What do Great Websites Have in Common?
While the advent of social media has had a significant effect in the way the majority of companies do business, the necessity for a good website is still as important as it’s ever been.
Having a “good” website is certainly essential, but what about great?
Contrary to what some might think, there's more to a great website than just fancy graphics and informative, coherent content. Numerous factors go into making a site that makes your business look good, while also keeping users locked in and engaged.
Listed below are four of the most important aspects that are required for creating a top-tier website that makes an impression every time.
Photos and images are the foundation of a site’s look, something that not many initially realize. Without images, graphics, and photos, a website would be strictly text, which is pretty dull and boring -- unless you’re really into MS DOS or something.
These aspects frame whether or not your site has a professional feel to it, which ultimately reflects on your business. Cheap looking graphics and photos will make the site look cheap.
But the quality isn’t the only thing that matters. Placement is just as important, as is the actual selection of the images, photos, and graphics themselves. This is when having an expert and tasteful sit designer really comes into play. The designer can act off of your overall vision of what you feel the site should be like, and incorporate such aspects in an appropriate way that is cohesive and relevant.
Back in the old days, the majority of websites all kind of followed the same layout pattern. Everything began with the dreaded “click to enter” page, which took you to a basic HTML site that had a navigation bar on the left, and a bunch of mediocre graphics and images throughout. If you were lucky, the site had music that played automatically. If you were even luckier, it was a MIDI rendition.
Fortunately, things have evolved a little since then, thanks to both better taste, and faster internet connections that can load larger sites in a few seconds.
Today’s sites can be simple, complex, flash-based, or even just a single, downward-scrolling page. Simplicity is a common theme, as the minimalist look of newer websites are more appealing to consumers than ever. That’s not to say that every site needs to follow a simple aesthetic, but it should at least have the appearance of a modern, contemporary site that doesn’t look the least bit outdated.
Engaging Interface and User Experience
Your site may look amazing, but if it’s confusing to navigate, your visitors aren’t going to stick around to figure it out. In this sense, dumbing things down is best -- no need to get fancy for the sake of it.
Websites today are all about the user, rather than showing off intricate designs with all the bells and whistles. A website should be inviting the moment you log on, with an easy-to-use interface that is obvious in its operation.
Having an engaging website that is geared towards the user’s experience helps facilitate a lower bounce rate. For those that are unfamiliar with this term, bounce rate refers to the rate that your visitors exit the site after only looking at the first page. That means they logged on, took a look around, and left without clicking on any links within the site.
Low bounce rates mean that visitors log on, and stay engaged by accessing other parts of your site. As a general rule of thumb, anything under 50% is considered acceptable, with an optimal and realistic benchmark around 30%. This would mean that 7 out of 10 visitors are staying on the site without closing it after the first page.
Mobile Device Compatibility
Desktop websites enjoyed their status of being the most important for years, even as smartphones and tablets surged in popularity. Having a mobile-friendly version of a site was once considered a sort of bonus, but now it’s essential. In fact, mobile web browsing overtook desktop computer use as the most popular way to view websites last year. Google harshly penalizes sites on their search engine if they don’t have a mobile version. So, having a mobile-friendly site is no longer an option, it’s a must.
This doesn’t mean simply having a shrunken-down version of your site that fits on a phone. Mobile sites should be reimagined as much as possible, optimizing the interface and browsing specifically for a mobile device, while still retaining the overall aesthetic and original design of the site.
Quality Website (and Blog) Design is Where it All Starts
At MKE Software, we have over a decade of experience in building customized and responsive websites for a variety of clients. We understand current design trends, and have the versatility required to create a website that best represents your brand and image across all technological platforms (phone, desktop, and tablet,) while also being user-friendly and impactful. Contact us today for your free web design consultation! We’d love to help your business have a better presence on the web.