Why Your Website Design Affects Your Business
First impressions matter! so does your website design.
According to research, it only takes 5 seconds for a website visitor to click elsewhere if they aren’t happy with what they see.
This can be frustrating for you because you want to convert those visitors into paying customers.
So, if your conversion rate is low, you do need to consider why this might be the case.
We have some suggestions as to why that might be in this article, although if you want to pinpoint a more accurate answer for your particular situation, you might want to read this article on conversion rate optimization to help you gather information from your website data.
With the suggestions in the linked article, and with reference to the ideas we have below, you might then find a way to build a strategy to improve your website and your conversion rate, and consequently, find greater success within your business.
Here are the reasons why your website design might be hindering your online business.
1. Your website appears untrustworthy
Is your website secure? If not, your customers won’t trust your site because they don’t want to risk their payment details being compromised.
You need to set up SSL (secure socket layers) on your website because this is the best way to instil confidence in your visitors.
Then think about your website in general terms. You need to have an ‘about me’ page, so your visitors know there is a human face behind the website. And you also need contact details imprinted on your site, be that a business phone number or email address.
These are just some of the ways you can engender trust in your site visitors, so ensure these things are included on your website.
2. Your website is poorly designed
An ugly-looking website won’t hold any appeal for its visitors, so compare your website with others online.
Does your site stand up in comparison, or does it lack the visual appeal of better websites?
Does your write-up link to credible sites or send visitors to those pesky ‘404 page not found’ errors?
Is your font easily readable or does it suffers under the colour of your background design? Are the appropriate web pages clearly signposted? Is there a chance your visitors won’t know how to get from page A to page B?
To help you, I will encourage you to consider these website design tips but if you fall short of these areas, do consider hiring a website designer to give your site the professional look and feel that it needs to help improve your conversion rate.
3. You have too many call-to-actions
Used correctly, call-to-actions can effectively convert your site visitors into customers.
However, if you have added too many to your site, your efforts can be counterintuitive.
Not many people like being told what to do. So, if your visitors are confronted by an endless array of pop-ups and banners, you might annoy them and turn them away.
Therefore, limit the number of call-to-actions you use so as not to antagonize them. There are other, gentler ways, to encourage them to buy from you, with informative blog posts, video tutorials, and customer testimonials, being just a few examples of the additions you should add to your website.
4. Your website doesn’t reflect or represent your brand or business accurately
The website of a business is like a signpost that lays the foundation of how a user perceives a brand.
As noted earlier, first impressions last!
Gone are the days when the physical space of your business or a fancy card was what is needed to make a favourable impression. These days, prospective dealers, clients or customers don’t ask for your business card. Neither do they ask for your business address. They ask for your website address!
Even if they do request for your business card, they’ll probably go online to do a little digging about you. Recent research shows that “81% of shoppers conduct online research before buying.” 81 is a large number, isn’t it? Now, let’s translate that to your business.
If 80% of your prospects deem it fit to check out your website, shouldn’t it be at least “pretty”? More important than pretty, is the fact that your website should be a strong and accurate representation of your brand or business. It should have a feel of your business culture and what your value propositions are as an organization. It should carry the whole essence of your brand. A business with a website that poorly represents it will not be taken seriously.
To illustrate, would you eat at a sloppy, dingy- looking restaurant even if they told you they served the best fried chicken in the world? or would you prefer the one next to it which looks classy and well-kept? You tell me!
The same logic applies to building and presenting a website.
Your website is one of your most important sales-generating mechanisms.
It shouldn’t just be built but also presented with the utmost care.
What impression do you want to make on your site’s visitors’ mind even before he or she starts reading the site? The more your website wows your visitors, the more likely they’ll be converted to paying customers.
You want visitors to understand that you are a modern, respectable, trust-worthy business that’ll give double value for their money. What essentially determines the extent to which you can make this impression is your website. Your website showcases how you approach customers off and online.
5. Your website does not reflect the growth of your business
If your business experiences any sort of growth such as an increase in the services you offer or you now sell a wider range of goods, you’ll want to make sure that your website reflects this expansion. For optimum maximization of your website as a marketing tool, customers should be aware of every single thing your business offers.
