These days, just about every business has a website but still, much of the time, these websites tend to be far from perfect. Even with the bigger businesses, their websites are often pretty diabolical when it comes to their design and functionality.
The truth is that you’ve probably never (or at least rarely) come across a “perfect website”. Usually, every website will have its mistakes and where one website might have a great design, another website might absolutely kill it in terms of the UX.
But what exactly makes a perfect website? Is it all about the design? Is it more about the layout? Or is it something else? Well, in this post we’re going to explore some of the most important factors that you should look at if you’re looking to create the perfect website for your business.
Design is A Big Part Of It
There’s absolutely no doubt that the overall design of a website is a big part of its quality. If you’ve ever come across a poorly designed website, you probably clicked away almost straight away and if you’re looking for visitors to read your content (or buy your product), this is not something that you want to happen.
But what makes a great design? Well, there are literally hundreds and thousands of examples of websites with great design (take the one you’re reading this post on for example!) and truthfully, design is subjective to some extent.
However, some websites are perceived to have better designs than others. One of my personal favourite websites in terms of the design is the well-known site; Mashable. Mashable is a tech news site (yet it reports on just about everything you can imagine these days) and it’s recently been redesigned.
As you can see from the screenshot above, it’s a fantastic looking website that has a really fresh design. The colour scheme that has been used is quite calm and reflects its niche too. There’s no doubt that colour is a big part of the process when it comes to design.
Obviously, this isn’t the only well-designed website on the internet; there are thousands of them, each with their own style. Creating the perfectly designed website is all about knowing what your visitors are going to want to see and utilising a colour scheme and style that fits in with your existing company branding.
Easy To Navigate
Along with the aesthetic end of the design, the usability issue also plays a vital role in the creation of a perfect website. Unfortunately, so many websites are still extremely difficult to navigate around and usually, this is due to an overly complex menu system and unclear design.
In order to ensure that your visitors can find what they actually want to find, you need to think about the navigation of your site a lot. Are they going to be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily? If the answer is no, it’s likely that your website won’t convert (more on that later) and the visitor will leave.
Take a look at the screenshot above of the Apple website. This is a great example of a well-organised navigation. It’s simple and has links to all of the main categories that visitors are going to be looking for (e.g. iPad, iPhone etc). It’s a good source of inspiration for a perfect navigation design.
For most websites (especially business-related sites), they have one purpose; to convert visitors into customers/clients. Therefore, one of the aspects of a perfect website is how well it actually converts the visitors.
By conversion, we mean the percentage of your visitors that actually turn into customers or clients. So, let’s say that you have 20,000 visitors a month. How many of these visitors actually turn into customers?
If the answer was 2000, then you have a conversion rate of 1%. If the answer was 200, then you have a conversion rate of 0.1%. Obviously, the higher your conversion rate is, the more customers you’re going to acquire and the more revenue your company is going to make.
But what affects conversion? Well, there are a lot of things to be honest; your design will affect it, your website copy and the quality of your visitors. Therefore, it’s important that a website has a great design and also, well-written copy that is relevant to the target audience of the site.
Usually, the job of conversion is given to a landing page, so not only do you need to design and optimise this correctly, but you also need the rest of the pages on your site to draw visitors into this page. This is the job of a clever navigation bar (amongst other things).
Take a look at the screenshot above of a landing page on Kissmetrics. You can see that the design, website copy and other factors combine to increase the conversion rate and thus, increase revenue.
If we were to list every factor that contributes to a perfect website design, we’d be here all day and truthfully, there are a lot of aspects that make a perfect website. Other things to consider include making sure that your website is optimised for mobile visitors (from Smartphones and tablets) and that you’ve branded your site effectively with your target audience in mind.
Ensuring that your website looks great across all devices is a big factor these days, as you’ll find that for most websites, mobile visitors will make up a big chunk of your visitors. Therefore, a responsive design is paramount to the success of your site.