With 97% of consumers carrying out online research before making a purchase, your website has never played such a significant role in your business. Whether you operate an e-commerce store or a brick-and-mortar business, your website’s design can have an enormous impact on your success. Clunky, cluttered, and unresponsive web design can leave customers with no option but to go elsewhere.
With that in mind, this post will run you through the various elements of your business that a poorly-designed website touches, as well as explaining what the consequences are for not getting it right.
#1: A Poorly-Designed Website Shakes Visitor Confidence and Ruins Credibility
Your business website is there to make an excellent first impression. For in-person interactions, we get about seven seconds to make that impression. Your website only has the luxury of 0.2 seconds, according to researchers at the Missouri University of Science and Technology who carried out eye-tracking studies.
If you’ve got a terribly-designed website full of pop-ups, adverts, errors, and counterintuitive menus, then customers aren’t going to have a great first impression. Worse, if a customer doesn’t like what they see on your website, their confidence in your business will evaporate.
According to the Stanford Web Credibility Research Lab, 75% of users admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design. As you can imagine, if you sell either products or services on your website and a potential client doesn’t find you credible, then they aren’t going to buy from you.
#2: A Poorly Designed Website Can Severely Impact Your Bottom Line
There are no two ways about it; poor website design can ultimately cost you customers, impacting your bottom line. Whenever a customer navigates away in frustration – because of broken links, complex forms, or hideous layouts – it is unlikely you will see them again. If your competitor offers the same products or services with intuitive website design, your loss is their gain.
While quality content may have helped to land a visitor on your website, it’s your website design that gets them over the line into a converting client. If a visitor can’t work out within a few seconds how to navigate to where they want to be (such as the contact page or checkout), you’ll lose them forever. It’s no good attracting 100,000 website visitors a month if your conversion rate is 0.01% because of poorly-executed web design.
#3: No One Remembers a Dull Website
A generic website full of basic stock photography and a few menu items isn’t going to leave an impression on anyone. Remember, you’re fighting for the attention of every single visitor. If you don’t grab them immediately with either a picture of your friendly team or a call to action (CTA) to a significant piece of converting content, they’re going to bounce and move on to a more engaging website.
Website visitors want to know who they’re potentially doing business with. If you can’t leave a good impression (or worse, no impression at all), then you’re wasting your time. You need to have an engaging design that grabs attention and simultaneously pulls visitors to where you need them to go.
#4: It Doesn’t Matter Who You Are, It Won’t Excuse a Bad Website
Many of you can probably think of several well-established companies and public figures that have websites that badly let them down. It may have been the case at some point that company names or personal brands were enough to carry the perception of a site, but that’s no longer the case.
No matter if you’re a brilliant author or the best company at what you do, if you’re website is unusable, or so poorly-designed that it forces people to “bounce” (return to search results), you’re losing out on potential customers, leads, or readers.
#5: Poorly-Targeted Web Design Leaves You with Low Conversion Rates
Web design is all-encompassing, meaning every aspect of your website has to be tailored to your specific audience. If it doesn’t resonate with your target demographic, you won’t effectively connect with customers, and you’ll find your business suffering from meager conversion rates.
All good web design companies will optimize your website for conversions, which includes making tweaks to a site to cater to a specific audience. For example, you may simplify your website layout if you run an e-commerce store selling mobility products for seniors, or you may decide to make your website look more stunning than functional if you run an art gallery. The point is that your website’s design should always reflect your customers’ preferences and tastes to maximize conversions.
#6: Missing Call to Actions Leave Your Website Visitors Unsure of Where to Head Next
No matter which page a visitor arrives on your website, there should be numerous suggestions to nudge them into what you would like them to do. For example, are you trying to build an email list, have you made it easy to do so as part of your web design? Or are they left in the dark?
If you’re a blogger, perhaps you need to remind your readers to share your latest post on Pinterest and other social media sites. Maybe you need to nudge shoppers for your e-commerce store to add their products to the basket so that they can checkout to qualify for free shipping.
Whatever the goals are for conversions, you need to implement CTAs across your website to drop visible clues as to what your visitors’ next steps should be. If you’re unsure of how you should be implementing CTAs, take a look at these examples from some of the best websites in the business.
#7: Poor Website Loading Speeds Can Drive Customers Away and Ruin Your Reputation
Speed is everything when it comes to good web design. If your website takes longer than a few seconds to load, you can expect visitors to head back to search results, frequently never to return. Worse, 79% of shoppers report that they will not return to purchase from a slow website again, and approximately 44% of them will share the unfortunate experience with their friends.
To top it off, if your website is designed in a way that it’s incredibly slow to load, Google will actively push other faster websites ahead of you in the search results. The search engine recently extended this ranking factor to the mobile version of your website, which often performs even worse with unresponsive web design.
#8: A Cluttered Website Is a Sure Fire Way to Send Visitors Running for the Hills
When it comes to effective web design, it’s best to utilize the Keep it Simple Stupid (KISS) principle. Cluttered websites with too many flash-based animations, adverts covering every available inch of white space, and those annoying auto-play videos playing on full volume are bound to do one thing; drive your visitors away.
Being bombarded in this manner does nothing but annoy your potential customers. Therefore, it makes sense to keep your website fresh, clean, simple, and to the point. A beautifully designed website with well-maintained whitespace and clear navigation is a recipe for success. Take a look at these sleek website examples to get a better idea of what we’re talking about.
#9: A Poor Mobile Experience Could Bury Your Website
There’s no getting around it. Your website has to perform well on mobile devices. It’s not something that’s a trend; it’s a necessity. Mobile searches have dwarfed desktop searches since 2015. Yes, over five years ago. If users cannot use your website correctly on a phone or tablet, then your business could be doomed without the help of an agency well-versed in responsive web design. Mobile web design matters more than ever before.
Due to the ever-increasing volumes of website visits conducted on mobile devices, mobile-friendliness has become a much bigger Google ranking signal. Mobile devices come in varying shapes and sizes. Therefore, you must optimize your website to adapt to various interfaces if you want to keep your spots in search engine results pages.
Don’t Let a Poorly-Designed Website Hurt your Business
Here at Bocain Designs, we know what it takes to deliver beautiful web design that checks all of the boxes when it comes to both conversions and SEO. We know that the best web design is developed from understanding who you are as a business, which is why we spend hours researching and investigating your specific industry and customer segments.
We use the latest design methods, and our mobile-first methodology ensures that you don’t get left behind by your competitors. Whether you need a state-of-the-art WordPress blog site, or a high-performance e-commerce store, with over 3,000 successfully completed projects for over 2,500 delighted clients, you can count on us to deliver the web design you need.
If you would like to speak to a member of the Bocain Designs team about getting expert web design help for your business, simply head over to our contact form, or call us to discuss your options.