Why Design is Important

Creating a Good First Impression 

When a potential customer lands on your website in their search process, you want to make a good first impression. You want your homepage to be designed well, to stand out, and to convey credibility to your site visitors. Research found that 94% of first impressions are design related. In the brief moment of someone clicking on your site and choosing between staying or going elsewhere, your design makes a big impact on that decision. 

SEO 

The design of your site plays a role in your rankings on search engines like Google. Poor website design can create slow page load speeds, resulting in lower search rankings. It can also impact the search engine’s ability to completely and properly crawl your site. If the navigation is not designed well and pages are not linked together properly, it can affect your rankings. It’s important to optimize your site for both the user and search engines. If search engines cannot find everything within your site, it may put you at a disadvantage for ranking high and drawing in potential customers.  

Building Trust with Customers  

Good design helps build credibility with customers. A study found that 48% of the respondents consider web design as a significant aspect in the credibility of the business.  A well-designed site that meets or exceeds the expectations of the customer will result in longer time spent on the site and lead to more conversions. If the site appears outdated or is designed poorly, site visitors will not trust the site and will continue their search elsewhere.  

Builds Your Brand  

A well-designed website can aid in building up your brand. Implementing your brand’s design across your site and using specific design elements in various other content created by your business will create consistency with your brand. This consistency is key in building a brand that it easily recognizable and in building brand awareness. Your website plays a big role in the development of your brand’s image. 

Key Design Elements

Responsive Design 

With the amount of time we spend on our phones and tablets, the importance of a responsive web design increases constantly. It was reported that since 2017 more people search through mobile devices than on desktop. The same article mentions that “People are 60% less likely to purchase from a brand after a negative mobile experience.” If your website isn’t already designed to be responsive to the device the user is on, you’re probably missing out on site visitors and conversions.  

Images and Videos 

The visuals placed throughout your website can aid in engaging the customer and influence the overall experience created on your site. When designing your site, you want to use photos and videos strategically. Too many and your site can seem overwhelming with visual content and load slowly. Too few, and your site ends up with too much white space or too much text. Utilize visual content to catch the site visitor’s attention and to showcase your products or services.  

Content

The text you put on your site is just as important as the photos and videos. This is where your visitors will learn more about what you offer, as well as what Google and other search engines will read to determine if your site has relevant content for a search result. It’s important to not have all your text the same size and written in long paragraphs, but it is also important to not have too many differing sizes and fonts. It’s usually recommended that you focus on a couple of fonts and use different sizes to show importance, such as for a blog post having your title/main point being your H1 size and format, subtitles or section headers as H2, and your main text being in paragraph style.  

Call to Action 

A strong Call to Action (CTA) carries a lot of power in guiding site visitors through your site. A CTA serves to initiate the next course of action for site visitors, leading them on a journey to the next piece of content you want them to see. The design and placement play a large role in the effectiveness of a CTA, and even more importantly, the message. The message around your CTA should be concise and accurately let the reader know what to expect when they click on the link or button. The design and placement of your CTA affects when the visitor will see it and if it will stand out enough to catch their attention. You want your CTAs to be strategically placed where it is the right time to engage with the reader and the right time to direct the reader to another section of your site. 

Navigation  

The ease of navigating through a site can greatly impact a website’s effectiveness as a tool to engage with and attract new customers. You want to design your navigation to be seamless for visitors in order to create the best experience possible. If it’s too challenging to find what they are looking for on your site, they will choose to find another site that’s easier to navigate. The goal is to make the navigation experience as efficient as possible. With the use of Google Analytics, you can see the paths that visitors take and find areas where many visitors may be dropping off your site. Then you can assess ways to improve design over time.  

In Summary 

Website design plays a large part in the success of a website. It impacts the user experience, search engine rankings, the brand, and more. Designing an effective website involves many elements all weaving together to create a pleasant user experience and to make visitors want to stay on your site. Each element is important, and each element will look different from site to site. It’s important to find what works best for your brand and to always keep improving your site.  

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