Did you know that it takes about 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) for people to form an opinion about your professional website design?
If that statistic surprises you, then this one will too: according to a study by BIA/Kelsey, 97% of consumers research a product online before buying it.
And furthermore, surveys have shown that most consumers prefer shopping at local businesses that have websites.
So yes, no matter how big your business is, you need a website.
And not just any kind of website; your business needs a professional website design. Because a web page that’s boring, takes too long to load, and doesn’t show the info potential customers are looking for, will make all the money invested into ads a waste.
Many businesses already realize the benefits of a professional website design, but they still think that it’s fine if they do their website design themselves. The small business owner handled every other aspect of their business, and they think they can do the same with their website.
In addition, most small businesses get lured into the simplicity of website building platforms like Squarespace and Wix.
Why, it’s never been more tempting to build your own website! Wix and Dquarespace make it look so easy. And besides, if you’re the head of a small business, then you’ve gotta try building it yourself right?
But without professional help, your efforts to save some money now might do more harm than good. Over time, you’ll be at a disadvantage in the increasingly competitive world of ecommerce.
Why Is Professional Website Design Needed?
One of the biggest problems in digital marketing today is that small business owners don’t realize how important their website design actually is. The appearance and functionality of your site can make or break your business.
But not every so called “website designer” can create a website that meets all the needs of small businesses.
Some often overlooked website design requirements are:
-the website must work on all devices including tablets.
-It must be adaptable and “future proof” for upcoming new devices and new ways to browse the internet.
On the other hand, creating a good website design isn’t just about meeting minimum standards in digital marketing; it also has many benefits for your business!
- Building a well designed website not only helps create more brand recognition for your business (extremely important for a new business)
- It helps your SEO and keeps your visitors coming back to view your content, products, and services over and over again.
- Rather than worry about website design and SEO, you can focus on your core competencies. As a small business owner, if you don’t know what you’re doing and try to design it yourself, your resources will be stretched impossibly thin.
So Really? I Can Actually Save Money With Professional Website Design?
In fact, yes! This is because you’ll actually save money when you get your website done right the first time. Therefore, professional website design shouldn’t be thought of as an unneeded expense. It’s a much better idea to build your website with the long haul in mind.
- Longevity: when you hire a professional website designer to work on your site from the beginning, you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble. If there are any mistakes, fixing them will be cheaper and easier. On the other hand, a poorly designed website might have to be completely redone in the future!
- Squash bugs: poorly built websites have bugs. Plugins go wrong and different compatibility issues arise, creating maintenance problems for your website. But with a professional website design, these issues are highly unlikely to occur. And even if they do, you can get the problems fixed faster by working with professionals.
- 1 site to rule them all: you’ll save money with just 1 website instead of 2 separate websites. Some companies try to have 1 site designed for mobile users and 1 site for desktop users. This is inconvenient for people trying to navigate your services. It’s also more expensive for you to maintain 2 separate websites.
Your Brand’s Image Can Bring In New Customers
Did you know that your website design alone can bring in new customers?
Think about it – when you come across a new business with a visually pleasing, easy to navigate website, aren’t you more likely to share it with your friends and family?
And considering the fact that 67.7% of consumers purchasing decisions are influenced by online reviews, you’ll want reviews of your website to be positive. This will improve your brand’s image.
Your website design can improves your brand’s image in 5 main ways:
- Uniquely customized: a professional website designer will know how to create a site that represents your company’s specific image.
- Put your best foot forward: you’ll have less bugs and glitches across different browsers and devices (both mobile and desktop).
- Less loading time: so you can more easily put your best foot forward.
- Your brand: a professional website design will help establish your brand. It will also give customers the right message about your company and gain their trust.
- Stay ahead of the curve: your website’s innovation will force your competition to keep up. They’ll learn about the benefits of professional website design too late, while you’ll already be established.
Key Elements Of Good Website Design
Good website design will create a visual language that’s consistent across all your platforms. Because quality web design means taking your ideas and translating them onto a webpage.
There are many different design elements you need that only a professional website design can achieve:
- Remember me: All your online platforms have to form a coherent whole. Brands with a consistent message create a more memorable impression than those that don’t. All the elements of your website should coincide with each other. And this not only applies to your website but to your social media accounts and other digital content as well.
- Stand out: you’re not just looking for clicks; you’re looking for more visitors who will stay on your page. It takes something special to make visitors interested in your page, let alone willing to buy your product or service.
- Effective call to actions: these are the sign up, buy now, contact us and learn more parts of your site. Where these are positioned will factor into how many people buy from you or reach out to you. You can’t let your potential customer search the whole page just to reach out to you or purchase your product. The CTAs should be there ready for him to take action.
