Your website is at the core of your online marketing presence. Having a website is essential to a business, big or small. Even if you are on social media, customers will expect to be drawn back to your website. Your website becomes on online basecamp, the ending destination of blog posts, social media, and other marketing strategies. Yet, many small businesses have yet to take this very necessary step: according to Clutch, one quarter of small business do not have a website. Of those that do, we’ve seen from experience that many of them to not do justice to the company or product. According to Stanford University, 74% of users have admitted to making judgements about a company’s credibility based on their site design.
What does your website say about your company?
Here are facts about site design that may make you rethink your current strategy. Are you ready?
- First Impressions94% of users say that their first impression of a website is based on the site design (source). As you know, first impressions are critical – and not just for companies! First impressions have a priming affect on the rest of a user’s experience that can literally last forever (source). Every subsequent “good impression” is viewed as an exception to the rule – not how you want your business to look!
- Fast DecisionsSo, how long does it take for a user to make that first impression? A whopping 0.05 seconds. That’s less time than it takes to blink!
- Judgment CallsYou’re probably thinking to yourself, “What decisions can someone make about my company in half a millisecond?” It turns out, they can decide a lot. Including whether or not they trust you. Forbes contributor Erika Andersen says here, “I know that when I’m looking for a local business to deal with – from a handyman to a florist, a restaurant to a seamstress – the first place I look is online. And if I find that the store or restaurant or service provider doesn’t have a website – or has one that clearly hasn’t been updated since 2003, or doesn’t provide an email address or phone number on the home page – I discount it immediately. I assume (rightly or wrongly) that the enterprise is unprofessional and low quality.” The same is true if your web design is unprofessional or low quality.
4. Color is a Science
You may not realize it, but a website’s color palette has a profound effect on how you feel about the company. Color Psychology is its own field of research with a breadth of studies showing a link between color and emotion. For example, blue conveys a sense of trust-worthiness. Many career coaches suggest wearing blue to interviews. Many banks and finance companies have logos with the color blue in them, including: American Express, SunTrust, Chase, CitiGroup, CapitalOne, and PayPal.
5. Positive Effects of Negative Space
Color is an important factor – and so is the lack of color. Negative space, or white space, is a term that references the amount of unused there is in a design. Technically, negative space is not always white. Negative space is important in defining important areas on a page, organization, and appearance. Sites that employ negative space well are considered more sleek and modern, whereas sites without much negative space can look cluttered and unprofessional.
6. Load Time
Having a beautiful site with video or other graphics can add to a user experience, but if your site takes too long to load, most users won’t stick around to see it. The typical rule is three seconds – 40% of users will abandon a site if it takes more than three seconds to load on desktop. Mobile users tend to give sites a little more time, but half of all users will leave a site in ten seconds or less (source).
7. Mobile Matters
According to MarginMedia, “48% of users say that if they arrive on a business site that isn’t working well on mobile that they take it as an indication of the business simply not caring.” That’s a harsh verdict, and probably not one you want your customers making about you. As of 2015, Google was experiencing more mobile searches than desktop searches (source), which means having a responsive web site is non-negotiable if you want to increase business.
Having a responsive web site is non-negotiable if you want to increase business.
8. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The look and feel of your site doesn’t matter at all if no one visits it. That is why your site design must incorporate SEO best practices. Your design can be modified to make your site more readable by search engines, boosting your position in search results.
9. Not All Forms Are Created Equal
This is a lesson Expedia learned the hard way. They had one form field in their check-out page with an unclear description. After noticing that many users were getting to the check-out page but not finishing check-out, they looked into the problem and ended up deleting the form field. Next, they saw a twelve million dollar increase in revenue (source). The length, location, and wording of your lead form are all very important factors. Your site design should flawlessly integrate an engaging lead form on desktop and mobile.
Last, but certainly not least, navigation has a big impact on user experience, as well as your SEO. Navigation is the way people move throughout pages on your website, and it makes sense that this would be an important factor for users. If they can’t find their way around a website, they aren’t likely to stay on it for long. If they’re leaving your site quickly, they aren’t converting. Make your navigation simple for a better user experience.
Want to know how your site stacks up? Enter your email and website for a FREE 5-step audit!