There are a lot of sites like that on the web – many business owners just don’t seem to care if their website is easy to navigate or easy to look at, even. Often it’s a budget issue, with many small business owners thinking it’s a savvy move to save some money by designing their website themselves or having some employee’s high school-aged kid whip it up instead of hiring a professional.
That’s a mistake. While it does cost money to have your site crafted by pro designers and web developers, the return on that investment is well worth the cost.
Here are 3 reasons why your business needs an attractive, intuitive website:
1. Make a Good First Impression
Phonebooks make good doorstops, but no one uses them to actually look up businesses anymore. No, when someone is looking for the kinds of products you sell and/or the services you provide, they’ll turn to a search engine instead. With a little bit of luck (and attention to SEO), that’s where they’ll stumble on your website and discover your business.
You need to make a good first impression. A poorly-designed website leaves the impression that you’re unprofessional. At this point, all the visitor knows about your business is how you’ve handled your website. If your site is low-quality, the visitor will think (either outright or subconsciously) that your products/services, staff, and everything else about your business is low-quality as well.
Conversely, a well-designed website makes you stand out in a good way. Your competitors in town probably offer pretty much the same thing that you do, likely at a similar price as well, and having an impressive website is the differentiator you need to convince a potential customer to go to your business rather than one of your similar competitors.
2. Get People Who Land on Your Website to Stay on Your Website
Then there’s the navigability factor.
According to a Nielson Norman Group study, the average person expects to find what they’re looking for very quickly when they visit a site – if they can’t find what they’re looking for in 10 – 20 seconds, they’ll back out and find another site (read: one of your competitors) that’s easier to navigate.
Considering how many choices consumers have today with online shopping options like Amazon and eBay in addition to local stores, it’s hard enough to get a potential customer to visit your site at all. It’s a real shame to lose those hard-earned visitors to poor navigability.
A professional web designer knows how to make your site easy to navigate, so when you manage to hook a potential customer through a search engine, you can keep them on your site to reel ‘em in and convert that potential customer into an actual customer.
3. Improve Your Site’s Search Rankings
The exact algorithms that Google, Bing, and other search engines use to determine where sites are ranked is a bit of a mystery, but we do know a few things that will definitely help you get listed above your competitors.
For one, we know the longer visitors stay on your site, the better. So improving navigability also improves your search rankings.
A professional web developer knows how to make your site responsive, which means your site automatically resizes itself and makes other adjustments so that’s it’s easy to read and interact with on the small screen of a smartphone or tablet.
This gives you with another edge over competitors, because if their sites aren’t responsive and they become a mess when viewed on a small screen, mobile users will ignore them and find a site that is responsive, like yours. And as an added bonus, mobile-friendly sites receive a direct boost in search rankings according to a February 2015 post from the official Google blog.
It’s 2016 – having the best search ranking among your competitors automatically makes you the most attractive option for locals looking for what you offer. An impressive website allows you to claim that top spot.