According to a 2020 study conducted by Brightlocal, 93% of consumers used the Internet to find local businesses and services last year. In the digital age and with access to the Internet more readily available, it is becoming increasingly vital for a business to have a good web presence to succeed. In fact, it’s a requirement.
This may be old news to you. Having a website these days is a no-brainer. However, simply having a website is not enough. A website that is unattractive, poorly designed or doesn’t give visitors easy access to the information they desire can harm your business. Design and functionality are two important components that should be central to your business’ website. It means the difference between a visitor staying on your site to learn more about your business or moving on to your competitor.
It’s All About First Impressions
Will Rogers said it best: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” The average Internet user spends .05 seconds (Taylor and Francis) to form an opinion of a website! This means that at least at first, looks are everything. From colors, to branding, images, font size, and responsive design, if a visitor doesn’t like the look of your website they’ll move on. The goal of your website is to minimize the number of people who do this.
It’s All About Speed
In today’s fast paced society, people want information, and they want it now. With the rise of mobile phones, this has become even more so. You may have a beautiful website, with a lot of bells and whistles. However, if the design is so over the top that it takes forever to load, chances are most people will simply click the “X” and move on. According to a recent poll conducted by dotcom-monitor, 40% of visitors are likely to move on from your website if it doesn’t load within 2-5 seconds. That’s not a lot of time when you think about it. Improper design and image optimization is one of the most common reasons a site is slow to load.
It’s All About Building Credibility and Trust
To convert leads or sell products, it is vital that you build a relationship based on trust and credibility with consumers. The design of your website is one of the first chances you’ll have to start building this relationship. A visually appealing and easy to use website will help build your company’s credibility and encourage consumers to trust the quality of the services and products you provide. After all, if your website is subpar, consumers will think your services and products are as well.
What are signs of a credible website? Professional imagery, sound layout design, non-broken links, and proper copywriting can instantly make your business more credible.
It’s All About Being Found
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website so that search engines, such as Google and Yahoo!, can find and rank your site in the search results. The first five search results account for nearly 68% of all clicks. What does that mean? Well, if you’re website isn’t appearing on the first page, you’re losing out on a lot of potential business!
There is a lot that goes into SEO and it’s definitely a subject for a separate blog, but it must be mentioned when discussing website design. It’s important to understand that there is no magic formula guaranteeing you’ll be on the first page.
That’s by design. Google, Yahoo! and other search engines work to ensure that each search result is organic, relevant and informative. However, many of the criteria used to determine this are directly linked to the website’s design itself (i.e., load speed, the number of visits and length of time spent on a site) all of which can be controlled with proper website design to give you a fighting chance.
If you’re not sure whether speed and SEO are hurting your business we can help perform an audit to understand your baseline and uncover where to fix missed opportunities. Contact us to get started.
It’s All About User Experience
This is a major one! If your website is difficult to navigate, your user is going to get frustrated and click that “X” in the upper righthand corner. If this happens too often, search engines will consider your site to be less relevant and rank it lower. One of the ways to counter this is to ensure your website design encourages visitors to stay, purchase products or interact. A well-designed website not only considers visual appeal, but also functionality and ease of use. A confusing website or one that is difficult to navigate is not going to encourage visitors to stay.
Additionally, ensuring that your website is responsive is a big way to increase the usability of your site. This type of website design is one that adapts to fit whatever device someone is using to visit your website. Over 50% of website traffic is generated through mobile phones, so if your website doesn’t look good or isn’t optimizing content and navigation for a mobile device, people won’t stay on your website long, which we know results in a poorer ranking.
It’s All About Accessibility
The accessibility of a website goes hand-in-hand with user experience and design; however, it deserves its own spotlight. An accessible website doesn’t mean that people can easily find it online. It means that its functions are designed for use by all visitors, including those with disabilities. Apart from federal, state, and local government websites, which must meet certain accessibility requirements, there is no enforceable ADA legal standards for website accessibility. However, don’t you want as many visitors to your website as possible? As more and more companies begin to journey into the realm of website accessibility, it will become increasingly more important to ensure your site is accessible by all as well.
It’s All About Competition
It should come at no surprise that to be successful, consumers must choose your products and services over that of your competitors. If your competitors have well-designed websites that are beautiful and function smoothly, it is important that your website does the same. It doesn’t matter how well priced your products are or the quality of the services you provide if consumers come across your competitors first or find your website to be out of date and difficult to use.
We’ve just scratched the surface of website design here. There is a ton that goes into it – more than one blog can handle. Designing a good website isn’t quick or easy. There’s a reason why an entire industry has grown around building professional, quality websites. Your time is valuable and unless you have an in-depth knowledge of all the website design elements critical to your online success, it may be a better use of your time to hire a professional company to design your website. When you’re ready to generate more business with your website, contact us below and we’ll be ready to help.