When your website doesn’t reflect your business’ expansion, you run the risk of customers going elsewhere for a service they weren’t aware you provide. That’s sort of like giving freebies to the competition at your own expense.
Worse still, if you’ve improved your services and your site’s visitors aren’t aware of it, they assume you have nothing new or exciting to offer and promptly classify your company as “outdated”.
This alienates them and they move on to something new.
Similarly, having an outdated website (outdated in the sense that it hasn’t grown or developed with your business) sends several messages, none of which are good for your business. Imagine what goes through the mind of a prospect or customer when he or she sees that the most recent post on your site was made over 2 years ago.
One, your business might have packed up. Two, even if it still exists, your business is not at par with the latest trends in the industry. Three, you don’t care enough about your prospects and customers to keep them in the know – that is their patronage is not important to you.
This also implies that you are slowly losing relevance. Come on, you’re not the only one tweaking, figuring out changes and reinventing to suit your customers. Your competitors are too. The last thing you want is a dwindling customer or market base just because they are ignorant of the services you provide.
Don’t leave them out of the news. Take the pains to keep them in the loop. Honestly, keeping your content fresh is not much of a hassle. Make your website relevant in itself and to your business by keeping it in top shape and updating it as soon as there are changes in your company or industry. Keep it current. This shows that your company is growing, dynamic and ever ready to serve customers with pleasure.
6. Your website lacks content
A website shows the substance of business. Visitors on your site came with a particular purpose in mind. It might be to check out your business, to see how you can help them solve problems or simply to get answers.
As the owner of the website, you are in a position of control to determine what user experience they’ll get from visiting your site. You have to catch their attention, get them riveted and engaged enough to convert them into paying customers. You simply have to give them what they want.
The first part of achieving this premise is to have an eye-catching, “pretty” layout for your website. Make your website a sight for sore eyes. Create stimulating visuals that accurately represent what your business is about and who your ideal customers are.
It’s a turn-off to most people (including me!) when a website doesn’t look better than a squiggly drawing!
Apart from getting their needs met, your audience might also form an opinion of your business from your website.
They judge your business within seconds of arriving at your site. Naturally, a low-quality website sends impressions of a shady, low-quality business too while a website that looks appealing and professional translates into that same perception for your business. It also signals a trust-worthy business. People generally don’t trust businesses with poorly-designed websites.
It’s important to build trust with your site’s visitors as a customer’s or prospect’s trust in your competence translates into more sales for you. You want to make a positive first impression on your audience. The visual attractiveness of your site can either encourage visitors to stay, learn more and become a part of your business or it can turn them off completely and hand them over to a competitor.
Creating great visuals and being appealing is only half the battle.
After so much fuss on the form, the content should not be a disappointment. After all, what’s form without function? Your audience can’t get a great user experience if your content is a flop.
They came to your website with expectations, don’t let them down. Answers are needed, give them. They came to check out your business, show them just how fantastic you do things!
An essential part of building great content is posting good copies of whatever information you want to pass across to your site. Grammatical mistakes and typographical errors are a no-no. These turn a lot of people off and undermine the professional touch you want your site to have.
The information on your site should be relevant and valuable to your business and visitors. To portray consistency, it is necessary to align your writing style with your site’s or ‘business style’. Great content acts as a hook that draws visitors back to your site.
When a customer visits your physical space, you’ll want to impress them and bring them back with great customer service, won’t you? Think of the content of your site as a digital customer service. To be effective, it has to be top-notch. All in all, how attractive and functional your website is will go a long way in determining just how successful it will be.
7. Your website has poor navigation
A prospect visits your site, is impressed by what he sees, wants to do business with you but for whatever reason, he can’t find contact information or simply gets lost on your site. What happens next? You guessed right! He’ll promptly click the close button and knock on the other door.
When users visit your site, they want to access tools and information easily and quickly. Most visitors have a short attention span, you don’t want them to really dig your visuals, content and products only to have them run off because your site is complicated or they can’t seem to get from page A to B.
To attract and maintain leads on your site, don’t make your audience struggle to find information. They want to find your site easy to use.
