04 Mar 2024

What Do the Best Websites Have in Common?

When done well, websites can convey a wide breadth of information to all of your relevant audiences, all from the same place. For this reason, your website will be the primary point of communication between your brand and the people you’re trying to reach. 

Even when compared to email, social media, and other traditional advertising tactics, most people automatically default to the website when seeking out more information about a company they’re interested in. Simply knowing that fact can be overwhelming, because it adds a certain level of pressure to “get it right”. And yes, it can be very difficult to know where to start. 

That’s where we come in. We took a look at some of (in our humble opinion) the best websites out there, found some commonalities, and wrote this article to help un-muddy the waters a bit in terms of what makes a great website. 

First of all, they know who they’re talking to. 

I bet if we were to ask you, “What product or service do you provide to your target audience?”, you would have a clear answer for us. But that question is broad, and it won’t cover the plethora of different reasons that people could be looking to visit your website. 

The general, uneducated public – we use “uneducated” here in reference to specifically what your company does, not the intelligence of our hypothetical user overall – will go to your website to seek out answers to the most basic questions about who you are and what you do. Established customers will visit the site to check out new offerings, engage with content, or check the status of existing orders or customer service inquiries. 

People who want to work for your company will visit your site to see if job boards are active. People who have had a bad experience will visit your website to try to contact customer service and resolve their problems.  As you can see, the list goes on. 

It’s best to start by clearly defining your broader audience, and then identifying these different individualized pockets of people, their motivations and finally mapping an architecture for each of these potential paths through your website. They need to find the information that is relevant to them, and they need to do it relatively quickly to report a positive customer experience. 

Our next observation was that, it’s important to lead with the “why”. The most successful brands understand that a compelling story behind what they’re doing and how they’re doing it goes a long way in the ideas of their typical consumer. To put this in less abstract terms, think about the typical “About” page on a website. There’s generally too much focus on the how, or the history of the company, and less information on why of the company.  For instance, a startup with humble beginnings in a reluctant parent’s garage is great exposition if we’re talking about an inspirational movie trailer. But that isn’t enough of a sell for me, if I’m looking at things through the eyes of a potential customer. 

Great, you wanted to start this company and you did whatever you had to do to succeed. That’s admirable, but why was this particular business so important to you? What are you able to deliver to me as your customer that’s going to make my life markedly better? 

Our final point here might tie everything we’ve said so far together. Because, above all, we think that the best websites offer a sense of community to their user base. 

Great, effective corporate websites bring together groups of people with a common interest, need, or goal. One of the best things you can do on your website is to show off who you are, what makes you human when the curtains are pulled back. No matter how good the work that you do is, how helpful the service you provide, or how innovative your product is, people want to deal with people. 

Ready to push your website to be the best it can be? An ad agency like ours can help. We have branches in Denver, Chicago, New York, and we work with clients remotely all over the country and the world.

Get in touch with us today. 


I’m Sophie Mann, and I work at encite branding + marketing + creative as Vice President of Strategy. My job entails a continuous study of business, marketing, data and culture, all in the name of driving strategy forward. I’m passionate about helping brands resonate more strongly with their consumers and communicate with their ideal clients. I’m also a proud graduate of the University of Kansas - Rock Chalk!

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