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Website design is not terribly important in 2018. Sure, a handful of people may surf the interwebs for a few minutes here and there. Some people like to check out their social media feeds every other week or so. West Coast hipsters may occasionally purchase some beanies on Amazon for the sake of nostalgia. But, for the most part, Americans are far too busy exercising outdoors and reading Victorian literature to worry about the Internet. A small business need not invest too much time or money into its web design.
irony (n.): the expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.
Excellent website design is crucial. At the most basic level, constructing a website that is both appealing to the eye and simple to use is critical for the conversion of clicks into customers. Think of web design as a first impression: if a new visitor is turned off by the looks or functionality of a website, they are not going to stay for long, and they certainly are not going to buy anything. So, what are some of the key characteristics of a well-designed website?
On the homepage, a good mixture of above-the-fold CTAs – especially those that offer more information or helpful training – allows a business to appeal to as many different types of visitors as possible. Plus, if those next steps following the CTAs allow the business to collect information about the visitors, the marketing team can determine who is qualified for their product or service before passing leads along to the sales team. Testimonials, case studies, trust icons, and other forms of social proof are also key for a good homepage; it’s best to be personal and specific, and videos work great. It is also smart to offer content – whitepapers, webinars, etc. – in exchange for visitor information.
Across the website, a business must make sure to appeal to both visitors and search engines. When it comes to the former group, a user-friendly and clutter-free interface is essential; make it easy and make it pretty. Oh, and make it relevant: the vast majority of online sessions begin with search engines queries. If a first-time visitor accesses a website through a SERP and does not quickly find something to relevant to their search, they will bounce and likely not return. Clearly and concisely presenting good information is the name of the web design game.
When it comes to search engines, site structure and navigability are crucial. The more easily Google or Bing can crawl a site, the more content it can index, and the more relevant that content is to search queries, the better a business performs in search engine results.
Marketers in the web design industry must take all the above information into account when crafting their strategies. Make sure prospective clients understand the risks they undertake – and the profits they forgo – when they do not invest sufficiently in their web design. Present lots of clear and informative data regarding the benefits of a good website as well as the dangers of a bad one. Consider the AdWords Grader we offer here at WordStream: tell the potential client what they need to improve and how you can get them there. Our blog is another point of inspiration: consistently produce great content to drive traffic to your site and capture leads.