They want to access your site and be directed briskly to the Information they want.
Engaging visitors and keeping them on your site for as long as possible means helping them with cues and clues to get them to the Information they need. The best rule of thumb is to just keep your website design simple.
Design your website in such a way that even the least computer-savvy people can successfully navigate through it. When it comes to sales on your site, the rule of simplicity works as well. Too many steps can decrease the rate of converting page views into solid sales. These are just some of the reasons your website might be affecting your business adversely.
Understanding the full impact of your website on your business will cause you to take even the tiniest detail of your website into utmost consideration.
To help you in your quest to build a fantastic, functional website for your business, I’ve included a checklist of three things a good website should be:
A wide range of devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and the likes are used to access the internet. To make your website reach as large an audience as possible, you have to make sure the site responds well to each of these devices.
This ensures that each person has a positive experience on your site, regardless of the device used to access it. For example, if your site only has desktop capabilities, that means mobile users won’t get to see it.
That can be costly as according to Google, more and more people access the internet through mobile devices. Responsive design makes your site adapt and fit the size of any device, so it looks the same across all devices.
If people can access your website across different browsers, devices and platforms, it’ll increase your chances of reaching a broader audience. Research has shown that if your site isn’t responsive, nearly 60% of internet users won’t get to see it. What’s the point of building a great website that nobody sees?
Credible and trustworthy
As said earlier, your website reflects your brand, so you want to make sure your site looks credible and trust-worthy so that your audience can perceive your business that way too.
A site’s credibility can be communicated through the following:
- Providing a set of frequently asked questions and answers about your products or services that your audience will find useful.
- Providing links to other credible sources on your site.
- Citing references and citations.
- Ensuring your site looks professionally designed. This communicates a large investment of time, money and effort.
- Showing testimonials of your company’s products or services. This can boost your reputation and make readers view you as an authority in your industry.
- Providing an archive of past content.
- Showing security icons and badges. This will make users feel more comfortable about sharing personal or contact information.
- Making sure your site reflects the growth, expansion and capabilities of your business.
- Generates leads for conversion:
Perhaps the most important part of your website is for it to generate leads to build a prospects list and also to convert your users into paying customers. Otherwise, your business won’t thrive much online. An effective website should have a lead generation and conversion strategy that is on point!
The following are tips and tricks that you’ll find useful in increasing your site’s conversion rate:
You don’t want to run users off because your site takes hours (literally) to load. Internet users want to access information fast and what could be more annoying than a slow loading page?
They’ll quickly lose interest, go back to the search results and click somewhere else, even if your site has what they’re after. Google provides tools such as Google page speed that can help you see just how quickly your site loads and where you can make improvements. Consulting a digital marketing company can help further. Mere seconds is enough time for pages on your site to load.
A site with great aesthetic quality is more likely to engage users and get them to convert. Good use of colours, big fonts and readable texts that are easy on the eyes. A simple organized structure that makes navigation easy are essentials for a snazzy looking site.
Include lead generating magnets:
Most visitors on your site most likely not buy anything right away. Most just go through the site and disappear. The good thing is that these people are most likely prospective customers who just need a little nudging and persuasion to convert.
Lead generating mediums gives you the opportunity to get permission-based contact information of these viewers (such as an email address) and then start building a relationship with them.
They include things such as freebies, guides, newsletters, e-books to download special offers and sales etc. that are useful and sure to capture your visitors’ attention. The point of this is to give them a taste and hopefully, they’ll want more.
In this digital age, your business’ website is more than a set of codes. It isn’t just a place on the internet. Your website is a tool that if used right, can propel your business into a success. It plays a vital role in your online marketing strategy. It sets the perception of your business to the outside world.
Increased sales, productivity and your thriving business are just some of the benefits of taking advantage of what a great marketing tool a website is. Investing in your company’s website means investing in its future. You shouldn’t take it lightly, should you?
Your website is your greatest asset, especially if you’re running an online business, but don’t let it become your greatest enemy.
Follow the suggestions in this article, and eliminate any possible conversion blockers and consequently, improve your sales.
So what website design tip did you find most interesting?