Picture the scene…
You’re a cake fanatic and your fellow pastry pals have been ranting and raving so much about the new muffins taking your town by storm that you’ve begged them for the bakery address.
But you’re surprised when you find this supposedly excellent edibles emporium – the sign outside looks like it’s been scrawled by a five year old and the window is so dusty that you can’t see what’s on offer inside.
Things get worse when you walk in. It’s not just that the shelves are bare, but also the downright weird response you receive when you enquire about the muffins. You’re bewildered when the bored looking customer service rep assures you they’re in the back, but insists that you try the carrot cake, cinnamon swirl or cream puff first.
Exasperated, you make your way to the exit, muttering menacingly under your breath. If you had a brick to hand, you’d hurl it through their window in disgust – and to hell with the consequences.
This is exactly how customers feel when they have the misfortune of browsing a badly-designed website.
So if you don’t want to turn off the people that help pay your bills, pay close attention to these five reasons web design matters to your business.
1. Web design matters because it creates a fantastic first impression
Potential customers form a first impression of your website fast – in just 50 milliseconds according to the Journal of Behaviour & Information Technology.
So if your site looks weird, wonky or outdated, it’ll create an instant poor impression of your business and they’ll switch to the site of a more polished competitor quick-smart as your bounce rates rocket through the roof.
At this crucial stage, you should be concerned with choosing a simple yet attractive design that works well on all devices and navigates customers towards their most pertinent solutions with no detours. Here’s a couple of reasons web design should be direct but delightful:
- Google research suggests simple website designs are regarded as more beautiful than ‘visually complex’ ones.
- Mobile-friendly, responsive web design means customers accessing your site on the move will have the same smooth experience engaging with your business as anyone else, which makes them more likely to buy.
2. Web design matters because it builds customer trust
Website design is intimately connected with building customer trust – so say University of Melbourne boffins.
Qualities like visual aesthetics, fast loading times, clear navigation and information quality and relevancy all combine to produce the type of brilliant user experience (UX) that engages consumers, keeps them coming back for more and converts them into loyal paying customers.
There are several philosophies to choose from, but atomic web design can deliver a dynamic UX for customers and a flexible framework that makes future adaptations and improvements simple.
3. Web design improves SEO
Without a doubt, website UX boosts your SEO – the same wonderful design elements that charm customers also please Google spiders as they’re crawling your site, which is a double-whammy you just can’t ignore.
Here are a few ways good web design delivers super SEO:
- Intuitive and natural main navigation pleases SEO engines as well as guiding customers towards conversions.
- A simple and logical URL structure with a limited number of page levels means less redirects and instant gratification for customers – Google loves this.
- Because of Google’s mobile-first indexing, a mobile-friendly website design is absolutely essential for securing a high SERP ranking.
Swift page speed doesn’t just please customers – it’s a major ranking factor for Google’s algorithm.
4. Web design cements brand consistency
Developing your company into a brand involves listening to customers, considering your creation story, deciding your mission and defining your values – perhaps using an established framework like the 12 brand archetypes to provide focus.
And branding consistency is consolidated and cemented in your website – because it’s the primary portal for many customer experiences, everything from fonts to logos and colours to copywriting tone of voice should reinforce your brand ethos and personality.
And professional branding doesn’t stop at words, images and visual elements – it’s reflected and supported by UX too. So if you’re a brand that trades on simplicity and fairness, be sure that your site navigation is crystal clear and every element of your site is accessible and inclusive.
5. Web design improves conversion rates
If you’re a commercial entity, all of your online efforts are ultimately aimed at making money, boosting profitability and perhaps even scaling your operations.
And the good news is that deft web design goes hand in hand with CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation), so it’s possible to create a website that’s breath takingly beautiful and perfectly practical.
A website that’s focused on conversions might consider the following:
- Using heatmapping to analyse which areas of website pages are primed to persuade customers and which are ignored.
- Implementing conversion funnels to define and hone user journeys towards a purchase.
- Crafting clever and clickable microcopy for areas like CTA (Call To Action) buttons.
- Content templates that ensure written, visual and video content marketing resources are always placed perfectly and published in their most attractive and persuasive formats.
Final thoughts on why web design matters for your business
To summarise, we’ve chatted about the following reasons why web design matters for your business:
- It creates a good first impression.
- It builds customer trust.
- It improves SEO.
- It cements brand consistency.
- It improves conversion rates.
With professional web design, your online presence will pack more punch than Tyson Fury – which means your business will be fighting fit for years to come.