How To Build An Award-Winning Website

We've won a lot of website awards at Always Fresh. In fact, our new website has won six in just a couple of weeks. Here's how you too can create a website worthy of awards.

How To Build An Award-Winning Website

You may have seen a bunch of award logos scattered around our site. Pretty impressive, huh?

Well, we've gone and done it again and won a bunch more awards with our brand new Always Fresh website!

Your eyes may have noticed the newly positioned pixels with their characterful copy and colorful...colors? And this got us thinking - What makes an award-winning website?

While this blog is a humble brag, it's also an opportunity to deep dive into the anatomy of an award-winning website (ours!) to find out what attracted all these virtual award-based graphics.

Awards won by the new Always Fresh Website

Since launching the new Always Fresh website in December 2023, we've since won:

And that's just the awards we've won directly after launching! Depending on if we remember to update this blog, we may have won even more...

Now let's get something straight - When redesigning and redeveloping the Always Fresh website, it was never our intention to make a website that was purposely designed to win awards.

What do we mean by that? Well, when you have a look at some award-winning websites, they tend to be designed in a way that shows off technologies or aesthetics for the purpose of winning awards.

There's nothing wrong with that necessarily, however it was always our focus to make the Always Fresh website as informative, open, and generally fun for our users to use as well as being SEO-friendly.

In short - The Always Fresh website was never built to win awards. It won awards because it does its job so well.

What makes an award-winning website?

Let's be honest, depending on where your website is nominated, the term 'award winning' can vary quite a bit.

For some website awards, it's literally about looks and innovation - Anything that is different from the norm or uses technology to stand out.

This is fine and is a great place to stretch your creative skills without worrying too much about actually attracting users or converting leads.

Other awards care more about usability, the content, and the overall website as a functional tool and not just aesthetics.

These tend to be the awards you want because those who are voting have some knowledge about what makes a successful website.

The difference is voting for a cake that looks tasty versus voting for a cake that is actually tasty.

Every website we design is always all about doing a job. Whether that be attracting a certain audience, building leads, or offering a service, every single one of our websites has a purpose.

There's no reason why a purposeful website can't also look amazing, but it's all about getting that balance right which is what we're all about at Always Fresh.

What is the point of an award winning website?

One reason is...backlinks! It's really all about those backlinks.

Although winning a web design award is nice, and it confirms our abilities as an agency that we design websites good enough to win awards, really the strategy here is to get some good backlinks.

Gaining backlinks can be one of the hardest SEO strategies, but also one of the most rewarding.

Hold up, what is a backlink?

A backlink acts as a recommendation to search engines. If a website is linking to another, it also makes it easier for bots or crawlers to be able to find your site and then index it.

What this means is you're making it easier for search engines like Google to find your website and then show it in the search results.

But that's not all... All websites have an authority rating attached to them. This authority rating tells search engines just how trustworthy a website is, and more trustworthy websites tend to rank better in the search results.

There are many metrics that make up an authority rating such as:

  • How long a website has been live for
  • How much traffic a website gets
  • What the quality of this traffic is like
  • How many backlinks a website has
  • The quality of those backlinks

Ah you see! In order to increase an authority rating of a website you need backlinks.

But not just any backlinks. No sir, backlinks need to be of a high quality.

And what do we mean by high quality? These backlinks need to be from websites with a higher authority rating than your websites and that are relevant to what your website does.

Therefore, it's better to have 100 backlinks that are all from websites with a higher authority rating than yours and all relevant to the services/products your website mentions, rather than 10,000 backlinks that are all from random sites with poor authority ratings.

Those backlinks also need to be natural and diverse, such as a mix of 'follow' and 'no-follow' backlinks and from a range of different sources.

Backlinks can be super tricky to get, because another website has to add a link to your website, which is usually in the form of content.

This content needs to be relevant to them and takes time to create, which is why it's not always easy to build backlinks.

That is a super brief, light version of what backlinks are, but you get the idea.

The proof is in the pudding

We know we make awesome websites, and our clients know we make awesome websites. What about those who don't know anything about us?

Awards are a great way to show off what we can do because a neutral third party, usually voted for by others, are the ones making the call on how good a website is.

Anyone can call their website awesome, amazing, actually super cool, but when others are naming your website as one of the best, that's totally different.

We've already won a bunch of awards over the years, not just for our own websites but for clients as well, and it's these small but important pixels of recognition that help tell people that others also think what we do is top-notch.

It's like when you're shopping for cake. If you're comparing two cakes and one is award-winning, that tells you it's likely gunna be good.

How to make an Award-Winning Website

First things first - Like we mentioned before, there's no use building a site with the sole purpose of winning awards.

Otherwise you'll be stuck with a website that has done its job, and that's about all it's ever going to do.

Now as a design study, or an experiment, or for the sole purpose of letting designers run with their creativity, cool - You do you, boo.

