necessary and/or helpful to our users?
- Does this information help to establish our credibility and trustworthiness? Does it say too much or too little to accomplish that goal?
- Does this information provide value to our website users?