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Good vs Bad Website Design: 3 Basic Rules

Reading Time: 4 minutes

One of the priorities for today’s post Covid-19 business owner has to be a good website.
If your business has a website, you have a head start, but how do you know if your website is any good?

Here are 3 basic rules to consider when it comes to good website design:

  1. DESIGN (The way it looks)
  2. USABILITY (The way it works)
  3. SEO (The way its setup)

Let’s take a look at the outline of a great website.

flat colour purple background with number 1 and word "design"

1. The way it looks (Design)

75% of website credibility comes from design (source).

Yes, your mom told you not to judge a book by it’s cover, but we all do it anyway. The design of your website can play a major part in a someone’s first impression of your business. We’re only human.

Not only do people want to know that you are a legit business who they can trust but if it looks like you’ve taken no pride in your own online home, why should they trust you to take care of them? It’s quick and easy to move on to the next Google search result.

Good website design should leave a visitor feeling comfortable and connected to you.


Some things which may put your visitor off:

✖️Cluttered pages – Too much of anything can cause confusion and put someone off if they have to use too much energy to understand it.

✖️Buffering – People are impatient. Make sure your images or videos are optimised and not slowing your site down.

✖️Font or colour overuse – Don’t get carried away. Your site should use no more than 2-3 complimentary colours and fonts.

✖️Low quality imagery – Don’t ever use blurry images. Ever.

✖️Text overload – We are visual creatures with short attention spans. Get to the point and avoid lengthly explanations.

flat colour yellow background with number 2 and word "usability"

2. The way it works (Usability)

89% of consumers shop with a competitor after a poor user experience (source).

That’s pretty powerful. Simply put, usability or user experience is how easy your website is to navigate and how quickly the visitor can find what they’re looking for.

Maybe your site looks awesome but your customer just can’t find what they need. The menu is too fancy and difficult to navigate or the buttons are too small, or worse, don’t work? Page 404 horror!

A bad user experience will quickly result in frustration and your visitor clicking on that back button.

Think about your customer

Make sure your site is responsive! Meaning, when you look at it on your phone, it’s just as easy to navigate, read and click through as it is on your laptop. In fact, responsive sites are so important, your website should be designed with mobile compatibility in mind first.

When it comes down to it, good user experience is about understanding your customer and knowing how they think. What words would they use? How do they prefer to engage with you or access your site? Do they understand your services and what’s most important to them?

Don’t build a website for your business, build it for your customers.


Some basic principals for good usability:

➖Hierarchy – Guide your users experience with information that takes them through a step-by-step tour of your site.

➖Call-outs – Use colour and buttons to highlight important areas or where you want your visitors to take action.

➖Styled text – Use clear headers, simple text, bullet points tables and illustrations to get your message across quickly.

➖Simple navigation – Group your pages into categories that make sense and form a simple menu that is clear.

➖Responsiveness – Make sure your site is as easy to use on someone’s phone as it is on their desktop.

flat colour blue background with number 3 and word "seo"

2. The way it’s setup (SEO)

It’s one thing having a good website, but if no one is seeing it, you’re loosing out on potential customers.

Something most people don’t know is that there are some technical requirements to getting your website from designed to discovered. This involves strategically titled pages, correctly sized and optimised images and that acronym we keep hearing about: SEO or Site Engine Optimisation, amongst other things.

A very brief look at SEO

In easy terms, SEO this is the practice of making your website visible on search engines such as Google and improving its rankings against your competitors.

SEO is an on-going exercise and something that should be built into your marketing efforts. That said, giving your website the best chance from the get-go is pretty important, so make sure you have the basics setup.


Here’s a simple SEO checklist for some setup basics:

✔️Title tags & Meta descriptions – Google uses these to better understand what your page is about in order to rank it in a search result.

✔️Keywords – Each one of your website pages is a chance for Google to rank you based on the information you provide.

✔️Alt attributes – Each image should have alternative text explaining the image in case it’s broken or can’t be seen.

✔️Good URL structure – Shorter, cleaner urls are better for tracking and sharing. Make sure they’re simple and to the point.

✔️Submissions – Once your site is LIVE, you can actually submit it to Google to be indexed. Also make sure you’re tracking how users engage with your site with Google Analytics – both are free platforms!

There’s a lot to be said about what makes a good vs a bad website and not every designer out there knows the difference. Know what to look out for and invest wisely.

Good websites are built knowing that first impressions really do matter, so understand who your customers are and make their experience easy and comfortable. This will give them the confidence they need to trust you and take action on your website.

At the end of the day, your website should be building your brand and growing your bottom line. A good website will continue to sell your services and is a really good return on investment when done well.


Chat to us about your existing or new website or check out our website services for more information.