A Website is Not Enough
As has been repeated in my posts before, just having a website is not enough, not anymore. Have a simple website on the internet is no longer sufficient to reach your target audience and keep them engaged.
- You need to promote it through social media, blogging, paid ads and other internet marketing outlets.
- You need to keep it fresh with up-to-date content and images.
- You need to optimize it with your content, source code and keywords so you can get it seen and increase your page ranking on the search engines.
But none of the above is going to help if your website is an obvious novice attempt which advertises the fact that you are a new, small business with little or no budget, or worse yet you don’t care about the initial impression your company presents.
You Only Get One Chance to Make a First Impression
If your website is awkward, unprofessional or confusing, that’s the impression visitors will have of your business. Good design gives any website a stronger chance of success. As with a first impression meeting someone, over time you can correct and replace that impression but why start out five paces behind? Especially when your website is probably one of the easiest things to control, and with affordable professional design services available. Startup Production offers packages that can fit any budget.
Just as a physical storefront or retail space can attract or discourage new customers and sales (see my last week’s post about “Good Design is Good Business“), your website and virtual’s store’s look, feel and functionality can do the same. Don’t underestimate your user and their subconscious perception of your website, and how the user experience on your website will affect their buying decision.
One such study about the Effects of Web Site Aesthetics on Consumer Shopping Value, from Xiamen University in China shows:
“Recently, studies have begun to show that aesthetic qualities such as color, graphics, and the layout of a Web site can play an important role in improving consumer shopping experiences. From a theoretical perspective, our findings not only establish consumer shopping value as a key business value of Web site aesthetics but also enrich the current knowledge on the contingent effect of Web site aesthetics for utilitarian and hedonic products. From a practical perspective, the findings provide guidance for online vendors to provide their customers with better service in the form of properly designed aesthetic Web sites.“
This concept is only further proven and vitally more important when it comes to e-commerce websites. Another study (Affective Design of E-Commerce User Interfaces: How to Maximize Perceived Trustworthiness, from Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands) tested how trust and credibility were affected by the design:
“When accessing a site for the first time, the first response is likely to be an emotional one. The appeal of the interface, in terms of graphic design and layout, can directly affect the acceptability and usage of the system. Generally, the more a company is perceived to have invested in its web site, the less likely it is perceived to act opportunistically by betraying customers’ trust, as it would have more to lose than to gain.”
If you Fail to Plan, you Plan to Fail
Putting together your website takes planning, good communication and a well-thought internet marketing strategy after completion. First determine the objective of your website, your target audience, your branding and logo and how to compliment each in the design. Here are some questions you can ask yourself or your designer:
- Are your layout, content and images promoting users to learn more, make that initial order or contact your company directly?
- Is your design appealing without distracting from your products/services?
- Does the design, logo and theme of your website’s design successfully flow into a cohesive, memorable brand?
- Is your website easy to navigate so users can find the specific information they are looking for?
- Is your content easy to read and engages the user?
- Does the design provide that ‘wow-factor’ that enhances your company’s overall perception? “Beauty awakens the soul to act.” – Dante Alighieri
If you don’t know the answers to the questions or even how to accomplish these goals, there’s no need to fret. A professional web designer and developer can and should take all these design issues in consideration as well as your tastes, preferences, and company objectives before the design process. Also, the web design company should involve you throughout the design and creation process so you have consistent and regular input to correct and revise the website before completion. Startup Production has a reputation for actually listening to the client’s input and developing a site with their client’s in mind.
Benefits of Great Design
- Decreased bounce rate: users will stay longer and have a higher click-through rate. [For more on Bounce Rate]
- Increased sales and prospects: with an effective call to action in addition to great design, you will motivate the customer to your end-goal.
- Improved reputation & branding: make a good first impression that will encourage trust and credibility for your company.
- Increased visibility: with keyword-rich content and clean, professional design your page ranking on the search engines will climb, and users are more likely to share (post, tweet and pin) your website’s link with their friends.
Call or email Startup Production for a free consultation to review your current site for improvements or discuss a plan of action for a new site.
*For some bad examples of Web Design:
*For good examples of Web Design:
- https://startupproduction.com/portweb.asp (Custom & WordPress websites)