Keeping it Simple – What Does a Good Website Really Need?

I’m going to start with some honesty. I’m a copywriter, so my focus for your website – in this blog – is your message.

It’s absolutely true that your website needs a functional design, good performance speed and whatever other requirements your business requires (SEO and e-commerce for example).

If you’re looking for technical support or design advice, however, you’ll want to go elsewhere. In this post, I’m simply focusing on your message – how you’re communicating with those people who arrive at your website.

But I suggest you don’t leave just yet, because – whatever else you do – without the three elements outlined here, your website just won’t work.

Effective Websites Need Great Messaging

What we’re really looking at here is:

What should your website be saying to people?

So, here are my thoughts.

1. Make Your Offering Clear

Everyone who lands on your website should see clearly how you can help them, or what you are offering.

This is not only your products or services but the benefits they bring.

Who Gives a Crap is not only selling loo rolls but great loo rolls which make your bum feel loved and enable you to feel good because they’re supporting communities by providing better facilities. provides the definitions and spellings you need, but it also provides inspiration and learning with a word of the day and insights on word use so you can feel clever.

On the Dead Man Fingers rum website, it’s clear you can buy rum, but also that they expect you to enjoy it and you might end up with a headache at the end of your visit.

Each of these examples are websites which allow easy access to products or services, but – alongside that – each gives an added value that visitors will value even if they didn’t go looking for it.

2. Make Sure You Can Be Recognised

This isn’t just about your branding, it’s about the way you’re talking to your website visitors.

Will readers who have met you in person, recognise the tone and language of your communication? Ensuring you keep a consistent message and tone will help your audience relate to you and build trust.

Conversely, if the way you present yourself on your website doesn’t reflect a reader’s other interactions with you – in person or on social media for example – this will create a discord which puts them off (even if they can’t tell you why!).

3. Make the Next Steps Simple

Whatever you’re hoping for – sales, calls, or further exploration – telling your reader what they need to do next is essential.

Don’t leave your website visitor wandering through complex pages unsure how to get in touch – that’s a fail right there!

Websites have a job to do, the right words will get you results

As I said at the beginning of this piece, there are other considerations which will determine the effectiveness of your website. What you need to understand though, is that without these three key elements, the rest of it won’t really matter at all.

Do you agree?