You hear a lot of discussion about the importance of a business website. Online presence is something that’s essential in this day and age. That said, we don’t hear too much about the value of the website’s design.
Web design is something that gets overlooked by a lot of businesses, but it might be the key to their success. If your website is a little lackluster or it’s not bringing in the amount of traffic you need, the design might be the issue.
We’re going to talk about the value of website design today, giving you some insight into the specific value that superior design can bring to your business. Let’s get started.
The Importance of Good Web Design
The first thing that your business website design needs to do is ensure functionality. If a site doesn’t work, there’s no benefit at all. Further, if specific parts of your website don’t work, that’s a huge deterrent to potential customers.
The bulk of a website’s creation involves making sure that things are working on the back end. The website should be created in such a way that the code works all the way through, there aren’t any broken links, and the applications on your website are able to be used.
Things like videos, interactive sections, and checkout interfaces should all be in check. The site should be on a server with the capability to handle all of those things as well.
It’s possible to include a lot of features when you use ready-made website generators, but there’s no telling whether they’ll work well. When you create a website in a short amount of time, you’re not setting yourself up to accommodate the things that your site might need in the future.
Factors of User Experience
Functionality is more than a matter of things working smoothly, though. Functionality deals with the flow of your website, how users engage with it, and the general experience that someone has when they visit your website.
Let’s start out with a general bad example that most of us have dealt with at one point or another.
You’re looking for a piece of information online. You make a google search, and you scroll a little bit, landing on something that seems like it will address your question. You get to the site, and the header seems to meet your needs.
Suddenly, a horde of angry popups and widgets swarm your page. Pop-up chat boxes, newsletter subscription offers, dancing images that call you to “click,” and more are among them. The worst part is, they’re so crammed onto the page that you can’t click out of them, let alone see any of the text on the page.
These site features might be useful if they were well-positioned on the page. As a result of poor site design, though, they overwhelm the user and force them to leave the website.
All of those exciting features available to you can crowd each other and lower the quality of your site.
Another aspect of site design is the general layout of your pages. You can think about a website as a house with a number of doors and rooms. Each link on your site is a doorway to one of the rooms (pages) on your website.
As you expand, there are more and more rooms to navigate to and from. A good website should give easy access to any page. If it takes more than two or three clicks to reach a particular page, your website is too convoluted.
Good site architecture allows users to navigate your website without having to do too much digging. If, for example, your contact page sits at the end of a long line of links, nobody will visit it.
The user should be able to intuit how to get to any page with no more than a couple of clicks. While small websites don’t have an issue with this sort of thing, mid-to-large websites start to require restructuring to streamline their user experience.
Aesthetics and Graphic Design
General functionality isn’t everything. There’s something to be said about the way that your website looks as well.
When a site is beautiful, functional, and easy to understand, people will be much more likely to engage with it. Aesthetics also add an element of user trust that’s important to keep in mind.
Think about a website you’ve visited in the past that you just didn’t trust. Typically, those sites are the ones that have an awful graphic design. Maybe a link or two didn’t work, and you thought that your information wouldn’t be safe on the site.
It’s difficult to put a finger down on what it is that makes a website seem less trustworthy, but it has to do with the way that’s it’s presented. Good website design incorporates graphic design and allows you to take time on those aesthetic aspects that establish trust.
eCommerce and Checkout Interfaces
If your business is one that facilitates transactions online, this is a very important thing.
Make sure that your eCommerce functions are working properly at all times. The biggest deterrent to online customers is a faulty interface. Think about it, would you want to put your credit card information into an interface that didn’t work all of the time?
If things are lagging, slow, and unappealing to look at, your odds of hanging onto customers start to decrease. Good website design allows you to curate that section of your website in a way that mitigates any potential issues.
Search Engine Optimization Benefits
Another big piece of digital success is something called search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the process of creating and managing your website in a way that agrees with the search engine algorithm. In almost all cases, this means tailoring things to Google’s search engine algorithm.
It might sound a little daunting at first, but it’s not rocket science.
Google uses roughly 200 ranking factors to determine which sites should rank for particular keyword searches. It gathers information on those factors with things called “bots.”
Bots are pieces of artificial intelligence that crawl the internet through links, gathering relevant information about websites and moving on their way. When the bot visits your site, you want to make sure that it sends a good report back to the algorithm.
So, how does site design help with this?
Baseline Site Quality
There are a few factors that Google prioritizes when it’s ranking websites. It looks for site speed, site architecture, functionality, and a lot more. That said, when you establish yourself with a well-designed website, you set yourself apart from almost all of your competition.
A lot of small and local businesses don’t invest in their digital presence.
Investing in website design boosts the quality of numerous important ranking factors in search engine optimization. Another thing that Google looks for is the way that users engage with your site.
The length of time that the average user visits your site and whether or not that user leaves without engaging are some of the user metrics that Google looks for.
From the time that someone lands on your page until the time that they leave, there’s a trail of information created. There are metrics on how your users engage with your site, and that information is used to inform where you rank in Google.
The thinking is that sites with better user engagement are probably more valuable to other users.
Poorly designed websites have a way of scaring users away and generating poor metrics. When you invest in good site design, those user engagement metrics will start to improve.
Ways to Improve Website Design
In a perfect world, we could all design and manage our websites ourselves. That said, unless you have a little bit of training, that’s a very difficult thing to do.
If you’re a small business owner with limited time, you might not be able to divest your energy into learning about coding, web analytics, and all of the things that constitute website management. The beautiful thing is, there are experienced professionals out there who can do it for you.
Professional website design is the best way to get a website that will move your business forward. A professional can take a look at your site, examine where you might be going wrong, and make the appropriate changes.
Plus, you’ll have the ability to work with talented graphic designers, SEO wizards, and all of the other magical professionals who can help your site take off.
Want to Improve Your Business Website Design?
Hopefully, today’s look at website design was helpful to you. You might be concerned that your website isn’t up to par, though.
That’s okay, though, because we’re here to help. If you’re trying to grow your business but just can’t seem to make an impression online, your website might be the thing that’s holding you back. A little change is often all that’s needed.
Contact us to learn more about your options for site design, SEO insights, branding tips, and more.