5 Reasons Why Skimping on Website Design Can Hurt Your Business

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    If you’re a business owner considering a redesign of your current website, or you are getting your first site built, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is skimping on the design and more specifically, the user experience (UX).

    Rand Fishkin, one of the most influential thinkers in the SEO and inbound marketing industry posted an image on his twitter feed last month with a line saying:

    “Dear ugly websites with compelling value propositions,

    This is you:”

    11 08 2014 7 58 56 am

    The graphic above is the perfect analogy illustrating the struggle that solid, reputable businesses can have in gaining the trust of potential customers through an ugly online presence.

    You may have the best Unique Selling Proposition (USP) in your market but you’re leaving significant money on the table with a site that looks like it was designed back in the early 2000’s.

    Adding to your woes is a site that is hard to view and navigate on a mobile phone or tablet. There has been a real explosion in mobile search traffic the past couple of years and Google spokesperson, Matt Cutts has stated he would not be surprised if mobile searches overtook desktop traffic this year.

    Here are five reasons why you want to invest in a great looking website:

    1. People Still Judge a Book by its Cover

    As much as we dislike the accuracy of this age-old saying, there is no escape when it comes down to how your brand is perceived through the quality of your website. It’s not just your online marketing strategy that could be hamstrung by a cheap looking website.

    So many small businesses we see do very little to position themselves as a premium product or service provider by serving up a mediocre looking website to potential customers. First impressions count.

    2. Attention Spans on the Web are Shorter than Ever

    Faster Internet speeds and the instant gratification we come to expect when doing anything online only amplifies this. In fact, a piece from The Guardian by Rob Weatherhead states up to 32% of people will abandon a website that takes between one and five seconds to load.

    3. Great User Experience (UX) is Crucial

    Linking up with the above point about speed, you need an intuitive user interface with an easily navigable site structure and effective technical SEO practices. You need to couple this with a focus on guiding your customer on what you want them to do next through great calls to action.

    4. Insist on a ‘Responsive’ Website Design

    Ensuring your website design ‘responds’ to whatever device it is viewed on means you can appeal to a wider segment of your target audience.

    Google actually prefers responsive web design and they have a fantastic study talking about how your customers research you, find you and buy from you using multiple screens. The study is well worth a read as they discuss innumerable insights.

    5. Non Search Engine Friendly Design Elements

    When chatting to a potential web designer about your new website, you need to be asking whether the design elements and coding are search engine or SEO friendly. Ask the designer if your site will be cross browser (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer) and cross platform (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android etc.) compatible, too.

    Bonus tip – Ensure your site is social!

    Whether you’re B2C or B2B focussed, your target market is interacting on social media. Potential customers could be spending time on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or LinkedIn and you need to get in front of these eyeballs.

    Make sure your website content is sharable via all the relevant social networks associated with your industry. This means having links to your social profiles, social sharing buttons on blog posts, and using the Open Graph protocol.

    If you’re embarking on a new site redesign or getting your first online presence built, don’t skimp on the website design.  We also recommend bringing an digital marketing agency or consultant in early to the project so they can help guide you through the process so your site will look great and rank in the search engines.

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