How should you view web design? As an investment or as a cost?
When you're launching your business for the first time, it can feel as though you have countless things that you need to pay for. Not only do you need to find the money invest in the services or products you're going to sell, but you've also got to think about marketing, accounting, and of course, web design.
Some companies still think that they can get by on a quickly slapped-together business website when they want to attract new attention to their organization. Unfortunately, in today's digitally-connected world, if your online presence isn't up to scratch, you could be missing out on an endless amount of potential business and sales.
Ultimately, even if you sell the best products and services in the world, you won't be able to convince your customers that you're worth their time unless you have a design that conveys professionalism. In fact, your web design strategy can even have an impact on the exit plan you have in store for your business. If you decide to sell your company, you'll struggle to get the right attention without a compelling design.
Here, we're going to look at five reasons why all businesses need to view web design as an investment, rather than just another cost.
1. Design Helps You Build Your Brand
The online marketplace is highly competitive. The simplicity of selling products online means that just about anyone can set up a company in no time—whether it's a lifestyle venture or an affiliate company. If you want to stand out amongst a sea of companies all attempting to attract the same customers, then you're going to need a compelling design to make a great first impression on your audience.
Not only does a well-executed design deliver your brand message through a carefully-chosen selection of unique colors, images, and copy, it also helps to form a baseline for how you're going to present yourself online elsewhere. Once you've found the web design that demonstrates your company perfectly, you'll be able to implement that design into everything from your social media pages to your email newsletters and your external marketing.
Your website gives you a foundation for your online presence and helps your audience to start building a sense of affinity with your company. The more your customers get to know you, the easier it will be for them to continue buying from you, and even referring new clients your way.
2. Design Makes You More Trustworthy
Whether you're trying to sell a product, or you're attempting to sell your entire business, you need to convince your audience that they can trust you if you want to make a profit. Ultimately, all buyers want to work with professional and reliable companies which they know they're going to get a good experience from. You can set the tone for the interactions you're going to have with a customer or broker in the future, by creating a website that conveys the professional nature of your business.
Your website gives your visitors an insight into what makes you special. Every aspect of your site, from the colors you decide to use, to how you manage navigation, shows your customers whether you're putting their needs and expectations first. For instance, if you have a website that looks like it's been built in around ten minutes, then you're going to have a hard time convincing your audience that you're invested in your company.
On the other hand, if your website is beautifully modern, and easy to use across a range of platforms, then your customers will recognize you as the kind of professional they want to do business with. In an online world, where you can't get face-to-face interactions with your consumers, trust can be hard to come by. A great website is how you build up your credibility.
3. Great Design Makes You Different
There are over 1.8 billion websites online today, and that number is going up every second. If you want to convince your customers that they should invest in you or convince a buyer that your company is worth their money, then you're going to need a way to set yourself apart from the crowd.
It sounds simplistic, but good design can be the deciding factor that encourages someone to choose you over a competitor with the same, or similar offerings. After all, would you rather pick a product or service from a website that has a stunning design and great navigation, or something from a website that looks as though it was designed back in 2005?
A great website design isn't just about making your site look great. When you work with a professional to build your online presence, you can also implement things like SEO strategies into your online presence, so you're more likely to rank on the search engines for terms and phrases related to your business. Design makes you stand out and makes you easier to find.
4. Good Websites Make You More Buyer Friendly
At the end of the day, the best product in the world still won't convince someone to buy from you if your website looks dangerous or unprofessional. We automatically judge books by their cover. That means that in the offline world, your customer will judge your company based on how your store looks. In the online world, your store is your website. If your site doesn't look attractive, then it's not going to make anyone want to buy.
Remember, good design isn't just about great images and colors, it's also about adding functionality and performance to your site. A website that loads quickly and comes with useful navigational features is more appealing than one that your customers have to grapple with.
Some research suggests that it can take around 50 milliseconds for someone to decide whether they want to stay on a website. Nothing is stopping your customer from hitting the back button and going elsewhere if they don't like what they see.
5. Design Makes You More Valuable
Finally, good web design directly affects your bottom line. After all, if you can't keep your customers engaged, then you can't convince them to buy from you, and your profits begin to dwindle. The right combination of shapes, images, and colors on your website can have an emotional impact on your audience and convince them that you're the business they've been looking for.
For instance, did you know that 33% of the world's top-performing companies use the color blue to elicit feelings of trust in their audience? A stunning website naturally makes people feel better about buying from you, and that leads to more sales in the long term.
Good designs compel people to act, with the use of white space, directional cues, and even call-to-action buttons.
6. Web Design is an Important Investment
If you're still telling yourself that you can get by with an outdated or substandard web design, think again. A well-crafted website is the key to better ROI and stronger opportunities for your business. Don't underestimate the value of investing in the way that your website looks, and functions.
The founder of an online brokerage service, Digital Exits, Jock Purtle has been an entrepreneur his entire life. He has been featured numerous times in publications like CNBC and Forbes and specializes in the process of appraising and selling businesses online.
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