- Clear design: your content and design must be perfectly aligned. Things to avoid include: large blocks of small text, confusing navigation, and obscured calls to action. Professional website design will make your content clear and direct people to what you want them to do.
- The little details: the right fonts, spacing of texts and contrast will improve the quality of your site because they affect its readability and functionality.
- Your logo: should be placed at the forefront of all other page content.
- Your central image: the main home page/landing page visuals should complement your logo without overshadowing it.
- Color scheme: your site’s structure should be setup so it’s intuitive and easy to locate necessary information. Typography should be elegant and legible to make it all digestible.
As you can see from the above points, “good enough” websites just don’t cut it anymore – you have to set your website apart visually.
So many websites look the same these days. This is why you should put in some effort to create quality graphics. Start by creating at least one quality image that has all of your unique selling points in one coherent visual message.
SEO Elements in Website Design
After you hook people into reading your site, then content is king.
And of course, no article discussing the benefits of professional website design would be complete without mentioning the SEO elements.
Nowadays, everyone knows that search engines love unique content. But not everyone knows that this extends to your website’s design too. A good website will have all the necessary elements to get indexed and ranked in search engines.
So what are the most important SEO elements to have?
- Mobile friendly:
How often does this picture resonate with you? Having a mobile friendly website is more important now than ever before. In fact, Google publicly stated in April 2015 that it would give preference in search listings to mobile friendly websites. So, it’s not hard to see why Google may not even rank your website at all on mobile devices if your site isn’t mobile friendly.
- Updated website: search engines crawl your web pages. This means that they use various methods to provide up to date information to users. An updated website will ensure that the code markup is clean and easy to read.
- Fresh and unique content: in combination with content writing services, your website will be optimized for best possible rankings.
The Disadvantages of Poor Website Design
Now, the disadvantages of poor website design are much worse than the extra costs of professional website design. This is because a poor website design will cost you customers.
Just wrap your mind around these statistics:
- Most consumers expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less – according to Kissmetrics, 79% of shoppers report that they won’t return to buy from a slow website again.
- 44% of them will share the poor experience with friends.
- 75% of consumers judge a business’ credibility just based on their website design.
Now, these statistics show the importance of good website design, especially when it comes to loading times.
Elements of Bad Website Design
But there are even more factors to consider, such as:
- Poor site navigation: this is a factor that can hurt conversions. Simply put, confused and frustrated prospects won’t buy. Broken links, complex forms, or too many navigation options will drive away your customers, and it’s unlikely that they’ll come back to your site. If your competitor delivers the same services, then your loss will be their gain.
- 2 Separate Websites: it’s easier to make 2 cheap websites, one for mobile and one for desktop, but this isn’t a good idea because it’s inconvenient for customers. Also, mobile only websites will lack many navigational features found in desktop websites.
- Badly implemented plugins and third party tools: Plugins and third party tools are necessary for any site to function. But, if they aren’t integrated together correctly, your website might run slower.
- Badly implemented images: according to a study by Adobe, almost 40% of visitors will leave a site if its images don’t load fast enough.
- Not updated: a website that isn’t updated not only hurts SEO, but will make visitors think you’re out of touch.
- Broken functionality: poorly functioning pictures and animations are another sign of bad website design. For example, many people will click your company’s logo thinking that it will link back to your homepage. If it doesn’t, they might think your link is broken.
- Higher bounce rate: this means the % of people who leave your website when first visiting your homepage.
- Poor compatibility: you might be using an old and outdated template that isn’t compatible with smartphones, especially the newer models, as well as other forms of browsing.
- Clutter: a cluttered page is bad web design because it violates the golden rule of white space. White space is essential for holding people’s attention. Our brains want order and simplicity. Too much content will increase your bounce rate. All your homepage needs is a concise value statement, an arresting photo, and a compelling call to action. Basically, present the most valuable information in an attractive way. Overcrowded websites look less credible.
- Bad animations: good animations can make your site come across as more professional if done right. But if done wrong, they can come across as gimmicky and make it harder for people to navigate your site. Large animated files can also slow down your site.
These 10 factors are extremely hard for new business owners to get right all by themselves. The learning curve is steep.
Professional website design has the advantage over templates in every aspect except for short term cost. But if you’re serious about the long term prospects of your business, you’ll go for professional website design. Professionally made websites look better, work better, and are easier for small business owners to deal with.
And unfortunately, a cheap pre made template looks like a cheap premade template. It also has little room for improvement.
Professional website design is full of nuance and requires lots of technical knowledge. But the impact it has on digital marketing is priceless.
If you’re ready to build your successful website, then feel free to reach out to us by filling out our form here.