There are many reasons why having the perfect website for your business is so critically important. Here are just a few to consider.
• Well organised content greatly improves visitor flow
Good website design isn’t just about a really nice looking site. Yes, that is important too, but the layout of a website is important for other reasons. Research shows most website visitors allow about 15-20 seconds to find what they’re looking for. If your website layout is disjointed or illogical, or there are too many distractions on the page, you could lose a great number of potential customers who simply can’t be bothered putting in the effort to find what they need. I have seen this in action many times.
I have had clients approach me for a new website, complaining of a high “bounce rate” (visitors leaving without visiting another page) and visitors not spending long enough on their current site. The number 1 common trend I find is that the site has too much content and general clutter, or the navigation menu is poorly designed which is making it difficult to find the right content quickly. Often, the websites have great content, but it’s organised in a way that is too confusing or too daunting for the visitor. Designing a website with well organised content and navigation is critical.
• Reinforcement of your message
This is all too often overlooked. Most people get caught up in the fancy features of their website and fail to keep in mind where their traffic has originated from. For example, if you’ve printed a full page advertisement in the local newspaper featuring a great limited offer, and you’ve got the web address at the bottom of the ad, the website needs to continue on from where the press ad message left off. If your website barely resembles your other marketing material, you could be sending mixed messages, or losing the impact that you could achieve by having a consistent theme and message throughout.
If you do frequently advertise in print, or just offline in general, you need to consider that quite often your website may be the second point of contact, not the first. You may be closer than you think to closing a sale when they first load your website. If, when they load the site, they can’t find what they were hoping to find (for example that great limited offer), there’s a chance they’ll give up and look elsewhere since they are already online. This point is about keeping your website up to date and consistent with your other marketing material, and to do this you will need a website that is easy to update and maintain.
• Sexy websites sell
A really nice looking website will hold the attention of the visitor longer. That’s just how it is. People don’t like to look at bad design, cluttered websites and bad quality photography. Whether you’re a designer or not, everyone knows an ugly website when they see it. You want to encourage your website visitors to feel good, and this is achievable by carefully selecting the images, colour scheme, typefaces and even headlines. If you are struggling to create a website that is easy to look at, please, hire a designer. Even if your content is amazing and your products or services are top quality, if the design stinks, they will all go to waste.
• User friendly websites work better
Your website needs to be user-friendly. These days, with the rise in mobile and tablet users, this means you need a responsive website. A responsive website looks at the size of the device your visitor is using, and re-organises the design of the site to fit their screen as best as possible. It’s an absolute must. Aside from being responsive, you need to make sure that the visitor flow is logical and intuitive. Information needs to be easy to find, and there should be a call to action on most pages, not only on the “contact us” page. This relates to ease of use because you want to minimise the number of clicks a visitor needs to make contact.
All of these factors, as well as many others, should be considered when designing and developing your company’s website.