Having a website for your business is a "must" today. However, in a world of do-it-yourself websites, often business sites are done by people without any design experience. There are many reasons why good website design is important.
1. Professional Design Builds Trust
Consumers coming to your site expect to get information about your products and services and feel good about contacting you. If they come to a site that looks messy or is hard to use, this hurts their ability to put trust into your company. Remember the old saying, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression."
2. Modern Design Establishes Confidence
If your website reminds visitors of the good old days of Geocities, MySpace, and Angelfire, this does not inspire confidence in your company. Even if you had your site done within the last few years, you should consider redesigning. Website trends change, and what may have looked up-to-date three to four years ago could now look dated. The older the design of your site is, the more you risk customers thinking your business might be closed, and the website abandoned. Good design prevents this.
3. Good Design Brings Mobile Users
More people are using their phones for internet searches than ever. If your site is not mobile-friendly, it will be penalized in searches on Google. Even if people find your site, users who can't navigate the site easily on a phone will get frustrated and leave. Many business owners are under the impression if you can "see" the site on a phone, it's mobile-friendly. Unless a site is carefully designed and optimized for mobile navigation and screen size, you harm your chances of being found and viewed.
4. Inclusion Requires Accessibility
If you want everyone to be able to learn about your company, then you need to make sure your site is accessible to people with disabilities. A good designer knows how to use contrast, proper navigation, and other techniques to make sure your site can be enjoyed by everyone. This benefits your business by increasing your potential customer base and building lots of good will.
5. The Right Design Improves Customer Retention
Customers who have a hard time finding information will not likely stick around to learn more. User experience (UX) is an important facet of professional web design. Not only does having a great UX mean happy, repeat customers, but it further bolsters the professionalism of your business. UX is particularly important for ecommerce sites. If users have a hard time finding products or become exasperated with your shopping cart, you risk them finding elsewhere to make their purchase.
6. It Can Make Customers "Stick"
A striking website design with effective navigation, colors, and easy-to-use portals is a place that people want to visit again and stick around. You want to use the concept in marketing of "sticky," which means users will stay on your site and either buy something, order a service, or contact you for more information.
7. Design Drives Sales Conversions
Following the concept of "stickiness," if users like your site, they will be converted into customers. Almost 40 percent of people will leave a site that they find visually unappealing, and you can't sell to people who aren't there. Research has found people's attention can only be held for about 8 seconds, so you need to use those 8 seconds to your best advantage.
8. It Allows You to Showcase Your Brand
Branding is important in any business because it builds recognition and loyalty for your company. If your site doesn't effectively promote your brand, such as using an incompatible color scheme or unprofessional fonts, it will make it harder for people to associate your site with your company. You need to consider the emotions and impressions your brand strategy conveys, such as excitement or authority. If you position your company as the experts in a niche and your site use neon colors and Comic Sans, you are working against your brand.
9. Design Improves Your SEO
People unfamiliar with SEO may think it simply involves using keywords for search engines. However, an experienced web designer knows how you build your site can vastly improve your SEO. Great SEO includes:
- Mobile-friendly design
- An excellent user experience
- Proper information architecture for navigation
- Semantic HTML
- Fast page loading speed (remember those 8 seconds!)
10. It Helps You Stand out From Your Competition
Finally, think of your competition and research their websites. How does yours compare? If you are selling comparable products and services and their website is easy to use, aesthetically pleasing, and modern while yours is not, it's not hard to see who will get more business. Working with a designer to see other competing sites and developing a strategic and stunning design will put you ahead in the race for eyeballs on the screen and sales conversions.
Your Website Reflects Your Company
There are many reasons why an excellent web design can help your company and a poor one can lead to lost sales and followers. Think about your brand, how you want people to see you, and what you want users to experience and work with a designer who can create a website that fulfills your business goals.