What makes a great website?

We look at what makes for a great website in 2019.

We joined a new marketing group recently and as part of our pre-qualification, the organisers asked us what we thought made a website great. We thought this was a great question and it inspired us to write this post and share our thoughts.

You can look at this question in a number of ways so let’s try and breakdown what we think are important considerations and why, and hopefully this will help you if you are thinking about a new website.

All website projects should start with the objective but this is often overlooked. What is the goal of your website and what do you want it to deliver in terms of business benefits? We often get clients who approach us with a request for a new website that is centred around design but we always recommend taking time to really flesh out the requirements and agree on the core objectives before any design work is done.

We want a website that portrays a great image and has a great contemporary design

Whilst those things may be important they are not objectives and are unlikely to be considered a success once a site has gone live. Sure everyone wants their website to look good and portray a professional image but in our experience, generating results is more important. No one is going to thank you if their website looks great, but doesn’t generate any value.

What sort of objectives should we have?

Whilst we can’t give you all the answers without understanding your business, we thought it may be useful to share some ideas around how to set great objectives for your site.

A great model for setting objectives is to use the SMART model which means objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based. Let’s look at some specific examples:

  • Increase online sales by 5% in the 3 months after launch
  • Increase our average order value by 20% implementing new product recommendations as part of the checkout process
  • Increase the volume of traffic from natural search (SEO) by 10% in the 3 months following launch of the new site
  • Increase our landing page conversion rate from 2% to 3% within a month of launching the site
  • Increase site speed achieving a target load time on no more than 3 seconds at launch
  • Decrease the bounce rate of our site by 5% within 3 months of going live with the new site

Once you have agreed your objectives you have a clear and measurable set of goals that you can use to benchmark success, this is much better than more subjective measures such as the design which tends to be more a matter of opinion. 

A great website is one that delivers the objectives of the client, or put simply, it just works!

Eduard - Web Designer

Eduard is a skilled designer with a BSc in Digital Media from the University of Portsmouth. He has a keen interest in UI and UX design, and has experience in website design, conversion optimisation, and graphic design including Facebook Ads and logos.

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