A website is usually the first thing that a business invests in when they are establishing their online presence for the first time.
Yet, the web is littered with template-based, subpar quality websites. It almost seems like many business owners view websites as a check in the box that they have to complete before they can get to more lucrative parts of the online marketing world.
Many even avoid using a professional web design company and settle for a template based website from platforms like Wix or WordPress instead of seeking help from a web design company.
However, this kind of thinking is flawed. The reality is that a website is perhaps the most important part of the online presence of any business.
Besides being the first point of contact for many online prospects, the website of your business is like its online headquarters. From the layout to the colour scheme, from the visuals to the text, every aspect of your website can have an influence over the effectiveness of your online marketing efforts.
In other words, a website that is aesthetically and intuitively designed and contains high quality content, can improve the results of your online marketing endeavours.
However, you don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s logic based proof that your website has the power to positively or negatively influence the results of your marketing efforts, depending on its quality:
The web design of your business website can make or break the first impression that your business makes on potential customers. Moreover, simply having an aesthetically pleasing website is not enough. Consumers today expect business websites to work seamlessly across all their devices, while also being updated with complete and descriptive information about the business, including contact information.
In many cases, your website will be responsible for making the first impression on possible customers. Whether it is a Google search to find your local business or someone stumbling upon your business’ amazing and aesthetically pleasing Instagram profile, there is a good chance that any prospect interested in doing business with you will first want to check out your website.
In such cases, it is not difficult to imagine how a poorly optimised, quickly put together website will make a bad impression on your visitors. It also will not be a stretch to think that some users may be so turned off by a poor web design that they will decide to take their business elsewhere, without even considering the unique advantages of your amazing service or product.
These claims are not mere speculations, but are backed by solid numbers. According to a web credibility research conducted at Stanford, 75% of consumers make judgements about a company’s credibility based on the quality of their website and the web design.
Ining is, many of these findings were made over 6 years ago. It is safe to assume that during this time, the standards on which customers evaluate business websites have become even more stringent.
Search Engine Optimization
Optimizing for search engines and attracting organic traffic is one of the most popular strategies for business websites to find customers, or rather, be found by potential customers.
On-page search engine optimization (SEO) practices include the use of keywords, the submission of schema markups, the updation of relevant, high-quality content, and the use of visuals. However, even poorly built websites have most of these elements in some form or the other.
That’s why, without worrying about the quality of their web design, many business owners rush into optimizing their websites for search performance, in the hope of quickly getting new customers.
However, such business owners often forget about another on-page ranking factor that Google and other search engines monitor to determine the ranking of websites in their search results.
This ranking factor is called the bounce rate.
To explain in simple words, bounce rate is the percentage of user sessions in which only a single page of your website was viewed. If a user lands on your website and doesn’t explore the other pages, in terms of web traffic analysis, that user has “bounced” off your website.
So why is bounce rate relevant to search engines? And how is it relevant to this article?
First off, search engines care about their users and want to provide them with a positive search experience. That is why, search engines want high quality websites with genuinely helpful content to rank higher in their search results. This is the search engines’ way of ensuring that its users find the desired information in as few steps as possible.
When a website has a high bounce rate, search engines figure it is because the users are not able to find the information they are looking for on that website.
Now, let’s think about this from the users’ perspective. The reason a user may have bounced from a website might be because the information they were looking for was not present on the website, or because the user interface was not friendly, or simply because the information present was not of the quality that they were expecting.
Of course, there can be many other reasons for a user to bounce from a website. However, whatever the reason may be, the result of a high bounce rate is always the same- lower rankings on the search engine result pages.
Since the experience on your website can obviously influence the bounce rate, it can be said that your web design can be a determining factor when it comes to the search engine performance of your website.
Ensuring a low bounce rate on your website is not as difficult as it may seem on the outside. All you need is a good SEO checker that will tell you everything you need to fix on your website, including the web design elements. With this knowledge, you can be on the path of designing a user friendly website in no time flat.
Conversion Rate Optimization
Conversion rate optimization (CRO), as the name suggests, is the aspect of digital marketing that deals with improving the conversions on your website.
So how is this done?
If you haven’t already guessed, one of the main aspects of CRO is the optimization of website elements to improve user experience in a way that it nudges them to take the actions that you desire.
Things like changing the color of call-to-action (CTA) buttons, changing the layout of a landing page, adding/omitting visuals, and playing around with headlines and content are just some of the tasks that are involved in improving the conversions on a website.
When viewed in terms of campaigns, CRO may involve other things like testing of different ads or ad copies. However, a big part of CRO involves getting the web design right.
When an entire field of digital marketing is dedicated to improving the web design to positively influence conversions, it becomes abundantly clear that web design is not something businesses can afford to take lightly.
The existence of CRO also tells us that a website’s design is not something that one can perfect once and forget. Instead, customers demand that modern web design be adaptive to their evolving needs and preferences.
As technology, and especially the web, continue to become a bigger part of our lives everyday, consumer preferences and user habits are changing at a faster rate than ever before.
That’s why, business owners and marketers must constantly look for further optimization opportunities in their web design, along with other aspects of their website and overall marketing mix.
From deciding how your customers perceive your business to determining the success of your marketing efforts, web design plays a decisive role in every aspect of your business’ online existence. Just as you wouldn’t be caught cutting corners when designing your physical office, you must have an intention of pulling all stops when it comes to perfecting the web design of your business’ online headquarters.