Many business owners (often after frustrating hours spent searching through self-teaching design manuals and struggling with writing code) find themselves wondering, “How much does the design of my website really matter? Does it actually have an impact on whether my website will bring in customers?” At McCauley Marketing Services, we’ve seen the answer to this question first-hand. While the consumer may or may not be consciously aware of it, graphic design can have a strong impact on how they perceive your company and whether or not they decide to make a purchase.
According to a study by Stanford University and Consumer WebWatch, the #1 feature that influences whether consumers find a website credible is its design. For many people, a website that looks outdated or “cheap” makes them believe that the business doesn’t care enough to update their website and keep up with newer technology, and it makes them question whether the information on the website is as outdated as its web design. Your website is one of the first places consumers will look when trying to find information about you, so it’s often their first impression of you, and presenting yourself as credible and professional can go a long way.
Ease of Use
Just as a website shouldn’t be under-designed (we’ve all seen those sites that just look like one long block of brightly-colored text), it also shouldn’t be over-designed to a point where it’s difficult for consumers to actually use it. Considering that we now use mobile phones and tablets for everything from watching videos to conducting searches and getting informed, and that according to Go Mobile author Jamie Turner, 91% of adults constantly have their mobile phone within arm’s reach, it’s important to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. If your website’s design causes it to run slowly or to lose viewers in confusing navigation or weak linking structure, your strategic content won’t be able to work its magic. In fact, Google recently announced that they would begin placing non-mobile-friendly sites lower in the search results, so websites that run poorly will quickly see their search engine optimization (SEO) performance drop.
Branding is one of the most important ways to make your business successful. Think about your best friend—when we know someone well, we associate a certain atmosphere and feel with them. That’s their brand, and every time you hear their name, you think of their brand. In the case of your best friend, their brand is probably comforting because you enjoy being around them. That’s what branding intends to do from a marketing standpoint—to help your audience understand who you are and associate an atmosphere with your company, whether you want that atmosphere to be serene and relaxing or youthful and glamorous. Every time a consumer sees your website or any other piece of marketing that you release, it should portray that same brand (displaying your personality) so that they can feel like they know who you are and what you stand for before they even walk in the door.
Subtle Appealing Strategies
User Experience (UX) is the combination of form and functionality when it comes to web design—in other words, ingraining the design and the purpose/content of a website to provide an all-around pleasing experience for the user. UX has been studied for years in combination with psychology, and there are subtle hints and tactics that graphic design professionals use. For example, making the navigation highly intuitive by asking, “What will people most likely be looking for when they come to this site? What am I selling? What am I teaching?” Or, employing color psychology by using cool colors like green and blue to create a soothing feel or using bright pinks and yellows to make the reader feel more excited and energized.
For all these reasons and more, web design is a truly important step to increasing your company’s visibility and increasing your flow of customers, and it’s not just for businesses who want to attract the younger crowd—all demographics are becoming more reliant on technology, and your marketing strategy needs to keep up. Schedule a meeting with us to start discussing how our team of professionals can whip your website into shape. Plus, for more marketing tips, join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.