10 Essential Ingredients of a World-Class Website

by Tim Jones True Digital

1. A Clearly Defined Role and Purpose for the Site

A world-class website begins with a concise articulation of the challenge or opportunity the website needs to meet, which forms the basis of a solid and unified agency brief. Be clear on what your organisation is looking to achieve with the website, what success looks like, and what the site’s role will be in your wider digital ecosystem. Putting time into agreeing this overall strategy will make the whole process easier and ensure you can measure effectiveness. Whilst you must put users at the heart of your site’s design, you’ll find that hard to do unless you know exactly what you want it to do for you.

2. User Focus

A world-class website takes careful consideration of user needs and goals and makes it as simple and pleasing as possible for the user to achieve them. That consideration never ends. Ongoing analysis ensures that the site can change and evolve along with user needs and priorities.

3. A Clear Brand, Business, and Competitive Vision

While practical functionality is vital, a world-class website won’t just help people do something. It will make them feel something. Your brand story, your core values, and what makes you different should be woven into every part of your website to resonate with customers rationally and emotionally.

4. Great Content

Quality content that reflects a deep understanding of its audience is the lifeblood of a world-class website. Articles, videos, photography, calculators, games, and graphics – there is a wide range of content formats you can choose from to inform, surprise, entertain, or educate visitors. When planned thoughtfully and crafted by true experts, content supports the user in their journey as well as bringing tangible business benefits, persuading prospects to become customers, and customers to become advocates.

5. A Considered Promotional Plan

No user journey starts on a website and all that effort put into creating content is wasted if no one sees it. A world-class website supports all sales, marketing, and communications efforts and caters to their audiences. As well as digital marketing channels like SEO, paid search advertising, or social media, consider the role that your website can play in supporting direct mail, sales teams, or above-the-line activity.

6. Outstanding Digital Experience

The way a website moves, feels, and responds to a user’s actions on every device, as well as the way it looks and sounds, plays a massive role in brand perception and the website’s ability to persuade and inspire action. Aesthetically pleasing, usable, readable, and consistent in visual identity and tone of voice, a world-class website will use interactivity and motion to transition the user through their journey, offering subtle navigation cues and prompting interactions and, ultimately, desired action.

7. Robust Technology

A world-class website needs to be accessible to all, regardless of market, region or device. That means it’s built on a foundation rock of solid technology and on the right platform. It should be scalable, accessible, and responsive, whilst integrating seamlessly with other systems. From end user and content editor points of view, it should just work – quickly, intuitively, and elegantly.

8. The Personal Touch

Most organisations need a website that caters for disparate user groups, whether that’s different types of customer, employee, supplier, or investor. World-class websites use technology to provide each of these groups with a customised experience, using their previous behaviour to prioritise the most relevant content for each visit. When done well, this makes it easier for visitors to find the information they need or complete specific tasks. This also opens opportunities to improve business performance, such tailoring sales messages to target audiences or promoting products in clever and original ways.

​9. Measurability

A world-class website is one that has clear goals and KPIs and delivers ever improving results against them. It accommodates opportunities to test, learn, and improve without compromising the user experience, and has the built-in flexibility to respond to new insights and evolving business and user requirements.

10. A Committed, Mutually Trusting Client/Agency Team

At the heart of every outstanding website, there’s a client and agency team with shared values, a shared vision, and ambition. Working in True partnership creates an understanding that drives ideas, innovative and proactive thinking, and transforms brands and businesses. Not to mention client/agency celebrations of success.

If you’re interested in creating a world-class website, then please get in touch with True here.