You only get one chance to make a first impression. And never is that truer than when it comes to your company website. Studies show that web users allot an average of 3 seconds to their initial scan of the page – and if what they see doesn’t appeal, isn’t fit for purpose or it isn’t clear how to do what they want, you’ve quickly lost them. That’s why it’s a business essentially to continually invest in updating, refining, user testing and optimizing your website. Essentially, your site is your shop window to the world – if you don’t get it right, you’ll never entice potential customers and clients to come inside and take a closer look. The sheer volume of information we all process on an average day means that getting our attention is much harder – and your business needs to compete. So what are the crucial factors you need to take a cold, hard look at?
What message do you want to give to the world? Smart design should never be an afterthought. Look for examples of amazing web design to inspire you as to what’s possible. If you want your website to tell people that you’re comfortable with mediocrity, wont go above and beyond, don’t care about your customers and won’t spend money to improve your business then you can afford to be comfortable with second-rate design. Not sounding good? Then you need to pay attention to the small details. Color choice, branding, fonts, image – what message are they sending out? Do some research with your intended customers, as their perceptions may well surprise you, especially if it’s quite a different demographic from the one you belong to.
Think about your own experiences with websites that bury key information within child pages, or are slow to load. What if you can’t find a way to do what you want to do? Immediately you get an impression of a company that doesn’t care about your business. Small business can be big offenders as they don’t have the necessary expertise to develop marketing-driven web design. Make working with a professional high up your list of priorities. You’ll be surprised how much they can boost your conversions and minimize bounce rates. Design an information architecture that is intuitive and easy to navigate for your target audience and avoid cluttered pages and menus with too much information.
Increasingly, web browsing is mobile browsing. As use of tablets and smartphones continues to grow year on year, you simply cannot afford to leave mobile optimization of your website as an afterthought. 48% of web users state they will immediately go elsewhere if they land on a site that isn’t geared up for mobile, and they believe it’s a sign that a business doesn’t care about their custom. Good modern design is mobile responsive, designed for browsing on a smaller screen. It’s regarded as a hygiene factor now, not even good service. Spend time improving the mobile experience and you’ll win a lot of business.