A good website is a lot like a good microwave. You don’t have to think to use it. Consider the number of times you’ve gone to your in-laws’ house and had to use their microwave, only to be bested by the beast.

You end up accidentally resetting the clock and having to go ask for instructions to simply warm up your coffee.

Great websites are an expectation. Bad websites serve up lukewarm leftovers better off in the dog dish. Is your website up for human consumption? Use these hot buttons to heat up your site.

Intuitive

Imagine if you went to a friend’s house, and he or she had the same microwave as you. What a relief! Websites should seem as easy to navigate as your own microwave.

Free of excess

When you give people tons of extra stuff on your website, it’s just extra stuff, confusing the point and distracting from the actions you want visitors to take. The site should clearly call viewers to action and give them what’s needed without a ton of clicking.

Clear communication

Website visitors get frustrated when they can’t figure out whose website they’re on or what your company does without digging for the information. This includes contact information.

Mary Ropp, senior vice president of business development at The Bank of Missouri, advises websites to speak in elementary terms. “Speaking clearly in your language isn’t the same thing as speaking clearly,” she says. “… Simplify your content so anyone can understand what you’re saying.”

Mobile ready

Many great websites are paired with mobile apps for easy access and extended features. every website needs a mobile-friendly interface. The April Google algorithm update made mobile friendly a priority.

“When I’m on my phone looking at someone’s site, I expect to be able to click on their phone number, hit ‘call’ and reach them,” says Marie Newell, lead graphic designer at Joe Machens Dealerships.

Meaningful content

Microwaves are like life support for leftovers. Not all leftovers are created equal, and not all content is either. Good websites speak to a specific target audience, answer their questions and provide meaningful information to that audience. Explore ways to go above and beyond sharing leftover content. “If you give visitors something engaging, entertaining and fun, they will come back because they enjoyed the experience,” Ropp says.

Easy on the eyes

Add images to your site, and format your content in a clear hierarchy. Good websites are easy to scan and interpret without having to read every word.

“No matter if you’re building a website using a free theme or building from scratch with a professional development team, it’s vital to customize the content and look so viewers instantly recognize who you are, what you do and how to get in touch,” Newell says. “Bonus points are awarded for links to your social media, professional resources and examples of past work or testimonials.”

Marriage of form and function

Websites are more than what you see; they have to work, too. good websites are built on valid code, load quickly and work on all browsers. a great website tracks visitors and provides valuable data to improve viewer interaction and monitor other marketing activities.

Good websites are easy to use and look at. Regardless of the device they’re viewed on, great websites deliver meaningful content and, like a good microwave, consistently meet the expectations of all operators.

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