Getting clients is hard. Don’t make it even harder by having an unattractive website that makes prospective clients cringe.
This is not the effect you want your website to have….
Carrie, an interested client, finds your website. Carrie is excited to see what you have to offer – maybe she was even referred to you by someone. (Isn’t that exciting?).
And like most customers today, the first thing Carrie is going to do is… yes, you guessed it… visit your website.
Carrie uses your website to judge you and your products before deciding whether or not she talks to you.
But, then silence. (Hear that… those are crickets chirping). She doesn’t call. She doesn’t write. She doesn’t email.
The answer is easy. Your website drove Carrie away faster than you can say “chumbawamba”.
What you’ve just witnessed is how a poorly designed site can make your company lose the sale and the trust you need to grow your business. According to research, within 1/20th of a second after a visitor clicks onto your website, they form their first impression of your company; and your website’s presentation is a reflection of how you manage your business in their eyes. Online appearance is everything. If you look good, you look respectable, and in turn, looking respectable keeps customers coming back.
Instead of engaging and building confidence, your poorly designed website is doing the opposite. It created feelings of doubt, uncertainty and uneasiness about your business. (Oh… the despair!)
Examples of bad web design elements that will cause visitors to abandon a site are:
No visual appeal.
An ugly site misses out on the opportunity to gain instant trust and credibility.
Design does not cater to mobile users.
Mobile optimization is no longer a buzzword or a trend, but a way of life. Go mobile-friendly today. 5 Benefits of A Mobile Friendly Site »
Too much clutter.
“We’ve all seen sites that are chock full of text and graphics. They’re distracting, and you end up retaining very little, if any, information. That’s the opposite of your website’s purpose…” Sarah Matista, Vistaprint Digital.
Cliché or bad quality photos.
Graphics and images add a lot of value to websites – for one, it helps visitors get a quick visual idea of what your content is saying. Images that are pixilated or blurry will make the site look amateurish.
Bad user experiences.
Confusing navigation makes it hard for visitors to find the information they need. No one wants to try to “figure out how to use your website” when they get there. Plus, all pages need to be within 2-3 clicks from the home page.
Too many colors and fonts.
Your website is not an I Spy book. Don’t confuse visitors with a myriad of colors and fonts, giving them a migraine as they try to find the ‘about us’ page.
How Does Bad Design Affect Your Business?
We’ve just outlines 6 bad design elements that affect your website, but what is the actual impact on your bottom line? It can be difficult to measure but, in general, consequences include…
Damages your credibility:
You may be the best at what you do, but if your website isn’t up to par, your credibility and qualifications are going to take a nose-dive.
Makes you look out of touch or not ‘with it’:
A dated website tells your customers you are behind the times, or worse that you don’t care enough to keep it updated. Visitors could assume you’re out of touch with advancements in your industry and without validation, your unappealing website will fall short in its efforts to convince prospects you’re the most qualified for the job.
Costs you customers:
Every time a customer navigates away in frustration – because of broken links, clutter, or confusing navigation – it is unlikely you will see them again. If your competitor offers the same services in an intuitive website design, your loss is their gain.
People may think you don’t care:
When your website looks like a fad gone awry or looks old, it’s conveying the message you don’t care about what your customers want. They may also think you’re neglecting other areas of your business. True or not, people do think this.
Out of business:
Your outdated, unattractive website is the equivalent of putting a ‘closed for business’ sign in your window. Clients may wonder if you’re still in business if things are years out of date – both design and content wise.
An important part of getting consumers to trust you is having a well designed website. Having an attractive website design isn’t the be all and end all in having a successful website. However, with 75% of consumers admitting they judge a business’ credibility based on their site’s design, it can make a real difference in making sure your site ranks well, and your users convert.
Good design is about opening the door to your customers, giving a smile, taking their hand and walking them through your products. (business2community)