Oh yes, I hear you cry – you would say that wouldn’t you, since your company is in the business of web design and development.
I’ll make no secret of the fact that Dentons Digital is very definitely into good web design for all our clients, whether their businesses are small or large, but I’d like to tell you why, exactly, it matters so much.
This is definitely a case of your customers judging a book (your website) by its cover (website design) – whether they do so consciously or unconsciously (which is usually the case).
Let’s take a closer look at why it is so important to make sure your website is enticing, user-friendly and conversion-driven so that it offers a great user experience right from the first impression.
Why Care About Web Design?
Everyone in digital marketing knows about the legendary 15-second rule. This is simply the fact that this is the amount of time you have to capture a website visitor’s attention. If you don’t hook them in within that flash of time, they’ll bounce off somewhere else, and probably be lost forever.
Check your home page or landing page bounce rate on your site analytics. According to Semrush an optimal bounce rate is in the 26% to 40% range – anything higher and there could be a good reason why so many visitors aren’t interested in staying on your page.
Web Design Flaws That Increase Bounce Rates
Here are some of the website design flaws that could be driving away your potential customers before they’ve even looked at what your site has got to offer:
- The page is slow-loading. Research has shown one in four visitors abandon a website that doesn’t load in four seconds. Speed test your website with Google’s Page Speed Insights tool, and get some tips on improving your website’s loading performance.
- The website is not responsive. According to statista.com 59% of website traffic comes from mobile devices, so if your site doesn’t display properly on the small screen people will shy away from it.
- The website is labelled as not secure. This means it will be using the HTTP protocol with no secure connection between you and your visitors. This will no doubt scare off many, so you need to upgrade to HTTPS by purchasing an SSL certificate.
- Difficult navigation is a big turn-off. When users look at your site they want to be able to find what they want immediately, and not be faced with a confusing array of links or drop-down boxes. Make your navigation simple and logical, but intuitive and specific.
Web Design Challenges for Business Websites
The design elements mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg. If you manage to cross those bridges successfully and actually get users to stay on your home page long enough to engage with the content and decide what they want to do next, you have a new set of design challenges to meet.
Once your visitor is on your home page the design must be visually attractive and enticing with uncluttered and clear directives as to where to go next. In other words, obvious calls to action that will funnel the user down the right channels, such as contacting you or shopping on your site.
The main reason you have a website for your business is to attract traffic and turn the traffic into conversions. It is good design that achieves this objective, a skill that professional website designers learn by experience and their own innate talent with a dash of psychological principles thrown in.
The Importance of Visual Website Design
The visual look and feel of a website is all important when it comes not only to optimising user experience, but it’s a fact that most users will judge your company’s credibility on the visual design above all else.
If you doubt that site aesthetics are so important when it comes to projecting your business’s credibility and trustworthiness, think again. In the US Stanford’s Persuasion Technology Lab found in a study that 46% of respondents said a website’s design is the top criteria for determining website credibility. By contrast site functionality came in much further down the list at 8.6% and readability at only 3.6%.
Putting together a bright and beautiful visually appealing website involves a plethora of elements, from buttons and images to the colour-scheme, fonts and icons. It’s a matter of layout and tasteful elegance. It can be tempting to put everything you can find on a page, but flashy won’t cut it. Keep it simple without too many distractions.
Take a Good Look at Your Website Design
It’s time to take a step back and examine your website from a visitor’s perspective. Does it draw you in, grab and keep your attention, direct you down the path towards making a purchase or getting in touch?
Most of all, your website should be designed to answer the three key questions that your audience is going to ask:
- Who are you?
- Why should I care about you?
- What do you want me to do?
Don’t let the answers to these questions get muddled up in a morass of website bells and whistles and loud noise.
This article from WordPress website building platform Elementor will give you some idea of the vast array of principles and rules that are involved in professional website design.
If you have any reason to doubt the efficacy of your website design it’s wise not waste any more time. Have a professional check out your site and recommend improvements. It could be that it would be worth investing in a completely new, up to date website that can incorporate all the UX (user experience) features and optimum web design practices, coupled with SEO.