But from a genuine that-website-is-genuinely-awesome-here-have-an-award factor, you need to ensure a website does its job properly.

Deep Discovery

To start off, we want to know everything about everything. We want to know what the client knows but also what the client doesn't know, you know?

This is usually one of the most fun parts of any project, where we jump on a call with our client and ask a whole bunch of questions.

These questions go deeeeep about their ideal audience, who they are, what they do, their competitors - A lot of stuff.

Ultimately, we ask our clients where they want to go as it's our job to figure out how to get them there.

Some of our questions seem obscure or obvious, but they've all been created strategically to get us the best information possible.

Then some strategy

Before even designing a website, you need to work backwards in terms of what this website is going to do and how it's going to do it well.

We do this with all of our projects to give us clarity on what the problem is and how we're going to solve it.

Strategy doesn't just look at the audience and competitors, but also Content Strategy, SEO Strategy, Marketing Strategy and much more.

We look at things such as:

  • Who the audience is the website needs to attract
  • How those users use websites
  • What competitors are doing
  • What competitors are not doing
  • What we can do that blows everyone else out the water

There's a lot more to strategy than just the above, but since every business is different, and therefore every website is different, the strategy varies for each individual project.

The above is just the basics that tend to be common similarities between all projects.

Getting this staged right means the rest of the project will go super smoothly, and you're already on your way to winning some awards.

UI/UX Web Design

This is where we put digital pen to digital paper and start designing the website.

But we don't go nuts and just start coming up with the coolest concept we can. No ma'am, all that strategy and research is what ultimately informs what we design.

What colors, fonts, layouts, navigations and imagery we select all stem from our initial research and strategy.

We also don't just go with one initial concept either - In the early stages we start with at least two designs, both heading in very different directions.

The idea is to see how many different ways we could solve the same problem and then get input from our client on which direction they like the most.

Once the direction is chosen, we then go for it and design a bunch of pages.


This is where we build the website based on the UI/UX Design we've just completed.

This part of the project is super important as we always build sites to be as light and nimble as possible.

What does this mean? Well heavy, bloated sites tend to feel...heavy and bloated. They tend to be slow, laggy just a bit urgh.

In order for our websites to serve the user in the best possible way, a website has to be seamless and easy to use. The last thing we want is for a user to have to try and figure out how to navigate a website.

When a website is so good, you don't notice the website itself as much. It all becomes about the content.

This is super important for the UX (user experience), which can win you awards (and are some awards we've won).

Marketing Retainers

The website launches, everyone is happy, awards start coming in...but that's not the end.

Nope, like a floofy Pomeranian, a website needs constant care and attention. Otherwise, you'll end up with fur all over your sofa.

Or worse, a website that doesn't get seen because it doesn't get found.

Once a website is live, it needs constant attention to keep it running at its best at all times.

This includes:

SEO Retainers

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and this helps your website rank higher in search results. Ranking higher means more chances of getting traffic to your website. More traffic means more leads. More leads means more business. More business means getting closer to owning that speed boat.

Content Marketing Retainers

A website without content is just a bunch of empty pages. But it's not just about mindlessly blogging. Using the SEO strategy as a basis, creating strategic content for users, for SEO, for Email Marketing, and for Social Media all requires patience and a little pizazz.

Email Marketing Retainers

It may feel like an early 2000s strategy, but Email Marketing remains one of the most reliable and effective marketing strategies even today. Nurturing an audience and bringing the content to them is an effective way of getting users to your site.

Social Media Retainers

Way more than posting lol-worthy gifs and TikTok dances, Social Media requires its own strategy to be effective for your business while also still The end goal is still to get users to your site but with a delicate journey that doesn't feel like you're being sold to.

Full Marketing Retainers

The ultimate way to keep any website healthy. Like a personal trainer named Bruno who wakes you up with a smoothie at 6am every morning for a workout before helping you stretch your hamstrings and ultimately ensuring you look your best. A Full Marketing Retainer is where an agency (like us) literally does everything for you so you don't need to worry about a thing. We'll be your Bruno and keep your website looking its best.

Keeping a website working as a business and marketing tool takes time, knowledge, and dedication.

So while you may have won your awards, keeping a website at its best is the something that largely goes unnoticed, until you notice it.

Hashtag winning!

Winning website awards is great. It's what inspired this blog after all, but there's a lot more to it than just winning a pixel-based trophy.

As a business, it can be a great way to gain backlinks and recognition from others, ultimately attracting more business and improving your SEO.

If all this sounds like too much work, then why not get someone else to do it for you?

Imagine an agency that has won a bunch of awards themselves and also for their clients?

An agency that creates beautiful websites from scratch that also deliver results?

Sounds good right? Sounds like you could use Always Fresh!

Go on, ask us anything! (About Digital Marketing that is...)

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