Most websites aim to make money and how well they’re put together influences their success. Big corporations pour buckets of money into their website design, and they’re probably not doing it on a hunch. So the question is what is the impact of a well designed website on e-business?
The first part of the equation is communicating a company’s brand. Why is this so important you ask? Well let me talk you through a metaphor...
Landing on a website for the first time is like bumping into someone on the street. Sometimes they’ll notice you’re lost and offer you a helping hand with clear directions and knowledgeable instructions. They make you feel safe and you’re happy to follow their instructions. Other times they’ll push an agenda, get in your face, interrupt your day, and leave you frustrated with the experience.
Sounds familiar right? Websites with a strong overall branding strategy tend to build trust. They understand that coherent design, color schemes and styling guides breed a feeling of consistency.
In addition to consistency, strong website branding helps companies stand out from the crowd. There are approximately 1.94 billion active websites in the world and $3.45 trillion in online sales. It’s important that a visitor can remember a company logo, what they’re offering, and if they can be trusted.
Presenting an inconsistent brand leads to a 23% increase in business costs. These costs often manifest by confusing the market, damaging company credibility and reducing the effectiveness of lead gathering.
Having a strong and consistent brand is important for a website. Is it necessary to create a beautiful and clean website design? Well, yes. But only if you care about visitors staying on your website.
With the uprising of social media, we are constantly bombarded with content. Most of it doesn’t make it through our internal noise filters. The bits and pieces that do need to be exceptional to achieve any kind of prolonged attention or retention.
A study Adobe ran in 2015 found that 66% of of time-starved, skeptical consumers crave content that is beautifully designed. 73% of participants said they would switch device or stop engaging with content altogether if they encountered design or display issues.
Retaining visitors on your website until they have completed an action is the key to being successful on the web.
A poorly designed website leads to visitors leaving without conducting any business with your company. Good website design on the other hand will turn shoppers into buyers. This becomes extremely important when companies are paying for people to visit their website through online advertising.
Online advertising is a huge market and a common way to attract visitors to a website. According to eMarketer, Google Ads pulls in around $42 billion dollars of ad spend and owns 37% of total market share. It is the largest and most mature ad platform and it cares how you design your website.
Google hides most of the complex logic of its algorithm from prying eyes. However, they have published extensive guidelines on how to set up an effective landing page for a successful advertisement. The key ingredients boil down to a landing page that is relevant, easy to navigate and well designed.
The Google Ads platform works on an auction system where advertisers bid for the top spot on the search results page. In addition to the bid price, Google takes into account other factors when determining which ad wins the auction. Even if an ad is perfectly crafted, it can still be heavily penalized by pointing to a poorly designed website. This ends up costing more in advertising dollars to appear lower in the search rankings.
Putting this concept into words can be a bit convoluted, so here’s a super simple example:
Advertiser A = $5 bid * 0.8 relevance * 0.9 landing page score = 3.6 total score
Advertiser B = $8 bid * 0.8 relevance * 0.4 landing page score = 2.56 total score
In this example Advertiser B has a significantly higher bid and an equal relevance score. However, a low landing page score has pushed their total score down. Since their score is lower than Advertiser A they would appear further down the results page and receive less clicks. Less clicks for more cash… That’s bad news for Advertiser B.
Almost every kind of internet marketing costs money in some form. Operating a good website plays a big part in squeezing the most results from that money, ultimately impacting the bottom line.
At this point you might be agreeing that it’s obvious good website design plays a big part in achieving online success. Maybe you even came into this article with this opinion. The next question is - what is good design?
There are plenty of “experts” claiming they’ve cracked the code to designing the perfect website. They’ll preach about responsive web design, calls to action, testimonials and social proof. These are all thoroughly tested concepts that work. However, the most important part of creating well designed websites is being purposeful.
It sounds a little cliche but the first step to creating a great website design is thinking about your visitors and their goals. The look and feel of any website is important, but only if it’s easy to use. Often companies (especially in the creative space) favour experimental designs with hidden and confusing navigation features over simpler designs. If the user struggles to find what they're looking for is it really a good design?
It’s difficult to pin down exactly what good design is because what works for one business may not work for others. Thankfully there’s plenty of tools on the market that track how users interact with online content such as Google Optimize, VWO or and Optimizely. These platforms allow web design elements to be rearranged on the page while measuring the level of engagement and conversion rates from visitors.
Making small changes to a website's content and design can have a big impact. There are countless examples of businesses tweaking their websites and seeing huge increases in visitor engagement. The goal of this article wasn’t to focus on case studies, but in the future we’ll outline some awesome success stories.
We’re not blind to the fact that investing in good website design is not something every business will prioritize. For starters, It costs time and money. It can often be hard to justify the cost. However, if a company is running any kind of digital marketing perhaps the question should be whether they can justify not having a well designed website?
If you made it all the way to the end of this article, thank you! If you're here because you're exploring the idea of creating a new website or redesigning your existing site, please get in contact to see if we can help. We're experts at understanding your audience and crafting an experience that will turn visitors into customers. Reach out to us today!