Perfect – the Enemy of Good

It was the outspoken and notoriously French philosopher Voltaire who said:

“The best is the enemy of good”

And he was in good company! Confucius’s version was:

“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without”

Don’t forget Shakespeare:

“Striving to better, oft we mar what’s well”

So, why am I quoting all these old dudes and why is it relevant to us? We live in a rapidly evolving age, with access to more information than any other time period in history. We seem to live our lives in pursuit of a perfectly filtered Instagram lifestyle and far too often we benchmark our success against what we see other people doing.

Businesses are also guilty of this (we certainly are), which can result in poor strategy, working towards the wrong objectives and measuring the wrong KPIs. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own head about what we think success should look like that we hamper our ability to achieve actual success.

This is more evident than ever when it comes to our websites.

Think about this. The world is online now. We work online, we shop online, we socialise online – the internet and our connected devices are a fundamental aspect of the lives of so many people throughout the world. This connected lifestyle has changed the way we do business as we adapt our product and service offering, the way we communicate with consumers and even the very essence of our brands.

More than anything, speed has become a key part of success. Speed in bringing a product to market; speed in anticipating and evolving to take advantage of new trends; speed in reacting to market forces; speed in evolving a business to ensure success.

Now back to the quote above – “The best is the enemy of good”. Far too often, we see businesses miss out on potential success because they’re stuck in their own heads about whether their website is perfect and ready to be shown to the world.

Here’s the thing – it doesn’t matter! One of the wonderful things about your digital assets is that they can be changed quickly and cheaply! This isn’t a brochure that needs to be perfect down to the smallest detail before you have 20,000 copies printed; it’s not a print ad that’s going to cost you a mint before it’s printed in thousands and thousands of newspapers.

You want your website to look good, be easy to use have the right information for your customers. You don’t need a planning committee to debate whether that blue is the exact right pantone, or whether that font is the perfect size to earn a conversion!

The beauty of a website is that it can be changed! And it should be changed!

A great web site is never finished – you should always be testing something, whether it’s design, content or functionality, to ensure your website is achieving the best possible results for your business.

Ask yourself – you’ve held off launching your website for a couple of weeks because you’re not quite happy with the design. That’s a couple of weeks in which potential customers are interacting with your old website, or maybe even no website at all!

You want this new website for a reason, right? Whether it’s your business’ first website or your old website needed a refresh, you expect that the new website will be good for your business.

In that two weeks, how many people will form a valuable first impression of your business based on your website? How many potential customers or clients will see your old website and make the decision on whether to do business with you or not?

A new website should have the basics before launch:

  • Spelling & grammar
  • Correct business information (contact details, pricing, product information etc.)
  • Everything should work – all pages load correctly, no broken links etc.
  • On-page SEO implementation (page titles, page descriptions, rich snippets, analytics implementation etc.)

If you’re in two minds about an aspect of your new website, launch the site and run an a/b test to determine which version works better. Don’t rely on assumptions on what you think will work, gather data so you can prove what actually works!

Catching the attention of a consumer has never been more difficult, while losing a consumer’s attention has never been easier. Don’t risk losing business because you can’t decide on the final design of your website!

Launch your website, analyse the data, test new design or functionality, analyse more data and build on your results! The perfect website doesn’t exist, but the next best thing is a website that is constantly evolving through data backed decisions.

Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.