You have great products or services, a finely tuned business model and a marketing strategy that’s paying off in big, measurable results. One might agree that you’re firing on all cylinders and have nowhere to go but up. Before you slip off your shoes at the front door of success, you need to take a second look at one vital element in your master plan.
Yes, you’ve got content, a few photos of your best products and a picture of a smiling person in the corner of your homepage. That should be all you need, right? Wrong. To your website visitors, what your business offers isn’t even half of the story. In dollars and cents, a good design boosts revenue. Whereas a shoddy design can send your potential customers running the other direction. Here’s how design impacts your website, and what it means for your business.
THE IMPACT OF APPEARANCE
First impressions are everything. The visual appeal of your design can mean instant bounce rates, or it can mean boosting conversions. The reason for that is obvious. People don’t linger on a site that looks cheap, terribly outdated, hastily cobbled together or that serves up a confusing mish-mash of content and graphics that makes no obvious sense. Even if your homepage looks halfway professional, if it doesn’t convey your value proposition while leading seamlessly into a call of action, then your efforts won’t yield the results you’re hoping to achieve.
Crafting an effectively designed website means developing an atmosphere of trust with your clients. A clean design with the appropriate use of color and graphics for your unique company culture, coupled with content that drives to the point, delivers a powerful message while offering visitors a reassuring experience. Appearances matter, and so do the look and feel of your website.
THE IMPACT OF INTERACTION
Let’s be clear: visitors never come to your website to read old articles about your incorporation or to see a photo of your new building. Think like your customer, or at the very least try thinking about your actions as someone else’s customer. The things that matter to you within your own business are often not the same things that your customers care about. Visitors want an experience that truly engages. They want something fluid. If you have a prehistoric interface that involves little more than a pop-up “subscribe now” window over a wall of dry text, your visitors are going to exit and head for something more interesting. You need to add engaging content that gives visitors a reason to act and react. Keep your website current with technological trends like parallax scrolling and other engaging formats. Integrate social media channels to invite comments and conversations. You need to interact to keep up with visitor wants and needs, or you risk fading into yesterday.
THE IMPACT OF CONNECTION
Effective, impactful design means more than adding a few bulletpoints and a smattering of big, pretty graphics on your pages. Establishing an emotional connection with your visitors is paramount to conversions. Real photos (hint: your own professional photography, not the token group of suits with fake smiles purchased on the cheap from a stock vendor) convey meaning and catch the eye like simple graphics cannot. Even better, your own professional videos connect with people on all levels, visually, emotionally and on even a subliminal level. Incorporating design elements that not only attract, but connect with visitors, is what will make people remember your company, your brand and what you have to offer.
An effective, well-crafted design attracts more viewers and leads to more conversions. A poor design detracts, meaning less interest, decreased brand awareness and slowly deteriorating sales. Your design impacts not only your website and your online presence, it impacts your business and your bottom line.