Every business owner or executive who meets with me wants a great website. Otherwise, they would simply download a DIY web template and hope for the best. But, many who grasp the importance of having a strong web presence can’t actually describe what they think it entails. In other words, many aren’t really sure what makes a website great in the first place.

If you don’t know, either, don’t feel bad. It’s hard enough for those of us within the web design and online marketing industry to say what makes a web presence effective. How can clients who are just trying to use their time and budgets wisely be expected to know?

Years of experience have shown me that there are a handful of signs a website is good for its owner. Here are a few ways to tell if you’ve got a great one…

It Impresses Customers Immediately

One important characteristic of great websites is that they convey instant credibility. Your layout should let a visitor know that you are on par with any other company or professional in your field. Conversely, if your website looks cheap or dated, that’s a sign that your business is an up-to-par with your competitors. First impressions matter a lot on the web, and yours should suggest competence.

It’s Easy to Use

If it seems difficult for potential buyers to find the information they’re looking for in your website, or to get from one topic or area to another, then they won’t. That’s because it’s easier for them to visit another website that’s better-organized than it is to dig through your pages and become frustrated. Usability is an underrated factor in business websites, so don’t overlook the importance of clear navigation ease-of-use.

It’s Integrated With Your Marketing Plan

Your website shouldn’t exist just for the sake of being there. Instead, it should be a core part of your business that helps you to meet your bottom-line goals. Whether you’re trying to sell more products, attract more qualified leads, bring in talented recruits, or do something else altogether your website needs to support those outcomes. If your pages aren’t integrated with your marketing plans and business goals, then what use is it to you?

It Fits Perfectly With Your Company

Every business or organization has a tone and personality. Typically, that’s expressed through a style guide, branding sheet, or some other set of guidelines that lays out the type of image you want to project into the market. For a website to be great, it has to not only adhere to those guidelines but also match the “voice” you are trying to communicate. A generic website might look good, but it doesn’t do anything to help your company stand out.

If your website is already great, then you just need to keep up the good work so you can use it to its full marketing advantage. If it falls short with a few items on this list, however, now might be a great time to explore making some changes. Call me in my office today so we can talk about the best way to improve your online marketing results going forward.